Windows Phone to Account for 2% of App Downloads in 2012

Android and iOS will enjoy the most of app downloads on mobiles

In 2012, two percent of all application downloads on smartphones will go to Windows Phone, a recent report from ABI Research claims.

The research firm expects for a total number of 36 billion applications to be downloaded on mobile devices this year.

The company’s report also notes that up to 83 percent of these apps will be downloaded on Android and iOS devices, which also account for the largest share of the smartphone market.

“Although Windows Phone lags behind RIM’s BlackBerry and even Nokia’s Symbian, we shouldn’t ignore the fact that the two percent that we forecast for 2012 would be twice the share the platform achieved last year,” research associate Lim Shiyang says.

“Microsoft is gaining momentum, but its starting point is frustratingly low. Contrary to popular belief, this isn’t really a chicken-and-egg problem of low device sales holding back the app business and the slow app business holding back the device sales. It’s more complicated than that.”

The growth of Windows Phone in the mobile application segment is conditioned by four factors, the research firm explains.

Microsoft’s platform enjoys a low market share, and this is the most critical factor here, though the other three are as important as well.

The Windows Phone Marketplace still doesn’t enjoy worldwide availability, and there is no in-app purchasing available for users to benefit from. Moreover, the lack of tablets running Windows Phone drags the platform downwards, the research firm believes.

“One message we hear from many developers is that, purely technically speaking, Windows Phone is actually a rather appealing platform,” senior analyst Aapo Markkanen notes.

“And if it turns out to be a platform for relatively high-end devices, avoiding the fragmentation pitfalls of Android, it won’t even need to achieve a remarkably large market share to attract a vibrant app scene.

“The arrival of the first Windows 8 tablets, as well as Windows Phone’s upgrade to the Apollo iteration, should also give it a boost, since developers can reuse their code to launch on various screen sizes.”

Additional info on ABI Research’s study, “Mobile Applications Market Data,” can be found on the company’s website.

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