Windows Phone 7 is on the up, or so it seems. We investigate the opportunities for app developers on Microsoft’s answer to iOS and Android
When Nokia proudly unveiled its Lumia 800 handset in October, the Finnish mobile giant heralded it as “the first real Windows phone” – a bold claim with which Microsoft’s other hardware partners, HTC and Samsung, may well have taken issue. Regardless of your take on the Lumia, however, no one can ignore the significance of Nokia’s move away from its own Symbian OS towards Microsoft’s. In terms of global volume at the very least, WP7 could become a genuine contender to iOS and Android.
But what does this mean for app designers, and will we see a surge of independents into the comparatively tiny Windows Phone 7 Marketplace? “Nokia’s involvement has definitely changed the game,” believes James Morse, creative director at Matchbox Mobile, whose experience designing for every conceivable smartphone platform – including Palm OS, Symbian, iOS, Android, Blackberry, Zune and most recently WP7 – makes him well placed to comment.
Morse reveals that the Brighton-based app developer, which counts Microsoft, AT&T and T-Mobile USA amongst its clients, has seen a particularly large increase in WP7 interest from designers, agencies and content owners over the last year.