Microsoft’s new Windows Phone 7 (WP7) Marketplace offers the cheapest apps of all major stores, according to the latest Distimo report. This marks a major shift in strategy from the vendor’s previous apps efforts that saw Windows Marketplace for Mobile (serving apps for Windows Mobile 6.x devices) become the most expensive of all app stores.
Based on US data collected for WP7 Marketplace during November 1 – 22, 2010, Distimo found that apps for Windows Mobile 6.x are the most expensive, costing US$6.27 on average. Applications in the new store for WP7 are the cheapest of all stores with an average price of US$1.95. The most popular applications (top 100 paid apps) are most expensive in Windows Marketplace for Mobile as well, averaging at US$5.48, compared to Windows Phone 7’s average application price of US$2.54. The average price of the most popular applications in the other stores is US$3.05.
All ten of the most popular paid applications in WP7 Marketplace are games, with prices ranging from US$2.99-US$6.99. As per the chart above, the most popular category on both stores is Games; the proportion of Games among the 100 most popular applications is higher in WP7 Marketplace (40 percent) than in Windows Marketplace for Mobile (34 percent) though. Distimo notes “this is especially interesting since the proportion of games available relative to the entire store is larger in Windows Marketplace for Mobile than in Windows Phone 7 Marketplace” (see chart below). The second most popular category in WP7 Marketplace is Entertainment: 12 percent of the most popular applications are from the category, compared with 7 percent in Windows Marketplace for Mobile. These moves all mirror the way that Microsoft is attempting to position WP7 as a more consumer-oriented platform.
Games and Tools are the categories that contain the largest proportion of applications in both stores. The proportion of applications in these categories is smaller however, in the WP7 Marketplace than in the Windows Marketplace for Mobile. There are already notable differences in the distribution of applications between categories such as News & Weather and Business/Finance, where WP7 has 92 percent and 78 percent more applications than Windows Mobile 6.x, respectively.
Meanwhile Distimo claims the low average price of paid applications in the WP7 Marketplace is caused by the higher proportion of applications priced below US$2.00: 85 percent compared with 38 percent in Windows Marketplace for Mobile. The higher price of applications in Windows Marketplace for Mobile is also influenced by the high proportion of applications priced over US$5.00 (33 percent). In the other stores, the proportion of applications priced below US$2.00 ranges between 57 percent and 71 percent, while only 9 percent of all applications cost over US$5.00 in these stores.
The prices of the most popular applications in WP7 Marketplace are even more in line with the other stores: 57 percent of the 100 most popular applications are priced below US$2.00. For the other stores, this is between 51 percent and 67 percent, except for Windows Marketplace for Mobile where only 37 percent of the 100 most popular applications is priced below US$2.00.
At the time of the report, Distimo found that the WP7 Marketplace had grown to 2,674 apps, although it has now hit around 3,000. In comparison, Windows Marketplace for Mobile has gathered only 1,350 apps to date since launch over a year ago on October 6, 2009.