Windows Phone App Store Grows, iOS, Android Gain Continue to Lead

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Microsoft’s (MSFT) Windows Phone App store has surpassed the 300,000 titles mark, but, the Redmond, Washington-based company is not alone in seeing growing success when it comes to selling mobile apps. Apple’s (AAPL) iOS and Google’s (GOOG) Android store are booming as well.


Although relatively small in overall size when compared to the competition, Microsoft's online store growth has been rapid. Just two years ago, the Windows Phone store had 100,000 apps, growing to 150,000 by the end of 2012. It took another year to get to 200,000 apps, but by June of this year, Microsoft said that number jumped to 300,000, with the number of developers working on Windows Phone apps increasing by 50%.

Microsoft stock was gaining 0.42% to $43.38 in midday trading in New York.

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Gartner analyst Brian Blau said that although having 300,000 apps is admirable it's still small, overall, compared to the iOS and Android offerings. In a phone interview, Blau said that aside from a handful of very popular titles most apps don't make their developers rich or famous from Apple or Google sales making it even tougher for Microsoft to attract talent. "Why would developers go to Windows Phone?"

Andy Smith, President of Toronto-based independent game app publisher XMG Studios agreed. He thinks Microsoft still has a long way to go to attract developers. “I want Windows Phone to succeed," Smith said in a phone interview. "It means I can sell more apps. But, Microsoft needs to be focused on providing more exclusives than the competition. The current problem is you can’t get people onto the platform because there are so few people on the platform.”

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