Like many others some of us have been sceptical about Microsoft’s new bridge technologies helping to close the app gap, but it seems in areas where Windows Phone has a higher market share it is exactly what many companies have been waiting for.
The Economic Times of India reports that Indian online retailers are planning to take advantage of Android app porting to bring their apps to a growing number of Windows Phone using customers. Windows Phone has a 5% market share in India, with Counterpoint Research estimating there is 10.75 million people using Windows Phones there as of March 2015.
Faaso’s, the food-on-demand chain which is moving away from its physical stores into apps, hasn’t updated its Windows app for months now. “As soon as portability is made available, we will update the Windows app, as we do have a loyal customer base there,” said cofounder Revant Bhate. Android-only food ordering app Spoonjoy has submitted its upcoming iOS app for review and is working on a Windows version.
Crownit, a deal discovery and cashback platform, said it has been getting frequent requests asking for a Windows app. It is natural for a Windows smartphone user to feel ignored in a city like Bengaluru, with apps including Grofers, BigBasket, Crownit, Freshmenu, Practo, Tinyowl and News in Shorts, which have a strong presence here, turning a blind eye on them.
Grofers, the app that allows consumers to order online from local shops and get express deliveries, for instance, started hiring developers for Windows as it expanded in small cities. Albinder Dhindsa, cofounder, said the number of requests it received for the introduction of a Windows app had been substantially high after it moved into new cities.But it is not easy. “It is also a little more difficult to find developers for Windows than it is for Android,” said Dhindsa.
In India, Apple’s iOS is No. 3, behind Android, who has 91% of the market and Windows at 5% Apps are still being developed for iOS however as app developers still find it attractive. “Apple has premium users. So, even if it’s a small market, it plays a good role,” said Azhar Iqubal, cofounder of News in Shorts, which now has iOS app.
Windows Phone growth in India has been driven by a raft of low-cost Lumia handsets, and it remains to be seen if Microsoft’s change in tack regarding the number of low-cost handsets it expects to release will impact this.
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