Windows Phone Marketplace clears 125k published apps milestone ahead of WP8 launch

The Windows Phone platform has been limping along behind iOS and Android for some time, but still hasn't caught up in terms of total marketplace apps.

All About Windows Phone (AAWP) recently reported that the Windows Phone Marketplace has topped 125,000 published applications, a drop in the bucket compared to Android's 500,000, or the more than 700,000 apps in Apple's iTunes store.

The store has grown since its inception in February 2011, and even more once Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 was announced in June, when about 100,000 apps were available to the smartphone owners. Now there are at least 126,530, according to AAWP, which said that new content is being added to the marketplace at a rate of 215 apps per day.

More specifically, 113,170 of the published applications are available for download, more than 15,800 of which were added since July. Almost 5,700 have been pushed to the store in the last month, AAWP said. The apps come from more than 30,000 different developers.

According to AAWP, Microsoft beat Google's Android platform to the 125,000-milestone punch by six months. Apple still won the race, reaching the finish line in just over a year-and-a-half.

Microsoft has not confirmed the numbers; AAWP said it arrived at its numbers using is "own tracking system," but expects the Redmond-based firm to make an announcement soon. Perhaps at Monday's Windows Phone 8 event in San Francisco?

An in-depth look at app availability shows that some are used only in select markets, or distributed in a single country, therefore skewing the results.

AAWP broke down the 126,000 apps into categories, ranking entertainment as the single largest (with 23,735 items), followed by tools and productivity (18,465), games (15,501), and books and reference (14,491). Additionally, 69 per cent of the Windows Phone Marketplace apps are free, leaving 22 per cent in the paid category; the final 10 per cent are paid with a free trial. In the last year, apps have continued to trend toward no-cost offerings.

Despite a steady increase by about 10,000 apps per month from December 2011 to May, the rate of new apps slowed in the last few months, "possibly as a result of resources switching to the upcoming Windows Phone 8," AAWP said.

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