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Apple App Store vs Android Market vs Windows Marketplace

For as long as we can remember, the only smartphone battle worth talking about was the iPhone versus Android.

Of course, there are merits to both operating systems, and an absolute comparison is tricky given the plethora of different Android devices out there.

But we have a new contender in the mix now, in the form of Windows Phone. This OS has been around for a while, but is now finally starting to make waves.

Microsoft’s partnership with Nokia is set for big things year. And despite suffering some early sales disappoint, reviews of the new Lumia phones have been hugely positive.

We can argue about user interface, speed and design until the cows come home, but one vital part of any OS is the apps it supports. So which of the three app stores comes out on top?

Apple App Store for iOS

The biggest of all the app stores, Apple’s huge App Store now boasts more than half a million apps – more than Android Market and Windows Marketplace combined.

So Apple has quantity covered, and when it comes to quality it manages to deliver too. Developers need to go through an approval system to get an app on to the App Store, meaning the overall quality is higher.

Android Market

The second biggest app store, Android Market is closing in on the App Store with almost 400,000 apps. And given that there are literally hundreds of Android devices out there, we could see Android Market take the top spot this year.

But Android Market lets in pretty much any app. It screens for malicious content, but that’s about it. So while we’re set to get a lot more Android apps this, who knows how many of them will actually be good.

Windows Phone Marketplace

This fledging app store is only just starting out, and so far has around 40,000 apps available. This may not sound like much but Windows, like Apple, employ an approval service for all its apps.

So the quality is high, and the Windows Phone OS’s tiled interface gives developers the chance to make ‘Live apps’, which will only get better with time.