THE BLOG

App Builders Should Take Another Look at Windows Phone

09/07/2013 14:14 BST | Updated 07/09/2013 10:12 BST

It's still unusual to meet people in London who pull out anything other than an iPhone. So those of us who run businesses making mobile apps typically don't consider building apps for anything else. Outside London the picture is very different and the launch of Nokia's £120 phone looks set to be a game changer.

At Scoopt.com we've just released our first ever Windows Phone app and in August we're releasing the same app on Google's Android platform. The data told us to think outside the iPhone box.

Android's ascent is well documented; their market share is already way ahead with 69% of the market. Windows Phone is much smaller at 6% but in the most recent data released this week, vendors like Nokia have just seen more than 70% year on year growth. This vastly exceeded the growth of the market itself, which was only 12% year on year.

On top of this, something really interesting could be about to happen because Nokia have just launched the most affordable smartphone on the market: The Nokia Lumia 520.

Some may argue that Google's Android did really well because it is just a very interesting phone. And, yes it is a very interesting phone. Even Steve Job's old business partner, Steve Wozniak, recently admitted that Apple would have to catch up.

But there's a more obvious reason for Androids success. It's not about the features, it's about the price. At Scoopt, we have to buy just about every phone on the market and when I purchased the new Android LG Nexus smartphone a few months ago I was stunned to pay only £220. In March, this was a breakthrough price for a really good smartphone.

So why take another look at Windows Phone?

If you've not tried it, take a look at the Nokia 520. Like Android, it is full of advanced features and is really very easy to use. Microsoft, Nokia and other vendors are now succeeding to encourage app developers to build Windows Phone 8 apps and the range of apps is vastly more interesting than it was 2 years ago when I first used Windows Phone 7. Microsoft can now repeat the mantra, "there's an app for that".

But coming back to Android's success, one of the really interesting things to me about Windows Phone is that I think it could be the next market share behemoth for exactly the same reason that took Android up there.

Nokia's Lumia 520 has just launched a full feature smartphone for just £120. Nothing else competes at this price. In these austere times, the signs are that it is likely to resonate. IDC have just predicted that Windows Phone's market share will jump from 6% to 10% by the end of the year and that means 3.5m people on Windows Phone in the UK.

My own app, Scoopt, is the first app in the UK that allows people to buy from independent fashion labels. Scoopt is full of good looking people and great content looks best on the bigger screens offered by Nokia. With a £120 phone on the market we expect it to be on a lot of screens soon.

Another good reason to consider Windows Phone is that it's really quick to build on the Windows platform. We designed and built a complex app with high quality imaging, content caching and fully-fledged social networking features in just 8 weeks. This is unbeatably quick.

Technology is not about the past; technologists should be driven by the future. From today, Windows Phone looks set to be a bigger part of the future.