Data & Research

Windows Phone Marketplace's top free apps generating 3 million downloads a month in US, but App Store is 43 times larger

Attracting 700 new publishers a month

Windows Phone Marketplace's top free apps generating 3 million downloads a month in US, but App Store is 43 times larger
One year on from the reboot of Microsoft's mobile OS, and Distimo's monthly app report comes with a distinctly Windows Phone flavour, offering up a summary of the platform's first 12 months on the market.

The summary details a recent swell in both the number of apps available and the downloads they're clocking up.

Distimo's report notes Microsoft's marketplace got off to a particularly slow start, but began to pick up in February, when free apps in particular began to rule the roost.

Share and share alike

Of the apps now available – 35,000 according to Distimo, but 40,000 based on the most recent sweep – free releases are now powering ahead, with an average of 1,650 new apps a month.

That's ahead of the 1,300 new paid titles hitting the platform during the same period.

"Windows Phone Marketplace launched in November 2010 with a large share of paid content: 70 percent," Distimo notes.

"The high proportion of paid versus free applications remained constant until February 2011. The number of free apps started to grow exponentially from that point forward, and in June the total number of free apps exceed the total number of paid apps by roughly 900 apps."

Free for all

When it comes to both free and paid releases, games are naturally the most popular category, making up 33 percent and 55 percent of all those on offer respectively.

Free apps, however, generate far more downloads. In the US, Distimo claims the top 300 free and paid title on the platform are amassing 121,000 downloads a day, or over 3.6 million a month. 83 percent of those downloads are for free releases.

"Compared to the Apple App Store, these numbers are relatively small," comments Distimo.

"On iPhone, 43 times more free apps in the top 300 were downloaded in October than in the Windows Phone Marketplace. When looking at paid content, the download volume of the Apple App Store is 16 times larger relative to the download volume in the Windows Phone Marketplace."

Just how long that disparity will exist, however, is largely dependent on how quickly Microsoft - and OEMs such as Nokia - can grow Windows Phone's userbase.

But it's gaining developer support. At the moment, Distimo claims the platform is attracting 700 new publishers a month, which has resulted in "continuous" growth for the marketplace.

You can download Distimo's report in October from the firm's website.


With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.