updated 07:50 am EST, Tue February 7, 2012
RIM talks App World growth relative to rivals
RIM's Developer Relations VP Alec Saunders made aggressive claims about the state of BlackBerry App World at his company's DevCon Europe keynote on Tuesday morning. He contended that the store was the second-most profitable mobile app store after Apple's own and that Android lagged behind significantly. Along with having more overall paid downloads than the normally larger Google shop, BlackBerry titles typically made about 40 percent more revenue than their paid Android counterparts.
About 13 percent of BlackBerry app developers had made $100,000 or more from their apps, Saunders said. Activity at the store was up 30 percent over three months ago at six million downloads per day.
The stats suggest a relatively healthy store despite considerably fewer apps, at 60,000 versus over 400,000 at Android Market. If accurate, the claims would reinforce outside beliefs that few Android users pay for apps and that the brunt of the catalog is still free titles. The sheer volume of traffic is still well below that of Apple or Google, however. Fiksu data points to Apple getting over six million downloads per day of just the top 200 free apps alone.
PlayBook developers could now use Nokia's Qt platform to write their apps if they were previously comfortable writing for an OS like MeeGo or Symbian, Saunders added.
The executive used his time on the stage to also deflect criticism of the company's strategy, claiming that it was simply "hard to understand" while in the current BlackBerry 7 phase. The first BlackBerry 10 devices would clarify this by providing a consistent strategy with app compatibility and cloud options that either side could understand.
While potentially helpful, BlackBerry 10 isn't expected to come until the second half of 2012, by which point Android and iOS may have had major updates that might discourage supporting RIM's OS. The Canadian firm is mostly waiting on new chipsets that will let it have 4G LTE while keeping the BlackBerry's well-known battery life. [image via CrackBerry]