The 50,000 app mark was reached on December 27th and the 60,000 mark on January 22nd. It has taken an additional 34 days to reach the 70,000 mark. Despite a slow down in February, the Windows Phone Market is growing much faster in its second year (average of 264 apps per day so far) than its first year (average of 91 apps per day).
Number of Content Items (Apps) Published
The graph below shows the growth in the total number of applications published to the Windows Phone Marketplace over the last 17 months.
Growth of Windows Phone Marketplace. Note: Numbers for February 2012 are not complete.
In common with other application stores, the total number of published items is not the same as the number of items available to consumers. Of the 70,784 items published to the Marketplace, just over 7,000 are no longer available (removed by Microsoft or withdrawn by the publisher). In addition, some apps are only available in select markets. This means the number of available items to a consumer, in a given market, is lower than the number of published items. The current approximate figures are: US (59,687), UK (57,00), France (54,399), Spain (51,403), Italy (51,234), Germany (51,465), Australia (52,528) and India (52,346).
During the last four weeks, an average of around 250 new content items has been added each day. The last few weeks has seen a reduction in the number of apps being added per day, when compared to January (average of 375 per day), although this rate is still significantly higher than it was last in November 2011 (average of 165 items per day).
Part of the unexpected January influx can be explained by the opening of additional geographic markets for the Windows Phone Marketplace. Nonetheless it will be interesting to see the trend of the addition rate in March and April; that should give a better idea about the growth rate for the rest of the year. At the current (February) pace the 100,000 milestone will be reached in early July, but it could happen earlier, if addition rates increase.
Of course it's worth stressing that the quantity of apps is best used only as a guideline metric. The quality of apps in an app store is also very important, but is more difficult to judge objectively.
Looking at how many times an app has been rated can provide some guidance here, as only applications and games seen as useful are likely to be downloaded and rated multiple times. In the Windows Phone Marketplace just over 6,000 apps have been rated 5 or more times (UK market); that compares to just over 4,000 apps, using the same criteria, in the middle of January. That's an increase in the proportion of quality apps from 6.6% to 8.5% of the Windows Marketplace.
Content by category and license
The chart below shows the proportion of content in each of the Windows Phone Marketplace's top level categories. Entertainment is the single biggest category (12,761 items). The next three biggest categories are tools + productivity (9,924), games (9,024) and books + reference (8,569 items). The four biggest categories (out of seventeen) make up 47% of the content. The books + reference category makes up a notably smaller percentage when compared to our late December report (down from 14% to 12%), suggesting Microsoft may be getting a handle on spam apps in this category.
65% of items in the Windows Phone Marketplace are free, 11% are paid with a free trial and 24% are paid. The proportion of free apps has increased from 58% to 65% since our December report. The recent increase in the number of markets where Microsoft's advertising service is available to developers is likely a significant contributory factor to this trend.
As we noted in our previous report, the Windows Marketplace remains a long way behind iOS and Android in terms of total numbers of apps. However, its relative performance is roughly between the two. We'll revisit this outlook in our next major Marketplace metrics update.
These numbers are from our own tracking system, which is also used to power the All About Windows Phone Apps & Games section, where you can browse the applications and games, and install them via links to Zune Desktop, the web-based Marketplace, or install them directly by scanning the QR Code with Bing Vision on your smartphone.
If you're interested in getting additional insight or more detailed data, please get in touch and ask about the AAWP App Tracking service.