CIO East Africa (Nairobi)

31 January 2014

Kenyan APP Developers Make Millions Out of Windows APP Store

Mobile app developers under the Windows platform are finally making money out of their creations with top Kenyan apps seeing over 5 million downloads to date.

These are apps such as Tuvitu which has realized about 5 million downloads after 1 year on the app store while the other is Shoot Scorpion on the Series 40 which in just one quarter has clocked 1 million downloads.

According to Nokia's developer engagement, innovation and corporate relations manager Moses Sitati, this has been made possible by assisting developers to recognize interest areas for users while at the same time focusing on global users.

"When most developers join us, many have a local focus with apps mainly meant for the local audience. However with the mentoring that we give them, we help them identify areas they can easily monetize and apps that will interest more people," says Sitati.

He added that the app store currently has hundreds of Kenyan apps from about 100 developers who were invited to build apps for Nokia through hackathons organized in various incubation centres.

He adds that the display of apps in an easier way to find them in the app store has also increased their downloads.

"We have developers who are making as much as $ 5000 a month easy through creating their apps for a niche market. We are however noticing a challenge in creation of games up that require more training and higher skill level," he adds.

Normally training for games development takes between 6 and 10 months as compared to other apps that takes less than 6 months.

Sitati says that the area has a lot of potential with one of the few developers who has been creating such apps making about $ 600 a day.

Most of this money is received from advertisement revenue while some is made from charging for apps as well as endorsement from various partners.

One such app that has benefitted from endorsement was the Mdundo music app which was made available in all Huawei 4 Africa Windows devices following a partnership between Huawei and the startup.

The Windows app store currently has about 200,000 apps. A majority of downloads have been from apps targeting Asha devices although a sizeable number is from Lumia devices as well.

Of the most downloaded apps include those that offer news and entertainment while games are slowly catching up.

To enhance apps development, Nokia has established partnerships with a number of incubation hubs in Nairobi including iHub and M-lab which help it engage developers for critical projects as well as for competitions.

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