Angry Birds Shouldn't Seal Your Smartphone Choice

The Internet went into a tizzy when people thought Angry Birds Space wouldn't be available for Windows Phone. This game is big fun, but is it really a must-have app?
This week, Rovio made a new version of its exceedingly popular Angry Birds game available. The new variant, Angry Birds Space, sets the birds-versus-pigs game in a whole new environment and tackles new physics more suited to the setting. I've played it, it's fun.

The game is available to the Android and iOS platforms, but not yet for the Windows Phone platform. When asked, one Rovio exec said that the company didn't plan to make Angry Birds Space for Windows Phone. For a little while, this news caused much hand-wringing about the future of Windows Phone. (Rovio later admitted that a WP7 version is in the works.)

Bloomberg called Rovio's original stance "a blow to Nokia," which is "betting on the Windows Phone operating system to revive its struggling smartphone business." It believes Angry Birds Space's lack of support for Windows Phone will make it harder for Nokia to make its Windows Phones appealing to gamers.

Bloomberg even found an analyst to back it up.

"This is a worrying development for Windows Phone because it suggests that Rovio does not have much confidence in its future," said Nomura analyst Richard Windsor in a report. "As the standard version is already number one on the Windows Phone app store, it gives a strong indication that no one else will expect to be making money writing for this platform either."

[ NASA collaborated in the development of Angry Birds Space. Read Angry Birds Space Mirrors Real Rocket Science. ]

Wow. So, no Angry Birds Space for Windows Phone means other developers don't think they'll make money writing apps for Windows Phone? That's a big leap if you ask me.

Apps are definitely important to each of the smartphone platforms. Just this week, the Windows Phone Marketplace for Mobile surpassed 70,000 applications. While that still pales next to the hundreds of thousands in the iPhone App Store or Google Play Store, it's still a healthy market with plenty of good apps.

I understand the appeal of Angry Birds. It's a neat little game that pretty much anyone can play. However, I think anyone who chooses to adopt a smartphone platform based on the availability of a single application is perhaps not putting their priorities where they ought to be. I opined as much on Twitter Friday morning and was somewhat surprised by the response.

Here's a selection of the tweets sent my way:

If you don't have Angry Birds then you don't have dev support. They even made it 4 Windows & Mac. #NoBuenoForWP7

I chose mine based on the availability of the messages app.. Still bad? :(

I'm with him. How can that be a determining factor for buying a smartphone?

You mean there r other benchmarks! lol! I have 2 agree with u, but must say that I really do love #angrybirds :)

Yeah, but Angry Birds Space HD… that's another story.

agreed. But besides Android and iOS, (and if you want to fudge…BB and WP) what else is there?

You clearly have not tried Laser Bird.

According to the random sampling of people who noticed my tweet and happened to respond, some agree with my theory that a single application should not form the basis for a smartphone purchasing decision. However, plenty of people feel that Angry Birds is an exception.

What do you think? Would you buy a smartphone for a single application? And if so, would that application be a game such as Angry Birds Space?

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