If you are an app developer you already know that the Apple and Google apps stores offer a tremendous marketplace but at a very high competitive rate. You chances of getting noticed and receiving millions of downloads are pretty slim without doing additional marketing outside of the optimization of your listings within each store. My research revealed as of 2014, the Google Play store has over 1.4 million available apps, compared to just over 1.2 million for Apple’s App Store.
A good alternative to consider is developing apps for the Windows phone. I dug up a statistic that as of September 2014 the Window store only has 300,000 available apps. That’s roughly 75% less competition for your apps than Apple and an even greater for the Google Play store. I like those numbers!
Before you turn up your nose to the Windows phone idea, let’s look at the stats for how many devices are actually out in the marketplace which will represent your potential customers. As of January 2014, there are now over 50 million Windows Phone users which is pretty small when you compare to the big two.
Comparing iPhone and Android users, there are more than double the number of Android users over Apple (about 1 billion Android vs. 470 million iPhone). So as you can see, the Windows phone market place is pretty small comparing to the big two, 5% compared to Android and about 10.5% compared to iPhone users. Still, 50 million users as a marketplace is relatively large in the grand scheme of marketing a product.
In my research, I dug up another interesting stat. iOS users spend double the money on apps over Android. Evans estimates that Apple paid iOS app developers $10 billion in the last 12 months vs. the $5 billion Google paid Android developers. Even though there are double the Android users, they spend about half as much. This is a very important stat that we all should pay attention to so I thought I would share it here!
The iOS Developer program which you need to get apps into the Apple store is $99 per year, Google Play has a one-time fee of $25. The Windows Dev Center now only requires a one-time registration payment of $19 for individuals and $99 for companies without a yearly renewal. I thought that was also interesting indeed!
Visual Studio Express 2013 for Windows can be downloaded for free and is the main tool you would need to develop phone apps. There are allot of free resources including video and written tutorials on Windows phone development as well as the tools you can download & checkout here: https://dev.windows.com/en-us/develop/downloads
Another interesting stat I found is the average revenue per app by platform. This computes to $1,125 for Andriod, $4,000 For iOS and $625 for Microsoft.The stats are very interesting to me. After all, I’m an Engineer and I like to base my actions on proven numbers and solid statistics.
The Windows phone market pales in comparison to iOS and Android but on the flip side, the competition for apps in Google and Apple store is equal to or greater than 75%. Also the average app makes $625 in the Microsoft store. I like those odds and numbers. These days where the competition is for fierce to even get noticed in the app market, stacking the odds in your favor may be a prudent move for your business. Let me know what your thoughts are about this by adding your comments below.