A big problem with for developers deciding whether its worth creating applications for the Windows Mobile Marketplace is the secrecy surrounding the actual performance of applications in the market.
Fortunately Chris Rae, a hobbyist developer, has decided to share his own experience and provide a bit of information and guidance for other developers.
Right now, I have two applications on Marketplace.
The first app I wrote was Carlos. This is a pretty simple app intended to help you keep track of where you parked your car, using either your GPS or some sort of text-based tag you write yourself (in case you parked underground or canâ€™t be bothered waiting for a GPS fix).
My second app is Proximity. This is a fairly generic app intended to â€œdo something near a given locationâ€.
He notes that he spent about 270 hours on both apps together, and about $280 to develop the apps.
On the earnings from the apps he says:
To save you doing the math here â€“ Microsoft take a 30% cut of the purchase price, so Iâ€™m left with 70%. This means that for Carlos Iâ€™ve made a total of around $280 since the end of January, and for Proximity Iâ€™ve made about $350 since mid-March. Itâ€™s hovering somewhere around the $10/day mark for each app now â€“ around $500/month in total, although itâ€™s obviously somewhat early to start giving out per-month figures.
Obviously more in the range of pocket money that a retirement fund, Chris compares this to similar android applications which make 50 times more in the same period. He notes however that competition is a lot more fierce on the Android and iPhone platforms, and require adaptations and investments such as learning new programming languages or buying new tools which he did not need to do to develop on his existing device.
Clearly it is up to developers to draw their own conclusions from the information provided (and make sure to read the full post here) but it is clear, given his investment in time and money, his apps will still be owning him money for some time, and I cant help but see it as a failure of Marketplace and Microsoft.
In my opinion Microsoft could have done a lot more to promote the service, but is clearly preoccupied with Windows Phone 7 to the detriment of Windows Mobile.
Do any other developers want to take the opportunity to share their Marketplace performance with others? Let us know below.