Microsoft is apparently encouraging developers to charge more for Windows Phone apps, a repeat of their strategy with Windows Mobile 6.5.
Microsoft is encouraging developers to charge more for their
Windows Phone apps.
"I'd rather developers sell fewer than a million downloads
and get to a million dollars," Brandon Watson, Microsoft's director of
developer experience for Windows Phone, reportedly
told a press conference in Helsinki. "If we can support a higher price point,
that's good for developers."
This isn't the first time that Microsoft's encouraged higher
prices for mobile apps. Back in ye olden days of 2009, company representatives
suggested that developers set higher prices for apps for the then-new Windows
"We would definitely want to promote that you make more
money selling applications than selling your application in a dollar store,"
Loke Uei, senior technical product manager for Microsoft's Mobile Developer
Experience Team, told a gathering of mobile-app developers that August. "I
know, 99 cents is interesting-yes, consumers like to pay 99 cents for
"But 99 cents, come on, I think your app is worth more than
Windows Mobile 6.5-remember that one?-was intended as a
market-share placeholder until Microsoft could roll out Windows Phone 7, the
first iteration of its next-generation smartphone platform. A huge Windows
Phone software update due this fall, codenamed Mango, will elevate that
version number to 7.5.
Encouraging a higher price for Windows Mobile 6.5 apps may
have been Microsoft's attempt to draw in any developers frustrated with Apple's
App Store, where broad swaths of apps are available for free or 99 cents. In
theory, that makes it difficult for developers to build an audience unless they
price their wares at the same point-effectively devastating their chance at
substantial profits unless they sell in bulk.
However, the continuing success of the App Store-and of
Google's Android Marketplace-suggests that developers have little problem
selling their apps for a relatively low price.
Microsoft's app argument for Windows Phone has centered on
the quality of the apps, which supposedly makes up for the platform's
relatively low number at this early stage of life. But Microsoft isn't betting
on apps alone to reverse its fortunes in the smartphone arena, where it's been
pummeled over the past several quarters by Google Android and iOS: The upcoming
Mango release will add some 500 new elements to the platform.
Most of those elements, of course, will be tweaks that most
users will never see or barely notice. However, a number of top-line features
will also be introduced with the update, including multitasking, a redesigned
Xbox Live Hub, visual voicemail, the ability to consolidate friends and
colleagues into groups within the "People" Hub, and Local Scout, which offers a
view of everything to see and do in a particular neighborhood.
For enterprise users, Mango offers some key additions,
including the ability to search a server for email items no longer stored to a
device, and share and save Office documents via Office 365 and Windows
In addition to HTC and Nokia, Samsung and LG Electronics
have apparently committed to building new Windows Phone devices preloaded with
Mango. Acer, Fujitsu and ZTE are also planning to produce Windows Phone devices
for the first time. "We have some Windows Mango phones," HTC CEO Peter Chou
reportedly told Reuters
. "We are very committed to Windows phone products."