BlackBerry App World passes 2 billion downloads

BlackBerry App World 2 billion downloads
By Alicia Erlich on 10 Jan 2012 10:55 am EST

On the eve of CES 2012, it was great to sit in on one of the RIM sessions at the ATT Developer Summit. Maurice White and John Mutter, RIM's Enterprise Mobility Architects, gave a presentation on Developing Super Apps for the BlackBerry OS and BB10 platform and what it means to be a Super App. One of the points they brought up though is the current stats of BlackBerry App World. When comparing to the other popular markets out there, it's cool to see exactly where App World stands in the global marketplace and how it stacks up against its competitors.

Key figures include:

  • Over 2 BILLION apps downloaded
  • Over 140 MILLION apps downloaded per month
  • Industry-leading reach: App World available in 130 countries and growing
  • 26 + currencies supported
  • Carrier Billing with multiple major carriers such as AT&T, Vodafone, Rogers, etc. across 10 countries and expanding rapidly
The average BlackBerry app generates:
  • 43% MORE daily downloads than the average iOS app*
  • 48% MORE daily downloads than the average Android app*

The market is filled with tens of thousands of apps that cover a variety of needs ranging from social networking apps to utility apps and much more. What do you think about this important milestone and on the daily downloads stats? Sound off in the comments below.

*Source: Research2Guidance report, August 2011

Reader comments

BlackBerry App World passes 2 billion downloads


The problem is most apps just don't work. I download several of the "thank you" apps and several of them were very buggy or killed the battery in just a few hours.

Most of the problems should go away once RIM drops the legacy OS in favor of BB10. But for many that will mean waiting a few more years.

This is the kind of info that needs to be shown off and advertised. No one knows that there is this much available for Blacberry.

Perspective is important. This is an improvement over what was, but Apple gets over 1B downloads per month; Nokia gets 7M downloads per day (2X AppWorld's numbers).

Until they get apps for the masses (namely Skype, Netflix, Words with Friends, and Angry Birds) AppWorld will be an afterthought to the market. I don't agree with the sentiment, but it is what it is.

They can spend $100M on marketing, h**l, they can spend $1B on marketing, it won't get them a fraction as far as being able to answer "yes" when consumers ask do you have Skype? Netflix? Can I play Words with Friends? Angry Birds?

Yes, you can already play Angry Birds in three different versions. It's been a huge seller for Rovio. Words With Friends could come quickly; users in the CB community report the converted APK file runs great in the Android Player.

Skype and Netflix? Out of RIM's hands. Up to their respective owners. There are reports that either or both may be announced this week.

Don't confuse the PlayBook with BlackBerry phones. The vast, vast, let me add vast, majority of the downloads from AppWorld are to Phones, not the PlayBook. I'd go as far as to say that PlayBook downloads are probably statistically irrelevant in RIM's numbers. No Angry Birds on phones. No Words with Friends. No Skype coming. No Netflix coming.

Of the apps I listed, I only use one of them (Skype while traveling to talk to the kids), and have no interest in the others. The general consumer, on the other hand, is a different story. I'd be a rich, rich man if I was compensated every time someone asked me about on of those apps being available for my phone.

RIM would get more traction in the U.S. market (which is key, because that's where "analysts" and butchering them) by taking a team of developers, pulling them off all other projects, and having them make a Skype and/or Netflix app. I believe Skype has opened up their APIs to be able to do this. Give MS $10M to have MS build it for you. Same for Netflix. If the money's there, they'll do it. Better spent then on silly bicycle commercials.

what you say is correct, a vast majority of apps are downloaded on devices and not PlayBook, and I don't argue that, but BlackBerry is pulling these numbers off ALREADY without these apps on the devices. but don't mistake the importance of these apps being available on the playbook because the Blackberry 10 devices solve the issue of NOT being on devices.

Also, a little bit of research will show that Skype and Netflix are coming to PlayBook.

My point (as an owner of a 9810, a 32GB PB, and getting delivery of my 64GB PB today), is that these are not really numbers to boast about yet. Nokia get 2X the downloads and they don't have a tablet.

Also, I've any word of Skype and Netflix coming to any BB platform (tablet or phone), is purely hope and rumour. I am fully aware of the latest news, and have seen all the latest research (up to just before posting this), and there isn't a single official word from either MS or Netflix saying that a BB app is coming. The closest you'll get is a request to be patient. If I'm wrong, please post a link.

you have a point about tablet vs phone, but from your earlier download figures from iTunes, is that just ipad and iphone? or should we take into account the millions of ipods out there? because that would skew iTunes figures vs Appworld figures.

Considering that iPhone FREE app downloads exceeds 5M/day, not total, but free downloads for iPhone alone, trying to find data about iPad vs iPod vs total isn't really worth the time to do.

In summary, of the top 10 downloaded apps (total all OSes) in 2011 (source Distimo Publication Full Year 2011), only THREE are available on BB phones. In comparison:
- 9 available on iPhone
- 9 available on Android
- 7 available on Kindle
- 6 on Ovi (Symbian)
- 4 on WP7

The Windows App Store has also already passed AppWorld in total downloads.

Hey, I want RIM to succeed as much as the next guy, but until they can check off most of the popular apps, they're not going to, and cheering what really are unimpressive numbers isn't going to lead to success.

You sir are muddled. You emphasise perspective and then go on to ignore it and concentrate on the headline 2billion figure.
The key stats are:
•43% MORE daily downloads than the average iOS app*
•48% MORE daily downloads than the average Android app*
Effectively iOS and Android is saturated and you would generally be better off developing for BB OS.
It's a case of 1 app in 100 000 standing a better chance than 1 app in 1 000 000. See?
Now that is perspective.

I'm not ignoring the 43% and 48%, the article is! note, as you put it, the "headline". Touting a 2B download figure today is laughable.

Also, most developers fully understand the point about making proportionally more money off each app. The problem is they also recognize a bit of a self destructive problem. As the number of apps goes up (closing that 1 in 100 0000 to 1 in 1 000 ratio) that 48% and 43% will drop accordingly. What developers want to see is a growing user base (which many of us BB owners/users know is happening) which BB isn't putting in their "headlines".

Hey, I am looking from the perspective of a developer. Here's my perspective:

1. iOS and Android have way more deployed devices (way more)
2. From the source of the RIM numbers (research2guidance), although RIM downloads per app are 43% more than iOS, OVI downloads per app are a whopping 160% more than iOS, and WP7 downloads per app are 80% more than iOS!

Now, again from the perspective of a developer:

1. I'm going to develop for iOS and Android because of the installed base. I can't ignore it.
2. If I'm choosing another platform to develop on, WP7 and OVI (it's not dead yet!) look more attractive for making money.

When you have the whole picture, none of the numbers that RIM presented are really very impressive.

My only point is that RIM needs to get more handsets into hands, and to do that they need to get the recognizable apps (the top 10 apps) onto the platform and need to pay to do it if they have to.

Again, I have a BB phone and two PlayBooks. I want them to do well. I'm concerned they're not going about it the right way.

ExSafe for Docs2Go is a great addition, works with standard and premium versions of Documents to Go including OS 7

Blackberry app world is a joke compared to the app store from apple and to the android app store.

I bet all that downloads are free apps and they include facebook and twitter.

Comparing the blackberry app world to the app store from ios is like comparing the best worldwide mall to a single shop.

I still think about when blackberry is going to talk openly about why the bold 9900 bricks itself in the night while charging.

I was kind of thinking along the same lines in regards to the free/essential apps like facebook, twitter, bbm upgrade, etc...

It's kind of like Microsoft saying IE is the most installed browser on the market... IE comes pre-installed with Windows? lol...

Good on them for the solid numbers though.

Disclaimer: I am a Blackberry fan/user... albeit a rapidly becoming disenchanted one but that's another discussion.

"I bet all that downloads are free apps and they include facebook and twitter"

As a developer that sells stuff on appworld, i`ll very happily take you up on that bet ;) now, how much do i win?

These numbers need a little more clarity - for example:
- Do they count app upgrades?
- How many of those downloads are for the RIM-developed/supplied applications vs. third party ones?

It's probably more along the lines of McDonalds: "Billions served!"


Blizzard claiming "Over 10 million World of Warcraft accounts!!!!!!!1111" and they conveniently leave out weather or not that's active or inactive or if that's the total number of accounts they've had since day 1 without counting the cancellations...

Disclaimer: I am a Blackberry fan/user... albeit a rapidly becoming disenchanted one but that's another discussion

McDonalds: "Billions served!"

but how many threw-up after eating their Mc Meals? & how many were given the wrong order in the drive-through & had to be re-done? :P

It is good that Blackberry are telling developpers about this type of thing, but when you consider that Android Market has 1billion app downloads per month, the number seems a little under-whelming. Then again, there are lots more Android phones than BBs.
Either way, maybe information like this getting out will help increase the number of apps available.

there would be more if the latest app world didnt disable the icon. lots of bb storm 2 users cant download apps because the recent app world upgrade came without an icon for opening the app.

Of course the average app on AppWorld will generate more downloads because of fewer selection. IOS and Android have more than one app for most things. For example, on IOS or Android if I want a media player app, there is more than 5 good quality apps that I can pick from. What works for one person doesn't work for the other so of course not all 5 apps will be downloaded. For App World, I will get only 1 selection and I am forced to download because that's the only thing that's available. So it appears as thoughthe app is being downloaded more than Android or IOS app but it's all because of fewer selections. I can't wait for Android Player to work flawlessly on my PB.

I can't stand having hundreds of apps to go through (that all do the same thing), it would be so much nicer if there was one app for everything. But... That's impossible...

43% MORE daily downloads than the average iOS app
48% MORE daily downloads than the average Android app

That's a little skewed to make BB sound better. The difference is apple and andriod have apps numbering in the hundreds of thousands, i believe that apple is around half a million. Blackberry's app world (last i seen) was like 50,000 so its not really hard to think o why they would get downloaded more often to IOS and Andriod.

You guys do understand that they are trying to attract developers right?

Thus, showing them that their app will have more downloads & make more $$ then it would on android or iOS BECAUSE there is less competition is a good thing to do

take the ipod figures outta iTunes figures and then lets have the serious conversation of skewed figures.

ipod+ipad+iphone vs BB phones and PB isnt a `level` playing field. so any arguement over skewed numbers is rendered moot.

I guess the question I have is: How many apps are in the AppWorld? Download stats, great; but how many apps, in total, comprise the app store? Is the app store growing?

It's a mystery, I suppose - no app store counts are ever reported for the Blackerry platform, Symbian platform, or WebOS. Perhaps they feel it is more impressive to tout the number of downloads....

Approximations as of November 2011 (source Distimo):

iPhone: 440K
iPad: 148K
Android: 345K
AppWorld and Ovi: 50K
WP7: 35K
Amazon: 20K

This is number of available apps in the U.S.

Playbook will soon have The BEST email program...and calendar....does that count for anything? In fact it will be so far ahead of the "other guys" it will be virtually impossible for them to implement what RIM has done....does that count for anything?
No wonder it took them a while to develop it...the term leap frog comes to mind in fact.

How many apps you have is like how many crappy watts is your home stereo. A misleading spec for dumb people.

I want to be able to use the front facing cam on my PlayBook already! RIM needs the major Instant Messaging Apps pronto i.e. OoVoO, Skype, Yahoo Messenger, Live Messenger, Google Talk. In addition, I mostly use work related or useful Apps some which I use and miss terribly are: PageOnce, WorldMate, SuperPages, Sharebuilder, a REAL voice guided Navigator, Fandango, Discount Calculator, Daily Horoscope, Amazon MP3, All the Major Book readers such as Nook, Amazon etc...

Development for BlackBerry, not just PlayBook. Most of AppWorld is for handsets not tablets at this stage. There are more than 70M BBM users, but likely less than 1M PlayBook users. PlayBook probably is less than 1% of AppWorld downloads. Most of what you ask for is available for handsets and on AppWorld (PageOnce, BB Travel, Fandango, BB Traffic, Sharebuilder, major Book Readers, major IM clients, etc).

What's missing is Skype and Netflix which seem to be the first two apps the general consumer always asks about.