Of the top 50 free and top 50 paid apps in Apple’s App Store and Google Play in the US, just 34 per cent feature in either the Windows Phone store or BlackBerry World – despite “substantial efforts” from Microsoft (with Nokia) and BlackBerry to improve their positions.
According to research from Canalys, the picture can be made “a little more optimistic” by taking into account apps that are specific to a particular ecosystem (such as Find My iPhone), or where similar alternatives are available (such as utility apps).
But it continued: “The presence of clear gaps in their inventories cannot and should not be masked.”
Tim Shepherd, senior analyst for the analyst firm, said: “The availability of key apps is a factor in motivating consumers’ initial mobile device purchasing decisions, and it will only become more so. But moreover, it is a major factor in determining ongoing consumer satisfaction.”
While in recent weeks Microsoft has said that its store now contains more than 145,000 apps, with the BlackBerry 10 catalogue having passed 120,000, the report noted that at a certain point, the number of apps in a store becomes irrelevant – for example, if bolstered by duplication of functionality.
“They must ensure they are attracting and proactively encouraging apps from the locally relevant brands in their key markets, such as retailers, banks, transport services and airlines, news, sport and weather providers, and popular online content, services, communities and games,” Shepherd continued.
Canalys’ assessment is based on the top 50 free and top 50 paid apps in the Android and iOS stores in the US during the first 20 days of May 2013, and the catalogues of the Windows Phone store and BlackBerry World on 21 May 2013.