There is very little doubt that Apple and Android (News - Alert) have a firm hold on the mobile app market. That does not mean that Microsoft has given up trying to get their foot in the door. With the amount of mobile app downloads expected to hit 98 billion by 2015, there is a market that is just too enticing for the computer makers to ignore.
Of course, if Microsoft (News - Alert) is really going to try and make a run, they’re going to need to hurry up and start. A recent report shows that Apple and Android have combined to hold an 83 percent market share. Microsoft also doesn’t hold that other 17 percent, in fact the company is currently “boasting” a pathetic 2 percent of the mobile app download market.
Despite that low number, there are industry analysts who believe there is reason to be optimistic going forward. ABI Research (News - Alert) associate Lim Shiyang says, “Although Windows Phone lags behind RIM’s BlackBerry and even Nokia’s Symbian (News - Alert), we shouldn’t ignore the fact that the two percent that we forecast for 2012 would be twice the share the platform achieved last year. Microsoft is gaining momentum, but its starting point is frustratingly low. Contrary to popular belief, this isn’t really a chicken-and-egg problem of low device sales holding back the app business and the slow app business holding back the device sales. It’s more complicated than that.”
There are obvious reasons that Microsoft has had such problems really making a run at the big wigs in the market. The first reason is that Windows Phone (News - Alert) itself does not have a very big market share, it’s hard to generate a ton of downloads when few people actually own your phone. Another reason, according to ABI is that the rollout for the Windows Phone on a global scale has been too slow. Another reason is that Microsoft has yet to release a tablet to call their own.
Despite all of these struggles, Microsoft is standing resolute and still attempting to make a dent in the gap that Apple and Android have managed to forge in the mobile downloads race. One group of people who are certainly rooting them on are mobile app developers, who are benefitting greatly from this particular arms race.
Edited by Jennifer Russell