In a new blog post intended for Windows and Windows Phone app developers, Microsoft has revealed several market trends relating to user demographics and popular app categories and reinforces the importance of preparing apps for the eventual transition into the universal app format. Universal apps will be a main focus of the cross-platform Windows 10 operating system rolling out later this year.
According to the report, in March 2015, 93% of app downloads from the Windows Store on PC came from devices running Windows 8.1 and 80% of app downloads on Windows Phone came from phones running Windows Phone 8.1. Apps designed for the latest iteration of Windows on PC (or mobile) gain more functionality than those designed for older operating systems and also benefit from a simplified upgrade process to the newer universal app format which uses the same source code for running both Windows and Windows Phone versions of an app and saves the developer time and resources over the long term.
When it came to app monetization, in-app purchases accounted for 55% of app earnings, advertising within the app was 31%, and only 14% income came from paid apps. Games on all Windows devices had the highest overall sales followed by Tools and Productivity, however, when the average number of downloads per app in each category was calculated, Social apps came out on top.
An interesting development has been the growth of app sales in countries like India, Brazil, and Vietnam due to the introduction of carrier billing in regions where credit cards aren’t in wide use. Windows Store was the first to introduce carrier billing to China, India, and Brazil and it looks to have paid off in a big way with all three countries ranking alongside the United States and Vietnam as having the highest number of average downloads per app on Windows Phone.
Naturally with the expansion of Windows devices into other regions, there would be a change in languages used by the consumers and while English is still the top language, it only makes up 16% of the total Windows Phone market and 30% of Windows tablet and PCs. Spanish and Mandarin Chinese remain the second and third most used languages on all Windows devices, however with the growth in the Brazil and India markets, usage of Brazilian Portuguese and Hindi have increased 2% and 3% each.
It’s exciting to see the Windows and Windows Phone platforms continue to evolve and expand their reach in other markets the way they have, and with the transition to Windows 10 on the horizon, it doesn’t look like Microsoft is slowing down anytime soon.
What do you think about all these developments? Let us know in the comments.