Bad News for Windows Phone Developers
Let’s say you’re an app developer. Of course you’re interested in short term trends, because they give you an idea which platform has a future. But if you want to know if a platform is worth developing for NOW, what’s at least as important is the installed base of that platform, i.e. the number of phones that are actually in use at a given point of time.
Former Nokia executive turned consultant Tomi Ahonen has recently published his estimates for the global smartphone market and the message is clear: if you’re planning to develop apps for Windows Phone, you might want to think again. According to Ahonen, Windows Phone has a global installed base of 14 million units. A number ridiculously small compared to Android’s 427 million and Apple’s 198 million. Even Bada, a low-end operating system pretty much left for dead by Samsung, has a larger installed base than Windows Phone does. So if Microsoft really wants to establish Windows Phone as the “third ecosystem” in the mobile game, the Redmond-based company has a rocky road ahead of it.
This chart shows the global installed base of smartphones, broken down by operating system. All values represent estimates as of Q2 2012.