Apple’s App Store topped ABI Research’s competitive assessment of app storefronts, ahead of Google Play and Microsoft’s Windows Phone Store.

The app portals were ranked based on two criteria: implementation and innovation.
In terms of implementation, Apple came first, ahead of Google and RIM.

The research house said that “the company’s superior performance in this dimension is mainly down to its effective approach to monetisation, large market share over the app industry, and the ability to achieve a large inventory of titles while maintaining a reasonably strict quality control”.

However, when it came to innovation, Apple was “narrowly beaten by Microsoft”, with Google in third place. ABI said that it was “particularly impressed by Microsoft’s fresh approach to app discovery, as well as Windows Phone store’s overall solid usability”.

Aapo Markkanen, senior analyst with the analyst firm, said: “Although Apple has done a great job capitalising on App Store’s head start as an app distributor, it should really start re-thinking the way it charts the top apps. Microsoft should be lauded for its initiative to extend its ranking algorithm beyond raw download figures, by including factors that can actually measure the customer satisfaction and retention”.