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Breaks out the ol' "quality over quantity" argument

Microsoft isn't too happy about the way its competitors Apple and Google tally the number of available apps for their respective platforms, Information Week reports.

In a blog post, Windows Phone Director Brandon Watson accused the companies of conflating their app numbers by including questionable items in their counts. "What is an app? It's a question that really begs some scrutinizing," wrote Watson.

He claimed that there are now more than 11,500 apps available for the burgeoning Windows Phone 7 OS. "For us, from the beginning, we have always been focused on quality over quantity. We recognize the importance of getting great apps on our platform and not artificially inflating the number of actual apps available to customers by listing 'wallpapers' as a category, or perhaps allowing a competitor's apps to run on the platform to increase 'tonnage,'" he wrote.

The report by Information Week claims that the figure pales in comparison to Apple's 350,000 available apps and Android's 30,000. (Note: The Android figure is either a typo or a misreport. Android's market exceeded 100,000 apps six months ago.)

Either way, Microsoft isn't buying it. "We also don't believe in the practice of counting 'lite' apps as unique quality content. In reality they only exist because developers can't have a trial API and must therefore do extra work. Finally, we don't double and triple count apps which are submitted in multiple languages," wrote Watson.

Watson also boasted about the number of developers that WP7 has garnered (36,000 have registered), but made no mention of Microsoft's declining mobile market share

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RE: The problem is that...
By Tony Swash on 4/5/2011 5:53:13 PM , Rating: 2
I agree that developer earnings is an important metric, but the data in your linked article doesn't support that or - really - anything relevant. The only thing it does support is that one app, by one developer, made more money on the iPhone over a random 30 day period than it did on two other platforms. It's like saying: "I got in six car accidents last year. So, most people must get in six car accidents a year."

This data could mean quite a few different things. Right off the top of my head, it could mean things like: there's a great competing app for free on Android, the guy doesn't understand monetization on the Android platform, he got featured on iTunes. Who knows? Without additional data, you really can't say.

I really hope you don't do any kind of analysis work...

All the evidence points to a clear conclusion. Developers make a lot more, really a lot more, from developing for iOS than they do by developing for Android. If you think that that statement is wrong feel free to post contradicting evidence. Here is some evidence to support my proposition.

This was written by Erick Schonfeld on TechCrunch on 21st Feb 2011 (and as I said if you think this guy's data is whacked feel free to point us towards more accurate data).
Despite 861.5 Percent Growth, Android Market Revenues Remain Puny

You read the headline “Android Market grows a staggering 861.5 per cent”, and you think, “Wow, Android is really on a tear.” But then you look at the fine print, and you realize that Android Market revenues are still barely registering, and that the only reason they grew so much in 2010 was because in 2009 they were nearly non-existent.

According to a chart making the rounds from UK-based research firm IHS, Android Market revenues in 2010 came in at an estimated $102 million, up from $11 million the year before.

And how did that compare to revenues from Apple’s App Store? Apple App Store revenues came in at an estimated $1.7 billion in 2010, almost 20 times bigger than Android. And Apple App Store revenue grew at a not-too-shabby 131.9 percent rate. More importantly, Apple accounts for 83 percent of the total estimated app store revenues.

It’s great that Android app store revenues are growing so fast, but whenever you see such sky-high numbers, be sure to look at what is the base they are growing from. Android will have to keep growing at astounding rates for a few more years simply to catch up to where Apple’s App Store is today.

If you are an app developer trying to make money, you still really don’t have much of a choice about where to put your apps. No wonder Apple feels like it can treat app developers any way it wants, and take an increasing percentage of their revenues.

The data table giving developer earnings by platform by year is available here as a graphic

RE: The problem is that...
By Tony Swash on 4/5/2011 6:00:49 PM , Rating: 2
As soon as I hit the Post Comment button I noticed another interesting article, just out, from Gizmodo about the problems facing game developers on Android and the advantages of iOS.

Its here,

RE: The problem is that...
By Iaiken on 4/5/2011 10:02:09 PM , Rating: 2
And Apple App Store revenue grew at a not-too-shabby 131.9 percent rate.

If you think such figures are even remotely sustainable year over year, I am afraid you are destined to be disappointed.

RE: The problem is that...
By nafhan on 4/6/2011 1:05:23 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, I agreed that developer earnings are important (I even started my post by saying that they are). I was arguing that the data you linked to in your previous comment was meaningless. I'm not really certain how you quoted my entire comment without realizing that...

Posting links to things like TechCrunch (rather than some random devs blog) is better, but you should link to the article instead of a blurry chart. That would also make it so you don't need to copy and paste entire articles (essentially that's why hyperlinks exist).

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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