Rafe Blandford, reporting for “All About Windows Phone,” reveals stats on applications in the WP7 Tango marketplace and the compatibility with phones that have 256MB of RAM (Lumia 610 being the most important):
However, if we look at the 10,000 most popular apps (UK downloads), then 464 (4.6%) apps are incompatible with 256MB devices. In other words, for the top 10,000 apps, the proportion of incompatible apps is greater than for the overall marketplace. Taking just the top 1,000 apps gives a slightly higher proportion, with 64 incompatble apps and games (6.4%) – of these, just under 50% of the total are games. This should come as no surprise, given that games are generally more resource hungry than apps.
And this isn’t too bothersome. The real problem is revealed earlier in the article: apps still show up in the marketplace, and then users are warned that they cannot download them because of the hardware limitations the phone possesses. This is prototypical of a poor UX: warning messages leading to frustration. The lesser devices are dead on arrival when they can’t access the hottest apps, which include big names like Angry Birds and The Sims 3. A much better solution would be to simply not display them in the listing, or create lists that are “optimized for your phone.”