News that BlackBerry’s application store has now totted up 10,000 applications is being used by some commentators as a reflection on the relative paucity of interest in BlackBerry. After all, Apple have 250,000 apps on the shelf.
Yet I’m not too sure. I suspect that a much larger proportion of BlackBerry apps is actually useful, given that the BB appeals to the corporate business user. The Apple store is cluttered with a great deal of rubbish, not to mention all the stuff that is of limited interest. You just have to look at the hundreds, if not thousands of individual book apps. Why anyone would want to download and, in most cases pay for, a single-book application I cannot imagine. A book reader such as Stanza, Kindle or, even, Apple’s own iBooks, offers the ability to download classics for nothing.
In addition, the Apple store is dominated by games, fuelled by the success of the iPod touch as a gaming machine. There’s nothing wrong in that, although I don’t do games, but my point is that I would probably be quite happy with the choice from 10,000 apps in the BlackBerry store. You can’t always quantify success or even quality by simple quantity.