Most people took it by surprise that Blackberry-maker, Research in Motion, was able to succeed in its efforts to court mobile app developers. In fact, the Ontario-based smartphone manufacturer did a good job getting “the nod” from mobile app developers to create enterprise-oriented apps for Blackberry 10. Blackberry’s latest operating system or OS was launched along with 70,000 apps in Blackberry World early this year.
For most telecom experts, Blackberry 10 and the latest Blackberry handset models Z10 and Q10 are part of RIM’s “last-ditch effort” to reclaim its relevance and its previously held position as the corporate community’s number one business phone. RIM also decided to abandon its 25-year-old company name and label itself according to its signature smartphone product, Blackberry.
So far, Blackberry 10 has been getting a lot of positive reviews since its official worldwide launch in January. However, some tech gadget enthusiasts say that no matter how good or great Blackberry 10 may be, it would be useless sans an abundant apps selection in the Blackberry World. And it’s simply not just about quantity—70,000 apps, for instance.
Because let’s face it: mobile apps have forever changed the way we do things, business transactions included. With hundreds of thousands of apps available in the market, it has “appified” almost every aspect of our personal and business lives.
The state of Blackberry 10’s mobile apps, to say the least, is no different from the “appnemia” experienced by its predecessor. It might disappoint Blackberry loyalists, but truth be told, Blackberry 10 needs popular apps that people, especially business elites, actually use and care about. But it doesn’t have those.
With the exception of the passé mobile gaming app Angry Birds, apps like Skype, Amazon Kindle and WhatsApp are not on Blackberry 10 yet. And to drive your disappointment further, there’s no actual word on when these will actually launch.
Now your disappointment will surely hit rock bottom: popular apps like Instagram, Yelp, Spotify, Pandora and even Gmail or Evernote are not yet available for handsets running on Blackberry 10; and we can’t be guaranteed that these will ever come to Blackberry’s newest OS either.
So what can you find in Blackberry World aside from rubbish? There’s Apollo, Tiny Bird and PicStory—barefaced copies of popular apps available for other operating systems. App world stars like Facebook, Dropbox, Google Talk and Yahoo Messenger are not even made for Blackberry 10 by their original companies; rather these are made by Blackberry.
With the way things are going, these innovations may be “too little, too late” to save a company that’s merely hanging by a thread in the global smartphone market. It can be remembered that most investors are skeptical about Blackberry 10, and the first smartphone models that’ll run on the latest OS, after its smartphone and OS market share dropped to a ghastly 4.6% and 1.1% last year, according to International Data Corporation and Kantar Worldpanel ComTech respectively. Blackberry was also knocked off to third place in terms of preference among employees of 1,100 global enterprises, says an iPass survey.
Then again, Blackberry remains to be among the corporate boardrooms’ top choices for a business smartphone. And for those who can’t afford to have iPhones at the moment or those sleek and sophisticated enough for an Android phone, we say that Blackberry can still sync with phone services from your Verizon or AT&T telcos or business and mobile VoIP providers like RingCentral and REVE Systems.