During 2013, Windows Phone managed to overtake iPhone in 24 countries across the world. Almost all of these countries are located in Latin America, Central & Eastern Europe, Africa & Asia. Windows Phone apps are now available to more users than iOS apps in countries like India and Nigeria where a huge number of people are purchasing smartphones for the first time.
The reason why Windows Phone has become popular in emerging markets is because of its lower pricing. On average, iPhones cost twice as much as Windows Phones which are equal in pricing to Android. Competitive pricing and Nokia’s historical popularity in such markets has paved the way for Windows Phone to achieve these results.
For developers, this means a lot of additional but unbanked users for their apps. India is the most extreme example where less than 1.5% of people own a credit card. Since Microsoft has opened up its payment ecosystem for Windows Phone, this means developers need to look for additional payment methods to collect revenue from their apps.
There is a land grab going on right now in Windows. Earlier all developers were focused on iOS and ignored Android because “that’s where the money was”. But many of the early apps on Android achieved remarkable financial success due to the lack of competition. As Windows Phone has had most success in emerging markets, early movers need to take a local approach if they want to see more revenue from their Windows Phone apps.