Microsoft's mobile application prices fall

The number of registered developers working with Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 platform has risen by around 80 percent since September and the average price of mobile applications is finally on-par with those of rival stores.

"The price of applications in Windows Phone 7 Marketplace closely mirrors the prices in other application stores, as opposed to applications in the Windows Marketplace for Mobile (6.x), which are significantly more expensive," said application marketplace intelligence company Distimo in a report released on November 25.

The prices of the 100 most popular applications in the Windows Phone 7 (WP7) Marketplace are also comparable to or cheaper than those found in Apple's App Store and Google's Android Marketplace; 57 percent of the top 100 apps in WP7 Marketplace are priced at less than $2 vs around $3 for the most popular applications in other stores.

Lower application pricing in the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace is a reflection of the platform's new "consumer-oriented" direction, says Distimo.

Unlike the Windows Marketplace for Mobile, all of the top ten paid applications in the new store are games, the prices of which range from $2.99 to $6.99.

Since opening on October 21, the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace has grown to just under 3,000 apps (according to Distimo Apple's App store has 300,000 apps, RIM's BlackBerry App World has almost 14,500 apps, and Nokia's Ovi Store has 28,000 apps) and now boasts more than 15,000 registered developers.

Highest ranked paid applications in the US for October:

Apple App Store for iPad - Cut the Rope HD - $1.99
Apple App Store for iPhone - Angry Birds - $0.99
Google Android Market - Beautiful Widgets - $2.07
BlackBerry App World - PhotoClub-Funny Make Machine With Photos - $6.99
Windows Marketplace for Mobile - Meon - $2.99
Windows Phone 7 Marketplace - Bejeweled LIVE - $4.99
Nokia Ovi Store - FingerPrint-V2.8 - $2.99
Palm App Catalog - Tweed - $2.99