BlackBerry World's Problem Is a Lack of Support, Not Quality
A week after BlackBerry announced that it was open to being acquired—among other possibilities—BerryReview reported that BlackBerry's developer community wasn't as large or diverse as seemed to be the case.
One developer, S4BB, has contributed more than 47,000 of the 120,000-plus apps now in the BlackBerry World store, according to BerryReview. It called 20 to 30 of the apps "decent quality, legitimate apps" and the rest "borderline legitimate apps" that are generally variations on a single template.
Another developer, Mippin, is said to be responsible for 17,000 BlackBerry 10 apps.
Regarding the reports of single sources seeming to pad its app store, BlackBerry offered this statement:
"Developers in all app stores employ a number of different monetization tactics. BlackBerry World is an open market for developers and we let market forces dictate the success or failure of these tactics. Discoverability in overcrowded stores continues to be an issue affecting all developers. This is why we have worked hand-in-hand with developers on the Built for BlackBerry program to help showcase apps and games that exemplify the power of BlackBerry 10.
"To clarify, Mippin is not a single developer, in this case. Mippin provides a platform tool that helps developers and content providers create a simple native content app for BlackBerry. Their tool has been used by 17,000 developers, but they did not, as a single vendor, create 17,000 applications themselves. Those apps belong 100 percent to the people who used the BlackBerry App Generator (the Mippin tool) to create their apps. This is actually a great example of how we've worked with ecosystem partners to make development for BlackBerry 10 as simple as possible. (There are similar tools for all platforms ...)"
The provenance of apps isn't anything much to care about—the newsworthy issue is that it suggests a lack of support for the platform. And it's that lack of support that, even with great devices and a highly efficient OS, could prevent BlackBerry from making its planned comeback.
The news of S4BB was unnecessary, really. BlackBerry's missing developer support is obvious to any user who's tried to download an app for Instagram, or Netflix, or Starbucks and, as with too many other possible examples, found it missing.
eWEEK recently compiled a list of 10 apps that are painfully absent from BlackBerry World, and BlackBerry responded by saying that for every missing app people harp on, there are plenty of fantastic apps that go uncommented on—and it offered us its own top-10 list of apps worth downloading.
Have a look. And of course, we'd love to hear your thoughts.