The proud owners of BlackBerry 10 and Windows Phone can hardly expect to download the applications popularly used by iPhones and Android users. Canalys, a research firm, found in their latest report that most of the top iOS and Android apps are not yet available on BlackBerry 10 or Windows Phone. These two operating systems, when combined, were found only to support 34% of the most popular 50 free and 50 paid iOS and Android apps in the United States.
Out of the top 50 free apps of App Store, the Windows Phone Store offers only 16 apps and 14 apps out of top 50 paid apps. Google Play, on the other hand, offers 13 apps out of top 50 paid Android apps and 22 apps out of top free apps. However, BlackBerry World supports just 5 apps out of top 50 free iPhone apps and 9 out of top 50 paid apps. And as far as Android apps are concerned, BlackBerry World only offers 11 of its top 50 free apps and 11 of its top paid apps.
Tim Shepherd, the senior analyst of Canalys said “These stats underscore the scale of the job Microsoft and BlackBerry each still face in their respective bids to build up their app ecosystems, and to deliver still more compelling – and crucially – genuinely competitive offerings around apps, and both vendors must continue to work hard to rise to the challenge. The availability of key apps is a factor in motivating consumers’ initial mobile device purchasing decisions, and it will only become more so. But moreover, it is a major factor in determining ongoing consumer satisfaction.”
Earlier this month, Microsoft announced that its Windows Phone Store now features over 145,000 apps. BlackBerry, on the other hand, declared that BlackBerry World now has over 120,000 BlackBerry 10 and Android apps. Though both the companies are boasting about the expansion of their respective app stores, both Microsoft and BlackBerry platforms are hardly offering the apps that customers are actually looking for.
Shepherd, while discussing the report further said that “Simply, Windows Phone and BlackBerry customers do not want to miss out on apps (or app features) from important and locally relevant brands, or the latest games, because of their choice of smart phone. It is therefore imperative for the success of both Windows Phone and BlackBerry that their respective app ecosystems attract and offer the high-quality content that consumers want and would otherwise miss.”
Shepherd further explained that there is no need for BlackBerry and Microsoft to offer a large amount of apps like Apple and Google. All they need is to focus on the top performing apps in order to be successful. The success of both these platforms is very closely linked with the success of the ecosystems. He said, “At a certain point, how many apps are in a store becomes irrelevant. Offering 100 different unit converters or weather apps is not a valuable choice. What is now far more important for BlackBerry and Microsoft is to focus on plugging inventory gaps and making sure they offer the right apps; to focus on quality and local relevance, not quantity.” Thus, both BlackBerry and Microsoft need to ensure that they are attracting apps that are from the locally relevant brands like transport services, retailers, airlines, banks, news, sport, popular online content, weather providers, communities, services and games.