BlackBerry Last Chance Port-A-Thon sees 19,071 BlackBerry 10 apps submitted

Porting Lounge
By Kevin Michaluk on 21 Jan 2013 10:10 am EST

This weekend masses of BlackBerry 10 developers kept busy submitting apps in the Last Chance Port-A-Thon that RIM whipped together after the huge success of the last event. Over 15,000 apps were submitted in the previous port-a-thon, and this weekend's Last Chance event saw 19,071 apps submitted.

We know that a lot of these apps are going to be coming from the BlackBerry App Generator, which essentially turns an RSS feed into an app. Heck, CrackBerry's Adam Zeis submitted 17 apps he built via the App Generator. That said, Alec Saunders, BlackBerry's VP of Developer Relations, clarified on his twitter account that only a tiny % of total apps submitted to the catalog have come via the BlackBerry App Generator. 

BlackBerry has been targeting to have over 70,000 apps in BlackBerry World for the launch of BlackBerry 10. Alec Saunders made it clear to me at CES that his goal was to have the biggest catalog at launch of any newly-launched mobile platform. The volume of apps submitted during these last two port-a-thons alone gives us high hopes that he'll meet his goal. 

Of course, the volume of apps is one thing -- and to a lot of people out there it's an important aspect -- but more important to me is having a wide selection of quality apps available. Every app store on every mobile platform has a big mix of apps. There is always a wide spectrum of apps that range from useful to useless, from broad appeal to very narrow niche appeal, and from high quality to meeting the bare minimum requirements. I'm hoping these port-a-thons have brought in some gems, which is all we can really ask for.

When BlackBerry 10 launches, the specific details of the BB10 app story won't matter so much as the overall general perception. As long as BlackBerry World's selection of apps is good enough -- it passes the app litmus test of reviewers and discerning consumers -- that's what matters most. As long as it passes the general perception test there are no roadblocks on the way to a BlackBerry 10 purchase decision. If the app story isn't good enough, there could be roadblocks, which means BlackBerry's dev rel team will have to continue their hustle.

And continue to hustle they will. This Developer Relations team that RIM has built is doing more than we've ever seen. They're probably doing more than we ever hoped. They are kicking ass, and we love it.

Reader comments

BlackBerry Last Chance Port-A-Thon sees 19,071 BlackBerry 10 apps submitted


no. Alec Saunders and other tech sites have already inferred they had around 70k apps developed/planned already and whichever apps from this additional 34k submitted actually make BB World will just add to that #.

The 34k is just the additional number submitted through Port-A-Thon's (15 the first, 19 the second), but not all will make BB World.

You can be sure (at least I have no fear) that almost all of that 70k will be tested and vetted to normal BB quality. And since they're only taking the quality apps of the port-a-thons hopefully they'll have enough time to get those up to snuff.

" but more important to me is having a wide selection of quality apps available"

Exactly. A large app count is an advertising number, nothing else. But we can't be naive, plenty of potential users use the app count as a device comparison. It's good, but nowhere near the importance of quality apps for the tech savvy.

I found myself looking for BB 10 Apps in the new bbworld store and I found only junk. There are no big names. I hope I am wrong.

Only junk? Depends on what you're looking for.

Big name apps are probably being withheld until launch. They want to make a big splash. Releasing early could be detrimental to their initial popularity. - Sweet apps for the fans

Note that there are many BB10 apps that have been approved but aren't shown in BB World yet. Devs have to "Post for Sale" theirs apps, and no doubt some are holding off until launch, especially the big names who will be unveiled at launch.

Why would they tip their hat and show off any big name apps when now one can be using them yet?

I'm confident Apps are going to be a none issue, at least for me any ways. Most of the apps I want are already available for playbook.

9 more sleeps till we all get to see everything under the hood!

The number is only important in that it is a press soundbyte. Every article about BlackBerry likes to compare # of apps in their store vs. Google and Android. Often the authors also incorrectly state that the # of apps in App World is equal to the # of apps that run on Blackberry OS.

I'm more interested in seeing how the second team that focuses on big name apps at RIM is doing behind the scenes. That we won't know till launch day ...


After my experience on the PlayBook I see these "Port/Hack-A-Thons" with a jaundiced eye.

I posted in the forums about this that I would love to know in 3 months, 6 months, 1 year whatever time frame you like - how many of the apps from these "A-Thons" made their way into the top 250 on BB World. Might change my opinion about these endeavors.

The answer isn't we have 150,000 apps of dubious quality, the answer is "YES" when someone asks if the new phones does (fill in the blank of the app that was the straw that broke the camels back for them and took them away from BB to another platform).

I have had trouble seeing why the managers believe that holding out on that information is a benefit. If you read through the forums even here among the faithful you will see a great gnashing of teeth over the well know apps we are all waiting on. Imagine the momentum it would build for CrackBerry to release that those apps are made and will be available on launch day, what would be left for anyone to argue about????

The only reason I can see for not doing it is there are still significant apps not ready or available. Now, I hope I am wrong, but if the apps that led me to get a 2nd Android phone to cover the gaps I see in the current BB7 aren't there, every one, it will delay my purchase of BB10 because, again, after PlayBook I won't be fooled again.

Just my humble feelings about this subject.

I understand your point but lets be honest, you need both. The North American consumer is trained (by Apple, thank you) to equate the quality of a smartphone with the number of Apps. Sorry to be snotty about it but your living in LaLa land if you think otherwise. While RIM certainly didn't invent it, they have to play the numbers game or they end up like Palm.

Look at it from a marketing perspective, BB10 blows iOS out of the water in just about everything. But the average consumer is trained to want Apps. So how do you get the consumer to focus on RIMs strengths. Give them what they want and guess what, they move on. See below

1) Consumer. So what a new phone. Does it have lots of Apps? RIM, Yes it does (150K).

2) Consumer. Well OK, 150K sounds good but are they quality. RIM, Yes, they are. We have 94% of the top 600 Apps from iOS/Android.

3) Consumer. Well OK, how does it perform. RIM, Like a Ferrai.

4) Consumer, Wow, gimme, gimme, gimme.

That's how it works. Getting consumers to focus on BB10 is the key and to do this your have to put the App argument to rest.

Phew! I'm glad you were able to get that off your chest.. And thanks for sharing, my day is now complete and I'm second guessing my purchase of a BB10 phone.. Or not..

9 more sleeps till we all get to see everything under the hood!

Kevin...any more word on instagram at launch...If not I could really use a new car...

On a serious note, this is awesome. I am really impressed with he amount of apps that they have received in just the few hours of these port-a-thons, I just hope the big name apps that people watching are there or very soon to follow.

Last time I checked, ring tones and wallpapers aren't classified as apps in BlackBerry World. What is your source?

Apps from RSS feeds are only allowed if the app developer owns the content, so I can see why it's a small percentage.

"And continue to hustle they will. This Developer Relations team that RIM has built is doing more than we've ever seen. They're probably doing more than we ever hoped. They are kicking ass, and we love it."

This. +1000000

The developer relations team led by Alec Saunders is going to be as important to the success of BlackBerry 10 as the User Experience Group (TAT).

RIM has already demonstrated that BB 10 is as smooth as butter. And kudos go to all everyone at RIM who worked so hard to bring everything together.

But the job that Alec and his team have done is one that no one thought possible. They have done more to sway developer sentiment in RIM's favor then anyone would have ever dreamed they could and they deserve our thanks for their never ending vigilance and doing everything they have done to make BlackBerry THE platform to develop for.

In comparison to the other Big app store, I believe Blackberry World will lack the reams of app duplicates, IE, 20k Poker apps, 25k Sudoku apps, 30k Solitaire apps, and on and on.. But really I'm more then ok with that. For now most things are speculation which will all be answered on January 30..

9 more sleeps till we all get to see everything under the hood!