You probably know I follow the new WP7 apps pretty closely to try to see what’s new and I’ve been noticing lately that there are fewer new apps being released than in the past. I wanted to check if it was real or in my mind so I went over to WP7applist and checked the stats. Sure enough, it looks like January is set to have less new apps than in December. Further more, it will have less app updates as well. Just look for yourself.
The inset picture above shows the apps by month and you can see with your eye that if you extrapolate for the next 6 days January will have less new apps and app updates than in December (it will be around 1800-1900 apps compared to 2250 for December). Below you can see the rate of growth isn’t on the uptick any longer and in the second image I took the rate of growth for December and overlaid in on the current total app figures so you can see the gap between the straight line growth and the actual growth. Add to this, this week was the first time that we saw only one Xbox Live game title added. In every other week we saw two new releases.
So what the heck? Well lots of developers wanted to get their apps in the Marketplace early so it makes some sense but that’s not the end of it. Clearly, if MS can’t show sales growth in hardware it’s hard to get software developers to jump on board. I mean, Android and iPhone are multiplying the sales of Windows Phones and for smaller developers if they only have the resources to do one app environment, unless they know XNA/Silverlight then going the Android/iOS route (since they are relatively easy to port between each other) make more sense from a monetary perspective. On top of that, Microsoft has yet to remove artificial barriers for developers. As of today, there’s still no API for cameras so developers cannot use the camera of your phone. They also have no access to the videos stored on your device. And if I hear the words ‘socket support’ from one more dev… Simply put, if you’re OS is already lagging, the last thing you want to do is limit access to things like the camera and video directory so no one can upload their photos to third party sites, edit images, create augmented reality apps…the list goes on and on.
I just hope that MS can get their shit together before the slow tide against them is too much to overcome…