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(Pocket-lint) - Nokia vice-president Bryan Biniak has revealed that while his company is pleased with the progress it has made with Windows Phone 8 smartphone sales, it will struggle to really compete with Apple and manufacturers who produced Android devices because of the lack of apps on the platform.

The Finnish firm sold 7.4 million Lumia handsets in the last quarter, which has helped Windows Phone rise to third in the operating system league table ahead of BlackBerry. But there is an enormous gulf between it and iOS, the second-ranked OS.

This, as Biniak explained in an interview with International Business Times, is because of the lack of the most important applications on its phones, and that's in no small part thanks to Microsoft's priorities lying in other areas, with Windows Phone being a lesser concern.

"We are releasing new devices frequently and for every new device. If there is an app that somebody cares about that's not there that's a missed opportunity of a sale," he said.

"We are trying to evolve the cultural thinking [at Microsoft] to say 'time is of the essence'. Waiting until the end of your fiscal year when you need to close your targets, doesn't do us any good when I have phones to sell today."

If Microsoft were to invest more time and effort getting the best apps onto Windows Phone, it would reap rewards, Biniak strongly believes.

"People rely on applications for their day-to-day life and if you don't have something which I use in my day-to-day life I'm not going to switch because I don't want to compromise the way I live my life just to switch to a phone," he said.

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"It's not just about the hardware, it's about the tools that are on the hardware. You can't sell a phone without the apps, you just can't."

Writing by Rik Henderson. Originally published on 29 July 2013.