RIM: BlackBerry will keep 'garbage' apps out of store

RIM: BlackBerry will keep 'garbage' apps out of store

Summary: The head of developer relations for BlackBerry has said RIM will curate the apps in its store to avoid filling it with 'garbage', saying it doesn't want to be another Android Marketplace

TOPICS: Mobility, Apps

Research In Motion plans to avoid the app overload found in the Android Marketplace by providing cherry-picked titles in BlackBerry App World, the company's head of developer relations has said.

RIM CEO Thorsten Heins at BlackBerry DevCon

RIM chief executive Thorsten Heins talked up the BlackBerry developer push at DevCon in Amsterdam. Image credit: Ben Woods

Alec Saunders told ZDNet UK the best way to compete with other app stores is to provide a "curated experience", in order to ensure the best performance from each piece of software. He also confirmed that RIM will soon close an authorisation loophole that allows developers to re-package any Android app to run on the PlayBook tablet.

"One of the things we really don't want to be is Android Marketplace. I've talked to lots of people who've owned Android applications, and they say, 'We've got a couple of applications we like, but the rest are all crap'," Saunders said at BlackBerry DevCon Europe on Tuesday.

"If we fill App World with garbage, then we've done ourselves and our users a disservice," he added.

BlackBerry trails Android, and even further behind iOS, in developer-produced software available. On Tuesday at DevCon, RIM revealed that its App World is home to more than 60,000 apps. Its rival iOS and Android app stores have around 500,000 and 300,000 respectively.

However, despite the lower quantity of titles, BlackBerry developers are doing good business, according to RIM. About 13 percent of them have made more than $100,000 (£62,935) via App World — a larger proportion than with Android or iOS, according to the company. In general, prices for BlackBerry apps are higher than their counterparts elsewhere.

Despite the current lag behind rivals, Saunders believes the company's unabashed BlackBerry App World will "reach the inflection point where you have huge numbers of different applications in the store."

The BlackBerry OS has been losing market share, according to a PingCounter report in December. According to the study, RIM's share almost halved from 15.03 percent to 7.86 percent. However, a survey by Check Point Software in January said BlackBerry is close to vying with iOS as the most popular platform among business users, and another from Ovum suggested RIM's OS is gaining ground among developers.

Saunders argued that judging a company on the growth or contraction of market share is a mistake, particularly for a business in a state of flux.

"I don't think expanding share is actually relevant," he said. "We're in a phase right now where we're in between large-scale releases, and in a rapidly expanding market it's unsurprising that our share might dip."

He insisted BlackBerry's developer community will not meet the same fate as Symbian's. Nokia was the prime backer of the mobile OS, but essentially dropped it last year when it adopted Windows Phone as its primary mobile platform.

"We are launching some fabulous new products later this year built on BlackBerry 10, with PlayBook 2.0 being a milestone on the way to reaching that," Saunders said."We're not in the position Nokia found themselves in, where not only did they see their share decline, but they were also haemorrhaging money."

"We're a profitable business. We've got $1.5bn in the bank, and we're in a period of transition," he said.

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Topics: Mobility, Apps

Ben Woods

About Ben Woods

With several years' experience covering everything in the world of telecoms and mobility, Ben's your man if it involves a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or any other piece of tech small enough to carry around with you.

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  • Keep the crap apps out?! How will they compete with Android and Apple's claim to fame of having so many life changing apps?

    I wonder if the media will give it a rest with bashing Rim beacuse they dont have a million crap apps now, sure is refreshing to hear this story address the prevalence of useless time wasting crap apps out there.
  • I think he's referring specifically to Android apps, as Apple do regulate their App Store, but Google seem to let any old crap onto the Android store!
  • RIM has strange culture and self distruct political environment.

    In RIM if a new hired person figure out major problem and introduce efficient approach, both manager and his buddy group member will proof their wrong approach works. just like someone point out driving a car is right way, pushing a car is wrong way, then both manager and his buddy group member will hate you, and proof that 3 person can also move the car by pushing it. cheating email will be sent to some vice president, saying like: see, the car moving, pushing a car is a natural part of the process, in order to deny new hired contribution of introducing skill of drive a car, they have to deny merit of driving a car.

    It is very strange company culture and strange company political environment, it promote stealing and cheating skill. RIM's management may be a typical instance in MBA course.

    This culture deny or steal hardworking team members' contribution/innovation, generate strange political environment, destroy RIM.