When RIM crowed yesterday that its App World now has over 10,000 apps available to download, there was a collective shrug, an air of "big deal" and the deafening silence of no applause. With Android and iOS the current big hitters, numbers is not a game that the BlackBerry app platform is about to win.
But that's ok, says Alan Panezic, VP of platform product management, "We aren't focusing on, say, hitting the 50,000 app mark."
With 10,000 apps under its belt, RIM is now dedicated to giving developers the tools to create SuperApps (which really needs an exclamation a mark and it's own theme tune) to avoid flooding the BlackBerry App World with low quality apps that add little value to anyone's smartphone experience.
"For us, apps are all about adding real value to the end-user's life and creating revenue for developers," said Alan Panezic. "We don't need 200 fart apps in App World. Those are apps you'll use three or four times then never open again. You're not looking at ads, clicking on ads or buying premium upgrades, and the app isn't adding any value to your device."
SuperApps are the ones that keep you coming back for more because they add something to your life - be it ongoing entertainment value or doing something for you. Most importantly for developers, these are the apps that will garner the most revenue; whether it comes from premium upgrades, in-app advertising or additional-cost content.
"With the focus on SuperApps, we're trying to create a sustainable app ecosystem," added Panezic, something the app industry desperately needs. But in BlackBerry's case, while we're all for high quality apps and the plan to help developer's earn more for their work, we'd still say that the reason we don't buy many BlackBerry apps is because they're so darn expensive compared to those on other OS platforms.