Windows Mobile apps are more expensive than iPhone apps

The mean app price for the Windows market is nearly two times higher than the App Store.

[Update: Several readers have correctly pointed out that the source of the data I used for the post, was for Windows Mobile apps, so I decided to tweak the title to reflect that. The goal of this post is to examine the marketplace for Windows smartphone apps prior to the much-anticipated launch of Windows Phone 7. I hope to do an update a few months post-launch.]

The Windows Marketplace for Mobile now has about 1,400 apps spread across 16 categories. In this short post I’ll provide some basic statistics* and compare it with the grandaddy of app stores – the U.S. iTunes store.


First let’s look at the distribution of apps across categories. Like the iPhone and Android platforms, Windows Phone 6.x are rich in game apps. Given that there are far fewer Windows Phone apps, it may take some time before we see the variety of categories found in iTunes. There are large iPhone categories (medical**, education, sports … ) that aren’t part of the taxonomy for Windows Marketplace for Mobile.


More than 90% of the 280,000+ iTunes apps aren’t free, compared to 78% of apps available on Windows Marketplace for Mobile. Below are the share of free/paid apps across the different categories.


At least for now, Windows Phone 6.x apps are pricier than iPhone apps. The mean price of a paid iPhone app is $3.43, compared to $6.16 for paid apps available on Windows Marketplace for Mobile. Welcome news for the many developers gearing up to produce apps for Windows Phone 7!


(*) Data for this post: U.S. iTunes store through 10/31/2010, limited to iPhone apps; Windows Marketplace for Mobile through 11/3/2010.

(**) The Medical category was added several months after the launch of the iTunes app store.

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