The WC reports that high profile Windows Phone app Weather Flow, which is one of the best-looking apps on Windows Phone, has been removed from the Windows Phone Store.
In a statement the developer Gergely Orosz explained that it was a simple dollar and cents decision:
“My weather provider – Weather Underground – hiked their prices to a level where the app started making a significant loss that I couldn’t fund after a while. Their weather data is expensive – $1,500 / month and the app was bringing in significantly less revenue then this, the last month it was $500, with the purchases also starting to go down. After a while the difference got too much to keep paying out of pocket without much hope of breaking even (not making a loss) again. Unfortunately weather data is expensive with lots of hits per day (Weather Flow was making almost 1M requests/day due to live tile updates) and I can’t see a cheap or free, but decent alternative data source.”
As some-one who also run an ad-driven business we know the first half of the year can be very difficult, due to low advertising rates, but if a popular app like Weather Flow can not make ends meet it suggests things are much more difficult for the mass of little known Windows Phone developers.
As can be seen in the graph above from VisionMobile’s recent developer survey nearly 3/4 of Windows Phone developers earn less than $500 per month, which is obviously no way to run a business.
On Windows Phone developers face a number of challenges besides the smaller user base, including a large percentage of users in less developed markets, Microsoft’s Pubcentre inventory being low and Google’s ads not having an SDK for Windows Phone 8.1.
In many ways Windows 10 may be the saviour of Windows Phone developers, allowing them to quickly expand their existing apps to a much larger installed base, with hopefully much better ad rates due to the bigger screens.
Are our readers who are developers having a hard time? Let us know below.