The Nokia Lumia 900, the first phone on the Windows Phone platform to boast an ultra fast LTE network connection is out. The Windows Phone camp plan to attack Apple's iOS platform where its strongest: the app catalog. And how do you do that? By going local.
Microsoft‘s Windows Phone Marketplace recently passed 80,000 apps — much more than the 7,000 or so apps it had when it first announced the deal with Nokia.
Eighty thousand is a healthy app catalog, but its still a scratch on the bigger platforms like iOS (600,000) and Android (500,000).
“Every customer today thinks of apps as something essential to their lives,” says Marco Argenti, Nokia’s head of developer experience and marketplace. “They want to have apps that are relevant to what’s around them. Nobody is happy with 10k flashlight apps — they want apps of the local newspaper, the local transportation company, the local bank.”
The Marketplace thus isn’t a monolithic, centralized entity — it varies from region to region. In addition to popular apps like Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja, the store serves up apps that are specific to the user’s location. Argenti says this serves both the user and the developer.
“Developers today are asking first and foremost: How do i monetize?” he says. “The problem on any other platform is if they are not in the top 25, it’s very hard. For us, we merchandise the Marketplace on a country-by-country basis to make sure the local apps are surfacing. So if you open the store in turkey, you’ll see a bunch of local apps. You won’t just see the top 25 global list.”
80% of the developers who were creating apps for its legacy operating systems (Symbian, MeeGo) have switched over to the Windows Phone.
“We don’t just carpet-bomb devices out there,” Argenti says. “We follow the developer’s journey. We follow up, we ask if they need help developing apps and we providing training. For example, we’ve recently done a lot of events in asia — Vietnam, Indonesia — addressing local developers.”