Amid questions about the overall popularity and viability of the Z10 or the Q10, questions about the number of BlackBerry World apps were raised again recently, after first surfacing when BlackBerry announced the two products in late January.
BlackBerry officials last week said there are 80,000 apps available for BlackBerry 10 after being in the market just six weeks, with "thousands more" on the way.
Martyn Mallick, vice president of global alliances at BlackBerry, said via email that well-known apps are available already from SAP, Cisco Webex, Citrix, Salesforce, and Foursquare, with Rdio and and Skype committed to launch on BB10. "There are very few applications at that top tier that I would say we do not have commitment from," he added.
Of course, the sheer number of apps in a store is not what matters, although some have argued that both BlackBerry and Windows Phone still lack enough popular apps, as did Sascha Segan in an analysis posted on PC Magazine.
Brant Debow, executive vice president of technology for BiTE Interactive, a mobile app development consultancy, said via email that both BlackBerry and Windows Phone face a chicken-and-egg dilemma: "They need both users and apps" and both need to occur about the same time, he said.
BiTE surveyed 1,127 American adults online in January and found that only one in eight was considering buying a BB10 device. Debow said BlackBerry needed to show "something native to their platform that was innovative enough for users to go there even without a huge app catalog, but early feedback from our clients and our own experience as developers says that BB10 hasn't accomplished this yet."
Analysts Bob O'Donnell of IDC, and Jack Gold of J. Gold Associates, both dismissed the size of the apps stores as important factors in whether BB10 smartphones will do well.
"How many apps is enough?" Gold said via email. "The key for BB is to get the most used and most popular apps in place -- the top 100 to 200. They are attempting to do that, and if they can get the majority, then I think most consumers will be happy with that."
Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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