Canalys: Windows Phone, BlackBerry missing most top iOS, Android apps

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A majority of the most popular applications optimized for Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS and Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android are not available for the rival Windows Phone and BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) platforms, research firm Canalys reports.

Looking at the top 50 free and top 50 paid apps featured in the U.S. outposts of Apple's App Store and Google Play based on their aggregated rankings over the first 20 days of May 2013, just 34 percent feature in either Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone Store or BlackBerry World, Canalys said. Windows Phone Store offers 16 of the top 50 free App Store applications and 14 of the top 50 paid, along with 22 of the top 50 free Google Play apps and 13 of the top 50 paid. BlackBerry World touts just five of the top 50 free App Store applications and nine of the top 50 paid, as well as 11 of the top 50 free Google Play store apps and 11 of the top 50 paid.

"In each case the functionality of a small number of additional apps is supported by one or more unofficial third-party offerings," Canalys said. "The lists also include a small number of apps, such as Find My iPhone, that are specific to a particular ecosystem, as well as some utility apps, such as flashlight apps, for which similar offerings with equivalent functionality are available. Taking this into account, the picture can be made a little more optimistic, but the presence of clear gaps in their inventories cannot and should not be masked. This is also a picture that remains similar today in many markets around the world."

Windows Phone Store offers more than 145,000 apps, while BlackBerry World is closing in on the 125,000 app benchmark. By comparison, the App Store and Google Play each boast more than 800,000 apps.

"The availability of key apps is a factor in motivating consumers' initial mobile device purchasing decisions, and it will only become more so," said Canalys Senior Analyst Tim Shepherd. "But moreover, it is a major factor in determining ongoing consumer satisfaction. Simply, Windows Phone and BlackBerry customers do not want to miss out on apps (or app features) from important and locally relevant brands, or the latest games, because of their choice of smartphone. It is therefore imperative for the success of both Windows Phone and BlackBerry that their respective app ecosystems attract and offer the high-quality content that consumers want and would otherwise miss."

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