Study claims 69 percent of Windows Phone apps are "dead"

As the smartphone market grows, Apple, Google and Microsoft all want to see their app ecosystems thrive. However, a new study claims to show that a large number of the apps in those store are considered to be "dead", meaning that the apps have less than 10 reviews and have not been updated since they were first released.

The study, conducted by mobile app testing service Stardust, was released in the form of an infographic. It claims that, in their examination of the three mobile app stores, 69 percent of the apps in the Windows Phone Store are labeled as "dead", according to Stardust's criteria. By contract, 65 percent of the apps in Apple's iOS App Store get the "dead" label. The situation is somewhat better for apps in Android's Google Play store; the study says just 41 percent of those apps can be conidered "dead".

The study also says that the iOS App Store has a daily average of 978 new apps published, along with a daily average of 806 older apps that get updates. Google Play has an average of 1,107 new apps added every day, along with 2,341 apps that get updated each day. The Windows Phone Store still lags well behind, the study says it gets just 286 new apps added every day, with 179 apps getting updates each day on average.

There's a lot more data points in Stardust's infographic, which can be seen in full below.

Source: Stardust | Images via Stardust

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This is the fundamental issue with Windows Phone. I personally like the platform, but the ecosystem is a joke. Microsoft came too late to the party. I am still with WP7 and I've been holding off to see how WP8 would do. Unfortunately half of the apps I wan't aren't available for the Windows Phone.

unfortunately its true. There was a big momentum at the beginning for building apps on windows phone. mismanagement killed that momentum. the only way it can jump is a breakthrough either in hardware or software side.

For a developer viewpoint, *sometimes* we (as developer) update just to keep the application "alive", even when we don't add more content of bug fixes.

So, it is not so hard to conclude that WP is not really motivating developers to launch apps to WP.

The "10 comments" part of this metric skews it in favor of platforms with more users (e.g. an app with 30 comments on iOS is probably not less dead than one with 10 on Windows Phone, because there are 3x the eyeballs using iOS.) It needs more than an app count denominator to be useful for comparison across platforms.

Not sure which is worse. A Windows Phone app that does what it's supposed to do from the get-go, or an Android app needs updating EVERY FREAKING TIME I turn on my Android tablet.

Seriously, I don't have much on it, but every time I turn it on, the notification bar gets filled with app updates.

I definitely would have to agree, at least to some extent. I was looking thru the app store the other day and there are SO many junk apps and things I would never even consider using. Very few 'quality' apps from what I've seen and tried so far. But that's ok, I'm not heavy into the apps so it doesn't affect my ability to enjoy current the Windows platforms.

I would expect that Android would have the highest dead rate. I could have a cruddy spam Android app written and published by lunch if I wanted. Are they sure people aren't posting fake reviews and organizing download groups to game the ranks?

Spicoli said,
Are they sure people aren't posting fake reviews and organizing download groups to game the ranks?

With a marketshare of about 80% it isn't that strange that at least one individual would want to download the most obscure apps from the Play Store.

****ty comments on your app, and a silly 0.99 pricetag (downwards spiral initiated by Apple Store). Enough reasons for a developer to say "Eff you all" and leave the app hanging.

There... fixed it for you.

Notwithstanding that this report shows only a single point in time, it's easy to nitpick at WP and say it has more dead apps by % but then there are far fewer apps overall. There's bound to be more dead apps simply because the developer ecosystem is not as mature nor as big as the others.

You could read the results like this:-
1. IOS total dead apps = 401,333
2. Android total dead apps = 198,551
3. WP total dead apps = 107,858

Ah, statistics.

CtrlShift said,
Notwithstanding that this report shows only a single point in time, it's easy to nitpick at WP and say it has more dead apps by % but then there are far fewer apps overall. There's bound to be more dead apps simply because the developer ecosystem is not as mature nor as big as the others.

You could read the results like this:-
1. IOS total dead apps = 401,333
2. Android total dead apps = 198,551
3. WP total dead apps = 107,858

Ah, statistics.

Yeah, its an ADVANTAGE having the smallest number of available apps, even though that also means that almost 70% of those apps are dead, right? Get real.

Does this survey take into account the age of the apps?
A greater proportion of Windows Phone apps will be newer (because it's a newer platform that's accelerating) and thus they will have had less time to get reviews and have updates released thus I would expect the proportion of "dead" apps to be greater.
Under their definition all new apps would be "dead" on release.

I feel many Android apps are only updated to increase compatibility with new Android software versions/models. Apps that do that and only that (no new features, no bug fixes etc.) should equally be classed as "dead".

What has world come up to. Never seen such a ugly flat color data representation before. Is that the new cool factor to have flat barely distinguishable charts and colors. Dark blue green background, with light font color which is so hard to read. WTH.

I know personal attack is not allowed in Neowin.

But Neowin also must admit that few of the article writers purposely target Microsoft.

nitins60 said,
I know personal attack is not allowed in Neowin.

But Neowin also must admit that few of the article writers purposely target Microsoft.

Depends on who is writing the article really.

nitins60 said,
I know personal attack is not allowed in Neowin.

But Neowin also must admit that few of the article writers purposely target Microsoft.

Yeah, it's tough to write consistently glowing reviews when we have crap software, sluggish sales of their phones, $900 million write downs for the failed RT platform, and the resignation notice of the CEO who has held the position for the past 13 years. I mean, someone should really DO something about this! At the very least, the authors should bend reality a little!

You could also see this as windows phone is so good developers have no need to update software.

Or developing app is so easy people develop an app for the heck of it.

ACTIONpack said,
You could also see this as windows phone is so good developers have no need to update software.

Or developing app is so easy people develop an app for the heck of it.

Or that Microsoft's cash incentive campaign for WP developers only worked for devs to throw something at the store and collect the money.

It's not just the WP Apps, WP itself is dead. It seems that Microsoft continues to postpone that so called 'year of the WP', it's been more than 3 years now and the platform barely managed to take off worldwide. It was pretty much DOA anyways.

It's going to be very hard to deprogram the fruit worshipers, and it may be impossible to topple Android, but 3rd place is still making a respectable amount of money. Wanna talk about a "DOA" OS go check out Firefox OS. I'm not at all worried that my Lumia is going to be obsolete anytime soon, though I would like to see more quality and professional apps for it.

yowanvista said,
It's not just the WP Apps, WP itself is dead. It seems that Microsoft continues to postpone that so called 'year of the WP', it's been more than 3 years now and the platform barely managed to take off worldwide. It was pretty much DOA anyways.

Do you keep WP hate comments on your clipboard or something? Every article, we get a "WP is dead" posting from you.

I wouldnt say WP is dead. They just need a new Marketing strategy and to tell Mark Penn to shut the hell up and focus more on their products.

Enron said,

Do you keep WP hate comments on your clipboard or something? Every article, we get a "WP is dead" posting from you.

There are comments like that from people in most articles here...not just those related to WP.

There are countries where WP8 accounts for 25% or more market share. So I don't think WP is dead nor is it going anywhere just because it has a low market share in the USA.

zeke009 said,

dang, I missed Blackberry's funeral.

Look at sales, stock price, and financials over the past few quarters. If you think BB has a snowball's chance in hell of catching up to WP, let me know.

John Nemesh said,
Look at sales, stock price, and financials over the past few quarters. If you think BB has a snowball's chance in hell of catching up to WP, let me know.
Did you read my post or did you infer some argumentative statement from my post? Your response sounds like you thought I was saying BB could or would beat out WP.

I said I missed their funeral; nothing more, nothing less.

TBF (and as a Android user) - there won't be many android apps without reviews (albeit negative) or updates because of everyone complaining that it doesn't work on X model and/or Y version of OS.

And the Apple App Store has 65% yet we want to focus on WP overall? Who cares if apps don't get updated often or stop, I have a number that haven't seen a update in quite some time yet they still work fine for the reason I installed them in the first place.

Desktop apps are no different, does someone want to do a study to find out how many "dead" desktop apps there are? I bet it's got a high % as well.

That would have been funny if the store was doing poorly, but in recent months its getting twice as many app submissions as Windows Phone. Which is roughly half that of Android. It's also grown quicker than any other app store within the first year.

I'm not sure what the number of updates per app really means, given the huge spectrum of what authors choose to release. Great apps like Code Writer update rather infrequently, and each update brings about a significant number of new features. Apps like TouchMol on the other hand...well, the last update was "changed to a paid app".