App developer gets more money from WP7 than iOS port

Windows Phone devices may not have the market share of Apple's iOS products but that doesn't mean an app developer can't make some money from developing Windows Phone programs. In a new blog entry on the Anlock web site, the developer of educational apps for young children says that making apps for Windows Phone 7 has yielded some surprising results.

One app, First Words: Learning Animals, was launched in July for both Windows Phone and iOS. The iOS app actually has some features that are not in the WP7 version. Also the iOS version got a big marketing campaign while little to no marketing was done for the Windows Phone app version.

Yet, the Windows Phone version of the same app has now generated a whopping five times as many sales as the iOS version, according to Anlock (specific sales numbers were not revealed).

The developer says the reason is a simple one

Apple has 500.000+ apps on the App Store compared to only 30.000+ on the Windows Phone Marketplace. The potential, in terms of devices in the market, of the App Store is huge compared to that of the Marketplace but, at the same time, there is fierce competition and a LOT of noise in the App Store, making it extremely difficult to stand out.

So if you are an app developer who wants to make some money, perhaps the massive iOS App Store might actually be a disadvantage while the smaller size of the Windows Phone Marketplace could make your app stand out from the crowd.

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25 Comments

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hopefully the number of WP7 devices out there will increase substantially giving app developers some incentive to develop

With a smaller available apps developers be noticed. I believe Windows Phone marketplace has potential to become the world largest AppStore in few years with Windows 8 around the corner.

The SNR on the App Store is pretty awful currently the same with the Android Market. Also as most apps have not yet been updated for Android 4 a lot do not work as expected, that will resolve itself shortly hopefully.

After having a Galaxy Nexus and Lumia 800 for a week I have to say I prefer the Lumia a bit over the Nexus. My favourite experience is still iOS though even if iOS is starting to look and feel a little dated now compared to WP and Android.

Catch 22. If more developers start developing for Windows Phone 7 to stand out from the crowd, they create a more crowded marketplace.

Edited by Elliott, Dec 6 2011, 2:16pm :

Elliott said,
Catch 22. If more developers start developing for Windows Phone 7 to stand out from the crowd, they created a more crowded marketplace.

True but one can tell the quality of apps that's in Windows Phone compare to competition.

This is obviously a clever way to disguise reality. Microsoft actually sort of pays people to do apps for their platform, which, given its market share, is just miserably inferior to Android and iOS in terms of potential customers and therefore potential revenue. Sure, if your app sux then in iOS or Android you are not going to sell, but if is any good (and yes, the bar is pretty high), with all the blogs that review apps for iPhone and Android and the respective huge communities, it will be spotted in a couple of weeks and given the visibility it deserves. Nobody has interest in killing great apps.

Well yeah, it's a much smaller App store *at the moment* so any niche App will undoubtedly be far more exposed than it would be with Apple.

Moral of the story is develop for all.

thommcg said,
Well yeah, it's a much smaller App store *at the moment* so any niche App will undoubtedly be far more exposed than it would be with Apple.

That would be the case if there were the same amount of users on both platforms.
It would be less exposed in the App Store, but keep in mind that there are many more people which have a chance to notice it.

too many apps on the apple app store to find stuff ,WP is experiencing what people did with iOS when the app store was new and not many apps yet

tuneslover said,
Still No Autocad WS & Photoshop for Windows Phone

I mean who actually designs models in 2D/3D on their phone, pretty small screen real-estate, to top it off, an only touch based UI wont be sufficient for designing things efficiently and effectively. Then there is barely any market for WP7.

Photoshop I can understand, maybe quick touch-ups on the go.

SteelToast said,

I mean who actually designs models in 2D/3D on their phone, pretty small screen real-estate, to top it off, an only touch based UI wont be sufficient for designing things efficiently and effectively. Then there is barely any market for WP7.

Photoshop I can understand, maybe quick touch-ups on the go.

No one designs on the phones. But I would like to view 2D CAD drawings on my phone and print it with wi-fi printer sometimes.

Well the Apple app store is a saturated market. If your WP7 app fills a niche, you will get noticed, even if there are 100 other apps on Apple app store that do the same.

A well written app on WP7 is clearly going to make more cash then on iOS when your target users is just on the phones. The apps that can really break through now are usually backed very well or their meant for fans of a website/business and their bringing a service to iOS.

For example if I was a youtube celebrity and most of my audience has Apple products, then it makes sense to release it onto apple rather than WP7.

But if your starting from scratch, you have a better chance of breaking through on WP7. For example a weather app or even a game.

Wmpoweruser.com is full of such cases.

Smaller App Store means, that you can get easily noticed. Having 100k fart apps does not.

FMH said,
Wmpoweruser.com is full of such cases.

Smaller App Store means, that you can get easily noticed. Having 100k fart apps does not.


I doubt fart apps would have any effect on his sales, no one will go looking for an educational app and end up picking a fart app instead... A more likely theory is that there already is better or at least more well established apps competing with his.

It's just like he said, it's not as easy to stand out in the bigger market that is the iOS app store than it is in the smaller market that is the WP7 marketplace, quite obvious really.

I was just using this as an example. I didn't really meant that there are 100k of them!

I meant, that no matter what you search or which category you go into, there's a lot of apps, and therefore it's difficult to get noticed.
Fewer options for customers to choose from.

FMH said,
I was just using this as an example. I didn't really meant that there are 100k of them!

I meant, that no matter what you search or which category you go into, there's a lot of apps, and therefore it's difficult to get noticed.
Fewer options for customers to choose from.


Yea, as I said it's a bigger market, you have to give consumers a reason to pick your app over another already established one.
We still often see new apps in every category rise to the top, it's obviously not impossible to get noticed, the Appstore is pretty good at showcasing both old popular and good new apps.

FMH said,
Wmpoweruser.com is full of such cases.

Smaller App Store means, that you can get easily noticed. Having 100k fart apps does not.

While that is true, this statement about being able to make more $$ on WP7 is completely false. Your app may be easier to find, but there's very few Windows Phone users to even download your app, whereas there's millions of iPhone users. In the end, the iPhone should truly win.

"Yet, the Windows Phone version of the same app has now generated a whopping five times as many sales as the iOS version."
Your logic...doesn't...work.

andrewbares said,

While that is true, this statement about being able to make more $$ on WP7 is completely false. Your app may be easier to find, but there's very few Windows Phone users to even download your app, whereas there's millions of iPhone users. In the end, the iPhone should truly win.

You must not have read the post.

NPGMBR said,

You must not have read the post.

Nope I read it. You must have not thought about it. The article references ONE example, while there are countless examples of developers making LESS on Wp7. Sure you can always find the specific example, but the majority isn't like this.

andrewbares said,
Nope I read it. You must have not thought about it. The article references ONE example, while there are countless examples of developers making LESS on Wp7. Sure you can always find the specific example, but the majority isn't like this.

It depends on what the product is and the consistency of the user base - if the user base is filled with penny pinching cheapskates it won't matter how good your application is, the customer simply won't buy it. Take Android for example, it has more users than iPhone or Windows Phone 7 but it ignores the fact that the vast majority of Android devices are cheap crap smartphones sold by carriers under their own brand with only a small section of the over all market willing to part with the cash to purchase something for their phone.