updated 05:30 pm EDT, Wed September 29, 2010
RIM justifies low App World count versus iPhone
RIM VP of product platform management Alan Panezic defended BlackBerry App World's low 10,000 app count at DevCon by striking back at Apple and Google. He rejected the notion that hitting 50,000 or otherwise increasing sheer quantity was important and reiterated the notion that RIM valued "super apps," or heavily used apps that will both improve the phone and be helpful to developers. Android and iPhone app counts were considered deceptive since they include a large amount of redundant and low value apps.
"We don't need 200 fart apps in App World," he said, according to Recombu. "Those are apps you'll use three or four times then never open again. You're not looking at ads, clicking on ads or buying premium upgrades, and the app isn't adding any value to your device."
However, Panezic acknowledged that BlackBerry app sales were poor relative to the phone's market share and blamed at least some of the sluggishness on cost. BlackBerry apps are "so darn expensive" compared to those on other stores, he said.
While partly accurate, the statements sidestepped many of the issues commonly criticized with App World. Many of the higher prices were imposed by RIM itself as, until App World 2.0 arrived last month, it required that any paid app cost at least $3 where Android and iOS apps could cost as little as 99 cents.
The claim to quality has also been called into question as the company as many of the larger titles are often ports from other platforms. Many apps heralded on other platforms are also difficult or impossible; the company has devoted little attention to graphics until the BlackBerry PlayBook and doesn't equip its phones with fast graphics, excluding them from most gaming as well as other visually intensive content.
App World's accessibility has been one of the more outstanding concerns as well. Until the Torch and later BlackBerry phones, the store was strictly an optional download and in many cases was overlooked by users who didn't realize it was available.