5,000 Apps for Your WP7 Smartphone

Windows Phone 7 is gaining apps at a quick pace.

Microsoft has been experiencing an unexpected amount of success as of late with its latest attempt to become a player in the mobile space again. Besides just sales approaching two million and counting of smartphones running its new Windows Phone 7 operating system, its app market has been growing strongly as well and is set to quickly eclipse two of its competitors in the United States—Palm and BlackBerry. Don’t believe me? WP7 reached the 5,000 official mark this week after being on the market for only two months according to WPCentral.

In comparison, Palm’s HP webOS platform took a year and a half to reach the 5,000 app mark, which it hit on Christmas day. The BlackBerry OS is still in ~10k limbo and no, I’m not getting into a debate right now over how many of these are really just themes and other useless gimmicks used to inflate the numbers. (Okay, it’s like half of them.) Sure, Google’s Android is boasting 100,000+ apps and Apple’s is still king with over 300,000 apps but give Microsoft and WP7 some time to move more units.

Productivity? What Productivity?

As for how these apps break down by category, games are indeed king. What else would you expect from a phone that some in the media are dubbing the “Xbox phone?” In fact, 23% of these 5k apps are games. The next largest category is tools, which comes in at 15%. Then entertainment at 10%. Tied for last place is unsurprisingly the business and navigation categories at 2% apiece. (Information from WP7AppList.)

While WP7 is no threat to Android or iOS at the moment, it does look to be gaining some momentum despite setbacks. Dell is still dealing with the Venue Pro fiasco and I’m sure plenty are angered by the decision to use sealed microSD cards in many models for internal storage. The lack of copy and paste—which will be fixed in a January service pack like update—can’t be helping either. That said, Windows Phone 7 is by far Microsoft’s strongest effort yet in the smartphone market. How Microsoft leverages that in the future will determine the platform’s eventual success.

Let me know what you think of the numbers breakdown. Remember, Sprint and Verizon Wireless are yet to receive their WP7 phones. When they do, expect the unit sales and app numbers to surge.

** Graphs from wp7applist.com

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