The CEO of Research in Motion is in the process of hard-selling the company’s new BlackBerry 10 smartphone. Thorsten Heins is targeting businesses, consumers and developers as well as the standard network operators.
The main problem faced by the new BlackBerry 10 device is the number of applications that are available. Whenever a new smartphone has been launched in the past, there have only initially been a small number of applications available for download. In summer 2008, iTunes App Store only had around five hundred apps available. At present that number is more like over half a million. Android devices also followed a similar pattern and now there are roughly the same available as from Apple. Even Microsoft has well over a hundred thousand apps available in its Windows Phone Store.
This doesn’t seem to deter Mr Heins who has stated “The tactic we are deploying is by country and region. We are aiming to have the most important 200 to 400 apps available [per country], because many applications are regional and they really do have a regional flavor. We’ve done 30 jam conferences in various cities all around the world, to get the bucket filled with meaningful local apps and not just a huge bunch of applications that you collect and throw at your audience. It is a very, very targeted approach.
This would perhaps suggest a relatively small number of apps available in the BlackBerry 10 app store however it appears the device will be launched with around a hundred thousand available for download. This is way more than any other device at launch. Mr Heins also went on to state “In my view it is really short-sighted to say, you have 600,000, you have 400,000 and you only have 100,000 apps, so you are not good. Look at how many actually get downloaded. BlackBerry App World today is still the most profitable portal for application developers – it has the highest number of paid-for downloads”.
(Thorsten Heins is quoted from an interview with Reuters).