Windows Phone 7 Apps Sport Lower Prices

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Apps for Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 platform are significantly cheaper than for previous Windows-based handsets, following its consumer direction

The number of developers registered to work with Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 platform has jumped by about 80 percent since September, and the average price of Windows Phone 7 mobile applications is now roughly comparable to those on rival platforms, according to a new study.

The study from mobile application research firm Distimo, published on Thursday, found that Windows Phone 7 applications were priced comparably to those sold through the iPhone App Store or the Android Marketplace. The platform now has 15,000 registered developers, the study found.

Consumer direction

“The price of applications in Windows Phone 7 Marketplace closely mirrors the prices in other application stores, as opposed to applications in the Windows Marketplace for Mobile (6.x), which are significantly more expensive,” Distimo said in the study.

The pricing reflects Windows Phone 7’s consumer focus, compared to a business focus for the Windows Marketplace for Mobile, Distimo said.

The top ten paid applications in the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace, which opened on 21 October, are all games, and sell for between $2.99 (£1.92) and $6.99 (£4.48), the study found. Windows Marketplace for Mobile applications tend to be business-oriented and sell for significantly more, the firm said.

Fifty-seven percent of the 100 most popular applications in the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace sold for below $2 (£1.28), while only 37 percent of the 100 most popular applications in the Windows Marketplace for Mobile (6.x) were priced in that range.

The Windows Phone 7 Marketplace has grown to include just under 3,000 applications as of 22 November, compared to 300,000 for Apple’s App Store, 14,500 for RIM’s BlackBerry App World, and 28,000 for Nokia’s Ovi Store.

Top applications

Windows Marketplace for Mobile has racked up only 1,350 applications since its debut more than a year ago.

Distimo noted that six of the ten most popular Windows Phone 7 Marketplace applications were created by Microsoft.

Windows Phone 7 launched in the UK at the end of October but UK sales were hampered by low stocks of the devices. As a goodwill gesture Orange offered customers who pre-ordered the phones a £20 HMV voucher.

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