Figures from ABI Research forecast that mobile users will download nearly 36 billion apps in 2012. Android and Apple’s iOS will make up 83% of the app downloads, while only 2% will come from Windows Phone devices. However, although the Microsoft figure is relatively low, it’s double last year’s share.
Lim Shiyang, research associate at ABI Research, said “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.”
Although Windows Phone has a relatively small market share, ABI Research notes that the platform’s lengthy global roll-out, its slow implementation of in-app purchasing and its lack of tablet devices have also adversely affected app sales.
Aapo Markkanen, senior analyst at ABI Research, said “One message we hear from many developers is that, purely technically speaking, Windows Phone is actually a rather appealing platform. 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.”