Report: 47,000 BlackBerry World apps built by one developer
More than one third of the BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) World storefront's 120,000 applications were created by a single developer, BerryReview reports.
Vendor S4BB Limited is credited with roughly 47,000 BlackBerry applications, including a multitude of city guides, phrasebooks and apps designed around RSS feeds from sources like the White House, the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Weather Service. Many S4BB submissions are simply audiobooks offered in an app wrapper.
BlackBerry chalked up the proliferation of S4BB apps to the flaws in the open market model. "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," a BlackBerry spokesperson told AllThingsD. "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."
BlackBerry World has struggled with app quality control issues. The BlackBerry 10 mobile operating system supports repurposed applications originally written for Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android, and around 20 percent of all BlackBerry 10 apps are Android ports. But the manufacturer has nevertheless urged developers to build native apps optimized expressly for BlackBerry developers, warning that consumers aggressively dislike apps and games ported over from Android. While most of the ports work on BlackBerry 10 smartphones, they can't access all core device features, and BlackBerry Development Head Alec Saunders recently told CNet that consumers are keenly aware of the difference.
"From a commercial perspective, users hate them," Saunders said. "Our partners who have ported apps get dinged for them."
BlackBerry 10, launched commercially earlier this year, has struggled to connect with consumers. BlackBerry smartphone sales slipped from 8 million in the second quarter of 2012 to 6.2 million in the most recent quarter, and its market share plummeted from 5.2 percent a year ago to just 2.7 percent, according to data from research firm Gartner. Earlier this month, BlackBerry announced its board of directors has formed a special committee to explore strategic alternatives, including a possible sale.
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