Work on the OS first and the devs will come later, and without begging....
When tech fans and verge users discuss wp, they often point to the lack of apps as though it is the main reason why wp is not taking off in the U.S. Everyone is quick to say something along the lines of this:
wp lacks many important apps and that discourages consumers, which affects user base and hence developer interest and hence app availability.
By inference, this implies that android and iOS took off because of apps. But i dont' think this to be the case.
Consider iOS; this os had the advantage of being first. the iphone took off on its own merits, and only then the QUALITY 3d party apps followed! True! apps do matter..... and they matter a lot, but the iphone made it big...way before instagram and grindr were born.
Now look at android--which is a better comparison to wp because like wp, android did not have the advantage of being the first os. I remember the days when i bought my first android phone: it was the first mytouch3g from t-mobile; that was before the very first droid; it had been only a year since android came out, and at that time, android had hardly any apps, let alone quality apps. Heck, nobody knew what android was....seeing another person with an android was as shocking as seeing another person with a wp today. So how did android make it big? 3 factors!
1-The droid was born, and it was advertised as a phone that does things that the iphone could not do, ...a proposition that was both true and compelling.
2-Verizon customers wanted a cool smartphone, but the iphone was not available on Verizon. They were stuck with blackberries.
3-The ability of google to put android on cheap hardware.
Android began spreading like wild fire, but still....there was no instagram or grindr on site. Like iOS, android took off on its own merits, .........and only then the QUALITY 3d party apps followed!
Off course in both Android and iOS, the arrival of quality 3d party apps only helped expand an already large user base even further.
Just like Android and iOS, wp needs to take off on its own merits without quality 3d party apps; once it catches fire among a threshold number of users, the developers will come along , and without the pathetic begging campaigns from Nokia. Then,....and only then, will you see quality 3d party apps. If you were a quality developer, why in the world would you waste your time on an os that is not popular among consumers?
So how can wp catch fire? do the factors that helped android apply to wp?
1-Unfortunately there is nothing that wp can do that iOS or Android cannot do. In fact, and sadly, there are many things that iOS and Android can do that wp cannot do.
2-Unfortunately, iOS and Android are available on all 4 major networks in the U.S. ...So there goes that.
3-Wp is doing well here. Nokia did a great job with the cheap yet smoothly-running and aesthetically-pleasing Lumias. This is an advantage that google realized, and make no mistake the moto g is an attempt to kill wp in its infancy.
So out of the 3 factors that helped android, wp has only one going for it; and with the arrival of moto g, even that one factor is compromised.
MS must work very hard and very fast not only to bring the os up to par with both android and iOS but also to come up with a strongly compelling reason for a consumer to buy a wp.
MS must come up with one feature inherent to the os that makes it irresistible for the young consumer. That feature must be both cool and useful. Live tiles and kids corner don't count.
Nokia is making good phones and bringing their A game. But they need to improve their A game to an A+: The phones need to be lighter in weight, and the camera software needs to be sped up to bring out the true potential of Nokia's excellent camera hardware.
So how wise is it to blame wp's failure in the U.S on app shortage and poor developer interest? The problem is wp itself, through and through: Consumers cannot find a single compelling reason to own a wp; they buy an android for functionality and screen size; they buy an iphone for user experience and camera. What's a good reason to buy a wp? NONE!
MS needs to update wp with a 100 missing features. It needs to bring xbox video gapless playback...etc, and it needs to bring cortana.
Cortana could be that one compelling feature, but it needs to be amazing. It needs to be better than both siri and google now combined. That's the only way to make people pay attention. MS cannot screw up cortana. It has to be what people and Halo gamers expect it to be. They cannot let people down the way they did with kids corner.