Now here’s a surprise

I have a Windows phone. Many people, when they find out, are surprised to hear that. On the other hand, I’m surprised that they’re surprised. Why would someone be surprised over someone else’s choice of anything; phone, food, clothes, or anything else?

When I inquire, the common response is “Windows doesn’t have as many apps.”

That’s true, or at least what they mean is true. They mean the Windows phone ecosystem doesn’t have as many apps as does the iOS or Android ecosystem. And on that point they’re correct. At last count, Apple’s app store had 1.2 million apps (June 4th), Google Play had 1.34 million apps (August 24th), while Windows Store trails behind with 300,000 apps (August 8th), although in their defense that’s over double the amount they had at the beginning of the year.

Getting better!

Getting better!

I chose my phone for many reasons, however when it comes to apps specifically, there have been sacrifices. Or perhaps ‘compromises’ would be a better word. Google is notoriously reluctant to release apps for Windows, which results in third-party, and arguably better, apps like MetroTube, and some apps that would likely be much better if developed by the original company, like Facebook, who is also unwilling – at least for now – to publish on the platform.

But here are the three big catches: One, I do actually have most of the apps I need and want; USAA, Flixster, web browser, Outlook, bar code/QR code scanner, CNN/NBC/Sky news, Plex, Runtastic, Netflix, Twitter, Skype, Wallbase and Zillow to name a few, along with the afore-mentioned third party MetroTube (which I rarely use, to be honest) and a few others.

Two, attention needs to be paid to the quality v. quantity of apps. To use the old comparison, if you have a million apps in your store but 500,000 of them are fart apps then do they all really count (They may; one was ranked the #1 app and raked in $10,000 a day)? The number two app in the iPhone app store, set to earn $200 million, is one that lets you accompany Kim Kardashian!

Even with all of that, and coming in at number three, is something I found most surprising of all: It turns out many people don’t download any apps anyway. The article points to a ComScore whitepaper that indicated over 65 percent of smartphone users download zero apps a month (infographic pasted below). In my case I download the occasional app, but it’s more like one app every two or three months. Of course, that zero-download percentage also means the remainder are responsible for the $10,000 a month the fart app earned and the $200 million the Kim Kardashian app will earn, and that is scary.

ComScore infographic on app downloads, via nbcnews.com

ComScore infographic on app downloads, via nbcnews.com

Going Up