Blog Post

Windows Phone 7: Games Are The Most Popular Paid Apps, Prices Are Cheap

Early days for Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 Marketplace app store indicates that games are by far the most popular category among paid apps, and Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) itself has developed six out of the 10 most popular apps in the store, according to the latest figures from app store tracker Distimo.

Distimo says that games – which make up all of the top-10 most popular paid apps in the Windows Phone 7 store, but only 2 apps in the top-10 free apps- are “significantly more popular” in the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace than the older Windows Marketplace.

Its conclusion? This is a reflection of how Microsoft has been trying to position Windows Phone 7 as a more consumer platform. But it could also be that early adopters – these figures are from November 1-22, and the store only launched on October 21 – are more likely to be interested in games than those who later come to the devices.

In fact the Windows Phone 7 store proportionately has less games on it than the older store, at 24 percent compared to 28 percent respectively. The prices for the games in the top-10 are between $2.99 and $6.99.

Other details in the report:

— The older Marketplace has the most expensive apps on average, while the newer one, which currently has 2,674 apps, is closer in line with other app stores. The iPhone app store has some of the least expensive. This could be because the Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) apps face greater competition from the 300,000+ other apps.

But it may also be that the premium price that users pay for iPhones means that developers for that platform get a smaller share of the “wallet” for people spending money on apps.

Apps in the new Windows store are in bang on average: 57 percent of the 100 most popular applications are priced below $2. For the other stores, this is between 51 percent and 67 percent. (In Windows Marketplace for Mobile, only 37 percent of the 100 most popular applications are priced below $2.)

— At this early stage, it’s unsurprising to hear that Microsoft has developed six of the 10 most popular apps on its app store. (Compare that to Apple iPad store and the BlackBerry store, where four out of the ten most popular apps are developed by the handset makers themselves.)

Distimo’s monthly reports crunch numbers from Apple App Stores for both the iPad and the iPhone; BlackBerry’s App World; Google (NSDQ: GOOG) Android’s Market; Nokia’s Ovi Store; Palm’s App Catalog; Windows Marketplace for Mobile; and now the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace, providing a good snapshot of how the major device-led app stores compare.

It looks like for now Microsoft’s developers are pricing significantly lower to attract interest in their app store, and devices, in an increasingly crowded market, with more apps priced under $2 on its store than in any of the others.