BlackBerry App World surpasses three billion downloads, according to RIM


After months of grim news to report, Research In Motion finally has something to brag about: its app store, BlackBerry App World, just surpassed three billion app downloads. It took BlackBerry users just over three years to reach this level of app downloads for devices like the BlackBerry Bold 9930, Torch 9860 and PlayBook tablet. BlackBerry App World was launched in April 2009. RIM’s app store currently has around 90,000 apps for BlackBerry smartphones and the PlayBook.

Apple, by comparison, hit the three billion download mark just under 18 months after launching the App Store for the iPhone and iPod Touch, offering more than 100,000 apps at the time. Google said the Android Market reached three billion downloads about 27 months after its launch. Microsoft’s Windows Phone Marketplace has yet to hit the three billion download mark, but the Marketplace in June surpassed 100,000 apps.

App World hasn’t hit the three billion downloads mark as quickly as its two largest rival app stores, but activity shows RIM still has an active BlackBerry user base to build on. . The company said it took BlackBerry users just over two years to download the first billion apps. Just over six months later, App World hit two billion app downloads, and the most recent billion app downloads came in just under six months.

RIM may have found a bright spot for the company to celebrate, but the BlackBerry brand faces tough challenges in the months ahead. RIM originally planned to launch the BlackBerry 10, the next-generation touchscreen version of its smartphone platform, in late 2012. But in late June, the company said it would have to delay the BlackBerry 10 launch until the first three month of 2013.

In the meantime, users may be drawn away from the BlackBerry by a slew of new smartphones and tablets arriving later this year. Apple is expected to announce a new iPhone model in the fall, Google recently announced Android 4.1 Jelly Bean with potential new devices coming in the coming months, and Microsoft will roll out Windows Phone 8 in the fall. You can expect Microsoft to push hard for new users with an overhauled platform that includes new features for enterprise users and deep integration with Windows 8, the next version of Microsoft’s desktop operating system. Microsoft.

With so many good things coming out, it can be hard for users to hang on to their aging BlackBerry devices with only the promise of a new BlackBerry platform rolling out in early 2013.

Connect with Ian Paul (@ianpaul) on Twitter andGoogle+, and with [email protected] on Twitter for the latest tech news and analysis.

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