How are we doing?
By now, you are familiar with our strategy of fostering an ecosystem around Windows Phone: an ecosystem characterized by quality, scale and developer opportunity. This strategy is taking root at an accelerated pace with partners and developers reporting real and sustained growth following the launch of Windows Phone 8.
Every day there are more signs of people’s belief that Windows Phone has evolved from being a solid contender to a compelling alternative. Just last week, the Nokia Lumia 920 won Engadget’s Reader’s Choice award for best smartphone of 2012 – by a wide margin. Also earlier this month, the Lumia 920 took on all comers to be named Gizmodo’s “Best Smartphone Camera” of five that were tested. The Lumia 920 is also being honored this week as a GSMA Best Smartphone nominee. Most importantly, people love their Windows Phones and its apps. A January report from ChangeWave Research found that Windows Phone customers are more likely to be “very satisfied” with their phones than Android users (53% for Windows Phone users vs. 48% for Android).
Moreover though, this qualitative praise is translating into quantitative opportunity for Windows Phone developers. We started by getting phones in front of the right people, making it easy for users to buy apps (e.g. PayPal, Alipay and carrier billing) and expanding to new geographies to grow our total addressable market by 90% in 2012. You’ve probably read reports of a 4x increase in Windows Phone sales over last year’s holiday season. In fact, we’ve achieved more than 10% marketshare in a number of countries (source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, Feb 2013).
The Windows Phone Store has also experienced a significant increase in activity - the highest in our history - with a 75% increase in app downloads, a 91% increase in paid app revenue and eclipsing 1 billion transactions. We’re also seeing higher levels of engagement with the catalog (thanks to your great apps), with a steady increase to an average of 55 downloads per user.
Windows Phone Developer Opportunity
The Windows Phone developer community itself is growing rapidly as well. Developer registrations are up by over 40,000 in the first 90 days since the launch of Windows Phone 8, and we’ve already seen 15,000 new apps that specifically leverage the new platform functionality Windows Phone 8 provides. All told, you’ve created a catalog of more than 130,000 apps and games – designed specifically for a differentiated Windows Phone UI and ecosystem. And we expect this growth to continue as the number of Windows Phone 8 SDK downloads just passed 500,000 in less than 4 months from its release on October 30, 2012.
Over 130,000 apps and over 40,000 developer registrations since the launch of WP8. The average of 55 downloads per user came as a surprise to me. With the new low- to medium-end devices from Nokia, it looks like WP8 is going to have a great year.