July 9, 2012

BlackBerry’s App World Surpasses 3 Billion Download Mark

Research In Motion's (RIM) BlackBerry App World - the company's version of the iTunes App Store and the Android Google Play marketplace - has reached the three billion download milestone.

The downloadable application service, which debuted in 2009, produced one-third of those three billion downloads in the last six months alone, according to John Paczkowski of All Things Digital. Packowski called it "some good news for Research In Motion amid the unceasing torrent of bad," as well as "a milestone worth celebrating."

RIM officials also said that an average of 2.5 million apps are being downloaded from BlackBerry App World each day -- a figure which does not include software purchased from third-party app providers or downloaded directly from the Web, Chris Smith of TechRadar and Digital Trends writer Trevor Mogg reported over the weekend.

"Now, that´s nowhere near the number of downloads claimed by RIM´s rivals - the iTunes App store passed 25 billion earlier this year. And RIM tells me the number does include theme and wallpaper apps, along with productivity apps, games and the like," Paczkowski said. "But it´s a decent enough metric, given the company´s late arrival to the smartphone apps party and its struggles of late."

"There are currently 90,000 apps now in its app store, according to RIM´s data," Mogg added. "Again, it´s a small number when you consider there are more than half a million available for iOS devices and a similar number for Android devices, so yes, RIM still has some serious catching up to do. If the store can keep app developers on board until RIM releases its next-generation BlackBerry 10 devices next year, then, depending on the popularity of its new offerings, things might pick up even more for BlackBerry App World."

Back in June, rumors surfaced that RIM was considering splitting the business in two, separating the manufacturing division from its messaging network. The company denied those reports, with officials telling reporters that such speculation was “a silly fantasy” and “one of the most ridiculous ideas I have heard in a while.”

Nonetheless, the company has continued to struggle financially, and its BlackBerry 10 operating system was recently delayed until 2013. Smith reported on June 28 that RIM's revenues were down 42% for the quarter, that the company had lost $518 million, and that shipments had fallen from 11.1 million in the first quarter to just 7.8 million in the last three months.