Research in Motion (RIM) has announced that its BlackBerry App World has served up three billion app downloads since its launch in 2009. This is certainly good news for the Canadian company which had a spate of bad news – including layoffs, bad financial numbers, falling revenues and production delays.
RIM, widely considered to be an underdog in mobile wars, said on an average users are downloading 2.5 million apps per day from the BlackBerry App World. Remarkably, the company achieved one billion download mark in just six months alone. The numbers are of an indication that BlackBerry still have an active user base to reply upon.
“We reached the first one billion mark in 786 days, the two billion mark in 210 days, and the most recent billion app downloads occurred in only 176 days,” the company proudly announced it in an official post on the BlackBerry developer blog. RIM also clarified that these numbers do not include apps downloaded from third party BlackBerry app stores, or those pushed internally at companies globally, or even those downloaded directly from the web.
The three most popular apps in Blackberry App World are: Facebook, free chat and messaging app WhatsApp and Windows Live Messenger. In the paid category, some of the popular apps are: Photo Studio PRO, InstaPhoto, and Room Escape.
In total, there are 90,000 apps available at BlackBerry App Store. Although, the numbers are short of Apple’s 650,000 apps and Google’s 600,000 apps, the milestone means a lot to the company, which has seen its market share in the US dropping from 25 per cent to 11 per cent. RIM, once the ruler of the enterprise market, has been losing ground to Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android devices.
RIM pins high hopes on BlackBerry 10 operating system
RIM has high hopes from its new BlackBerry 10 operating system, which is a thoroughly-revamped platform based on QNX. Some are even calling it as save-the-company product, but RIM has pushed the release date of BlackBerry 10 from the fourth quarter of 2012 to the first quarter of 2013. BB10 platform has been designed for touchscreens and is suitable for multitasking, and include RIM’s enterprise-focused hallmarks such as security and stability. The new OS boasts of features like keyboard gestures for easier communication, an adaptive keyboard to adjust with your typing style, and a WebOS-style card interface to switch between apps and separate screens. There’s also a new camera that takes a series of near-instantaneous images for the perfect shot.
With BB10, the company is promising developers an exciting new platform to play their trade. RIM believes that developers using BB10 can easily create cutting-edge apps that can engage and ‘wow’ customers. The Waterloo-based company says the new platform offers app development tools, which allow third parties to choose between the native code, the Cascades user interface framework and Web-based HTML5. While native codes gives developers’ access to core device features such as camera, cascades help in delivering graphic intense work. RIM says it plans to add additional tools in the coming period and emphasises that apps created with BB10 tools will run on PlayBook once the tablet is upgraded to the new platform.
RIM guarantees $10K to app developers
RIM is leaving no stone unturned in wooing app developers to create applications for its new platform. The company announced at its BlackBerry Jam keynote address in Orlando that it’ll be guaranteeing that developers will make at least $10000 in annual earnings. “Compared to any other platform, BlackBerry has generated 43 per cent more average daily download per application. Android might be popular but when it comes to paid downloads it is nowhere near to BlackBerry,” said Alec Saunders, Vice President, Developer Relations, Research In Motion. The company even goes on as far as saying if developers come in under the $10K mark during their first year, RIM will actually pay them the difference. However, there’s a catch: the apps in question must meet a new strict quality certification program.
There is no denying the fact that competition is way ahead of BlackBerry and it needs to do something, really quick, to get the things going for them. And getting developers excited about creating apps for the BB10 is a big part of that strategy. However, it remains to be seen how this slow and steady approach help RIM regain the faith once again.