Third-party advertisers will now be able to target ads to consumers browsing Windows Phone Store as part of Microsoft’s strategy to boost app downloads and compete more closely with Apple and Google for revenues. This comes as the firm claims the combined number of app purchases and in-app payments has now surpassed 9m on a daily basis. That comes in at 70m more per month than figures reported for June, indicating consumer demand for Windows Phone apps is on the rise. While that still remains a fractional share of the overall app downloads market, forecast to hit 160bn downloads gloablly by 2017, these are just the latest figures suggesting Windows Phone is finally starting to show signs of growth in the market.
Windows Phone is starting to gain ground, but Microsoft needs to bring more developers into its ecosystem if it ever hopes to close the gap on front-runners Apple and Samsung and compete for app store revenues. Targeted ads are its latest ploy to make Windows Phone more attractive to ad partners. Microsoft plans to hand out unique device IDs to a handful of ad partners, so that marketers can fine-tune their campaigns to relevant consumers. Although the firm says these targeted ads are opt-out and claims no personal details will be exposed, consumers react less positively to them.
The firm is also changing the way it pays developers for app downloads, now guaranteeing payments within 30 days of purchase even if it has now received the cash from developers. This previously reportedly took up to 120 days.
Windows Phone Gains
Demand for cheaper devices propelled Windows Phone to hit its highest-ever share of the biggest European smartphone markets during the three months ending July. The OS accounted for 8.2% of the market in the UK, Spain, France, Germany and Italy during the period, putting it in third place behind Android and iOS. The OS also took second place for the first time ever in a big world market during the quarter, representing 11% of sales in Mexico.
Much of Windows Phone’s success lies in the popularity of Nokia handsets. Cheaper Nokia handsets such as the Lumia 520 now account for 1 in every 10 handsets sold in the UK, France, Germany and Mexico. What’s more, some 42% of Windows Phone devices sold have been bought by feature phone owners converting to a smartphone, a higher proportion than both iOS and Android.
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