updated 04:00 pm EDT, Tue July 7, 2009
BBerry Apps Top 2000
Research in Motion's global alliance VP Jeff McDowell today revealed that BlackBerry App World has reached a total of 2,000 apps. The count doubles what the mobile software store had in April and comes just as the company is granting France, Germany, Italy and Spain access to the store. The count pales versus the more than 50,000 apps available through the iPhone's App Store but was downplayed by McDowell as enough to satisfy BlackBerry owners. RIM is "very happy" with the number of apps and doesn't need to match Apple, he told Bloomberg.
"I don’t think it matters whether it’s 40,000 or 2,000, you’ve still got a broad range of choice," the executive claimed.
Critics have disagreed, however, and note that RIM's continued strong sales may be partly illusory. Needham analyst Charlie Wolf sees the poor catalog as a drawback and that this "hasn’t caught up" to actual phone sales yet. He expects this to change once the gap in software becomes more evident.
Several factors contribute to the relatively slow uptake of BlackBerry apps. The company so far insists that any paid apps must cost at least $3 or higher, preventing the 99-cent apps that are common through Apple's portal. It has also consciously limited App World downloads to just Canada, the UK and the US for the first three months and is just now expanding to France, Germany, Italy and Spain. Apple's store is available in most of the countries where the iPhone is on sale.