Windows Phone Growth Will Continue To Be Slow Until Microsoft Addresses Mobile Banking

This almost never happens
Windows Phone market penetration is inching forward ever so slowly, however the growth is slowing and in some markets has even reversed. To put the challenge into perspective, Apple will probably sell more iPhones this week then Nokia will sell in a whole quarter.

It's not that Nokia has been making bad phones - on the contrary at every price point Nokia has at least one very competitive phone and in some areas - photography for example - it's close to being a market leader.

No, the issue remains the app gap - something that I've been talking about for what seems like years.

Microsoft, and a fair few Windows Phone sites and bloggers, have been attempting to paint a different picture - suggesting that the app gap is one of perception rather than actual shortfall. It's a good argument, which is becoming more valid as more developers release their apps on a third platform. But look at any TV or print advert for a company which offers an app and you'll be asked to download from the App Store or Google Play, there is never a mention of Windows Phone.

The app gap is real and reinforced to potential customers every single day.

For most apps the gap can be filled by third parties - in fact many third party apps published on the platform have proved to be far better than the official releases when they arrived (4th & Mayor for example).

There are some categories which can't be addressed by third parties though and foremost amongst these is banking. Until there is a ubiquitous Windows Phone presence in the banking sector far too many potential customers are going to be put off.

Joe Belfiore and his Windows Phone team need to be working with every bank in the world to make sure that there is a Windows Phone version of their mobile banking app. Even if that means Apple fund the development of the software.

Customers aren't going to change their bank to match their smartphone choice. Until Microsoft address this issue, the app gap will remain very real and very limiting of Windows Phone growth.

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