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When it comes to mobile apps and app stores, two names stand out: Apple's App Store, and Google's Android Market.

In fact, for many developers, these two app stores are the only game in town.

But is ignoring other app stores, like Nokia's OVI Store, a mistake? According to research firm research2guidance, the answer may be 'yes'.

In looking at a variety of app stores, research2guidance found that "the 'average app' has a better chance to generate downloads on 'non-hyped' platforms." There's an obvious reason for this: "significantly lower competition, yet a sufficiently large user base that desires apps, are the major reasons for this".

The average app in Blackberry’s AppWorld is downloaded at a 43% greater clip that the average app in the App Store. That number jumps to 80% in Microsoft's WP7 app store, and to a whopping 160% in Nokia's OVI Store.

The implication for developers: less popular app stores may not be as large and sexy as the App Store or Android Market, but some of them may be more rewarding as a result.

But does this mean that developers should flock to, say, the OVI Store? Not quite.

An app may, statistically, be more likely to be downloaded in a less-popular app store, but that doesn't mean that those downloads will translate into profit.

Case in point: Android has a higher market share than iOS, and may soon generate more downloads than Apple's App Store, but Android owners are less likely to pay for an app than their iPhone counterparts.

So it's no surprise that the iPhone still has the most vibrant mobile app ecosystem despite Android's rise.

At the end of the day, savvy developers aren't chasing downloads. They're looking to generate profit, and to do that, they're investing in the platforms that have the greatest chances of remaining relevant into the future.

While this doesn't mean there isn't opportunity to be had in the WP7 app store or OVI Store, most developers are rationally choosing to test their luck and skill in the biggest app stores, even if they are more competitive.

Patricio Robles

Published 9 September, 2011 by Patricio Robles

Patricio Robles is a tech reporter at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter.

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Comments (2)

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Murat

It is pretty hard now to enter into Apple and Google app markets. It needs very qualified and/or very unique, clever apps to be successful.

On the other hand, Nokia OVI store has no such bloody competition among developers. So, it is logical to invest there.

almost 5 years ago

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Nathaniel Acton

I think when it comes to attracting good app developers to create apps for the ovi store, your only ever going to find them looking for the place where the money is and this is apple app market place. Android is up and coming so it is very unlikely that nokia can do any significant performance between these 2 giants.

almost 5 years ago

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