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  1. dynot's Avatar
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    Default Why RIM doesn't have to worry about the number of apps

    I've noticed a lot of articles and debates surrounding the number of apps available on competing platforms. I recently read an article on a tech site about BB10's features and some of the comments went on about how the lack of apps will still hurt RIM even though their OS is far ahead of IOS or Android. This IMHO is pretty short-sighted and shallow. Here's why I think so.

    Apple has 700K+ apps and Android probably up there too. Even i-fans will admit that a vast majority are useless or duplicates. But through clever marketing, Apple has managed to convince your average consumer that this number is a key metric. I don't think I'm that far off when I say that the smartphone market is still evolving and consumers look at this as a major feature when shopping for a device. This argument is often used when measuring the sucess or potential for success of a device but I think its flawed.

    My fearless prediction is that as the market matures, consumers will shift from quantity of apps to quality. There is a finite limit on how many apps you can install on a device so wether you have 700K or 100K to choose from, all devices will eventually settle to a similar amount installed. Those being the most useful apps.

    This is why I'm not worried at all about apps on BB10, although I'm glad to see the support developers are getting. Five years ago I'm willing to bet your average consumer didn't know what an app was; five years from now I'm betting they couldn't care less about the numbers and look for quality apps.

    Do you agree or do you think the quantity of apps will always be a major selling point?
  2. Bla1ze's Avatar
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    Quality not quantity. RIM has yet to prove quality though.

    RIM says over 77,000 apps right now.. means nothing if 76,000 of them are junk.
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  3. howarmat's Avatar

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    i dont care so much about quantity but i do care about having what i need. I also like my choices between apps that do the same thing because some might have better features than others. That is one thing a large number of apps will help with. Also, as discussed in many threads you have to have the key apps (netflix, hulu, instagram etc) and i think this is a bigger barrier for RIM than the number of apps. Once they get most of the top 100 or whatever they will be in good shape.
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  4. ibpluto's Avatar
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    Default Why RIM doesn't have to worry about the number of apps

    I have yet to meet someone with more than 50 apps (additional above native apps) on their device.

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  5. dynot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bla1ze View Post
    Quality not quantity. RIM has yet to prove quality though.

    RIM says over 77,000 apps right now.. means nothing if 76,000 of them are junk.
    Hopefully this will change with BB10. I just don't think they should be too preoccupied about the number of apps and focus on quality popular apps.
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    Quote Originally Posted by howarmat View Post
    i dont care so much about quantity but i do care about having what i need. I also like my choices between apps that do the same thing because some might have better features than others. That is one thing a large number of apps will help with. Also, as discussed in many threads you have to have the key apps (netflix, hulu, instagram etc) and i think this is a bigger barrier for RIM than the number of apps. Once they get most of the top 100 or whatever they will be in good shape.
    Netflix and hulu are only key apps for a subset of the American population out of the entire population of global smartphone users. Expand your outlook, there is a big world out there.
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  7. howarmat's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jtaylor1986 View Post
    Netflix and hulu are only key apps for a subset of the American population out of the entire population of global smartphone users. Expand your outlook, there is a big world out there.
    and yet their are a thousand threads just about those apps! The rest of the world is not where RIM has lots millions of subscribers, they still sell millions in other places without those apps anyway.
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  8. mikeo007's Avatar
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    Quality comes with quantity.
    Selection is always a good thing, and more selection is better for app buyers.

    Using imaginary numbers, if 50% of all apps are crap, then that number applies to any app supported platform. 50% of Apple's apps are crap, 50% of Android, and 50% of Blackberry. I've certainly seen my fair share of garbage apps in all the major app stores.

    More apps brings more crap, but it also brings more quality apps.
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  9. Jtaylor1986's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by howarmat View Post
    and yet their are a thousand threads just about those apps! The rest of the world is not where RIM has lots millions of subscribers, they still sell millions in other places without those apps anyway.
    Mobile nations readers are most definitely not representative of the average smartphone buyer. Netflix only has like 25 million subscribers worldwide and I bet less than half of them even use it on a mobile phone. The number of netflix users that own smartphones and want to watch netflix on it and are looking at BB10 that wouldn't purchase it without a netflix app is not enough to move the needle. The bad press from not having netflix will probably cost more sales than actually not having netflix.
  10. kjjb0204's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why RIM doesn't have to worry about the number of apps

    Quote Originally Posted by ibpluto View Post
    I have yet to meet someone with more than 50 apps (additional above native apps) on their device.

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  11. Roo Zilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ibpluto View Post
    I have yet to meet someone with more than 50 apps (additional above native apps) on their device.
    That's funny. I have yet to meet someone with a high end Android or iPhone who have less than 50 apps. Most have over 100.
  12. Roo Zilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jtaylor1986 View Post
    Mobile nations readers are most definitely not representative of the average smartphone buyer. Netflix only has like 25 million subscribers worldwide and I bet less than half of them even use it on a mobile phone. The number of netflix users that own smartphones and want to watch netflix on it and are looking at BB10 that wouldn't purchase it without a netflix app is not enough to move the needle. The bad press from not having netflix will probably cost more sales than actually not having netflix.
    Ok, take away Netflix users. Then take away Whatsapp users (good part of western Europe and ASEAN countries). Then take away Google services users (large numbers everywhere except China). Then take away gamers (young people). Then take away Pinterest users (women). Then take away Skype users (everywhere). I can go on and on. Eventually, what do you have left?

    The lack of a single app probably doesn't matter much. Once you start adding to the list, eventually, it starts to significantly affect sales.
  13. Roo Zilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by howarmat View Post
    and yet their are a thousand threads just about those apps! The rest of the world is not where RIM has lots millions of subscribers, they still sell millions in other places without those apps anyway.
    The problem is, selling to the rest of the world doesn't make money for RIM. This matter doesn't really come up, but RIM's future doesn't matter so much on the success of BB10, as much as the success of $600 BB10 devices. RIM could possibly sell large numbers of BB10 phones at $200 and less in emerging markets in a year or so, but they won't make any money doing it. Unless they can sell large quantities of the $600 phones, RIM will continue to tread water at best.
  14. howarmat's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roo Zilla View Post
    The problem is, selling to the rest of the world doesn't make money for RIM. This matter doesn't really come up, but RIM's future doesn't matter so much on the success of BB10, as much as the success of $600 BB10 devices. RIM could possibly sell large numbers of BB10 phones at $200 and less in emerging markets in a year or so, but they won't make any money doing it. Unless they can sell large quantities of the $600 phones, RIM will continue to tread water at best.
    i agree fully with this they need to be able to sell the high end devices at good margains to get good money flow again
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  15. badiyee's Avatar
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    Default Why RIM doesn't have to worry about the number of apps

    I think that is unfounded. RIM still makes money, albeit smaller (profit, not on loss for their BIS services, even if its chopped up).

    I have written based on observations how RIM managed to segmentalize BIS, and still earn (a very small margin) profit.

    The better question for RIM is how do they want to leverage their BIS offering so that it has higher margins.

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  16. omniusovermind's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why RIM doesn't have to worry about the number of apps

    Quote Originally Posted by howarmat View Post
    i dont care so much about quantity but i do care about having what i need. I also like my choices between apps that do the same thing because some might have better features than others. That is one thing a large number of apps will help with. Also, as discussed in many threads you have to have the key apps (netflix, hulu, instagram etc) and i think this is a bigger barrier for RIM than the number of apps. Once they get most of the top 100 or whatever they will be in good shape.
    This is the situation I find myself in with the playbook. There's only one video player that plays my codes the native one won't and it's a good app. There's only one file manager I feel is as good as what I use on my android phone. If either of those disappears from app world I'll be set back to a full year ago because there's no near alternative to choose from. It's a position I find precarious no matter how much I prefer the UI.
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  17. kszys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roo Zilla View Post
    Ok, take away Netflix users. Then take away Whatsapp users (good part of western Europe and ASEAN countries). Then take away Google services users (large numbers everywhere except China). Then take away gamers (young people). Then take away Pinterest users (women). Then take away Skype users (everywhere). I can go on and on. Eventually, what do you have left?

    The lack of a single app probably doesn't matter much. Once you start adding to the list, eventually, it starts to significantly affect sales.
    I fully agree! These are those top 100 apps that make the difference. You can have 100 000 other apps available, and it will still not make any impact if most of the top 100 are not there.

    I am a BB user for 3 years. I can see currently virtually none of the apps I would like/need to use coming to BB10. This is not a good sign... I really do not want to move on to Android, but I may have to
    Last edited by kszys; 12-19-2012 at 02:27 AM.
  18. omniusovermind's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why RIM doesn't have to worry about the number of apps

    In all fairness, we shouldn't make any judgments on the bb10 app world good or bad until we see it go live. I'm personally crossing my fingers because BB10's are what I want most right now. I will say that if what I want isn't there right at the start I'll take a pass because I'm not going to lock myself into a contract on taking a chance those apps will come.
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    If it bothers you that much . . .

    Netflix: Offer Support for RIM Blackberry Devices
    http://www.change.org/petitions/netf...medium=twitter
    Hulu: Allow a Hulu Plus app for BlackBerry Playbook and BB10
    http://www.change.org/petitions/hulu...medium=twitter
    and . . .
    Pandora®: Bring App Support to the Blackberry 10 Platform:
    http://www.change.org/petitions/pand...medium=twitter
    you can also visit this thread if your interested in contacting other devs for the apps you want . . .Want your favorite apps to Be on Blackberry 10? Let 'em know!!!!
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    Many of the posts in this thread sound like quality and quantity are somehow diametrically opposed, which is nonsense.

    Of course RIM needs to worry about the number of apps, since the more apps they have, the more quality apps they'll have. If just one percent of the apps are great, then an Apple user has over 7000 great apps to choose from, while a RIM user only has a couple of hundred.

    And sure to a large extent its about the top 100 apps, but it's also about the long tail end of the app store. The more apps there are, the bigger the chances of you finding an app for your unique job/hobby/interest. (As an example, my son really likes his LEGO's, so I have a couple of LEGO apps on my phone and our ipad that we can use. Is it vitally important? Heck no. But it makes using an iOS device all the more useful, handy and enjoyable.)

    I fear however, that RIM has brought into the "App store quantity is important" mantra a little too much, and are basically cramming their store chock full of crappy I-got-a-free-Playbook-apps

    With some of their new policies they're basically rewarding anybody who can string together a couple of lines of code no matter how ugly and useless.

    Browsing through the store looking at new PB apps is not a pretty picture. It looks like they're approving anything to get the numbers up, and it really doesn't doesn't impress or attract customers.
    Look at the ipad vs. Android tablets for example. On paper you have as many or more apps available for Android tablets, except that they're all phone apps which look and feel terrible on a tablet. An ipad has a ton of quality apps available however, and is clearly the more popular choice with consumers.
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  21. Roo Zilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrackedBarry View Post

    And sure to a large extent its about the top 100 apps, but it's also about the long tail end of the app store. The more apps there are, the bigger the chances of you finding an app for your unique job/hobby/interest. (As an example, my son really likes his LEGO's, so I have a couple of LEGO apps on my phone and our ipad that we can use. Is it vitally important? Heck no. But it makes using an iOS device all the more useful, handy and enjoyable.)
    You're absolutely correct in this assessment. We tend to forget the niche apps, but really, it's the niche apps that make the ecosystem viable. Facebook, Twitter, Skype, et al, are all fine and dandy, but it's really the niche apps that make it uniquely yours. The average iPhone owner has over 100 apps on their phone, I bet out of the of millions of iPhone owners with more than 100 apps, no two people have the same set of 100 apps. Everybody has different interests, and thus use their phones uniquely. People talk about customization all the time, and how iOS is limited in that capacity. That might be true, but the the app selection more than makes up for it.
  22. Jtaylor1986's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roo Zilla View Post
    The problem is, selling to the rest of the world doesn't make money for RIM. This matter doesn't really come up, but RIM's future doesn't matter so much on the success of BB10, as much as the success of $600 BB10 devices. RIM could possibly sell large numbers of BB10 phones at $200 and less in emerging markets in a year or so, but they won't make any money doing it. Unless they can sell large quantities of the $600 phones, RIM will continue to tread water at best.
    The world is not divided up into emerging markets and the United States. There are hundreds of millions of people in very rich countries like Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, Western Europe etc that can afford to purchase high end phones that carry high margins for RIM. The US is very important but it's not USA or bust for RIM. Expand your perspective, the world is a big place.
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  23. Jtaylor1986's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kszys View Post
    I fully agree! These are those top 100 apps that make the difference. You can have 100 000 other apps available, and it will still not make any impact if most of the top 100 are not there.

    I am a BB user for 3 years. I can see currently virtually none of the apps I would like/need to use coming to BB10. This is not a good sign... I really do not want to move on to Android, but I may have to
    Exactly. This is why I'm not worried though because I expect BB10 to have the vast majority of the top 100 apps. There really isn't any 1 individual app that BB10 will live and die by so as long as they can cover the majority of their bases at launch and fill in the gaps as the platform grows they will be fine.
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  24. kbz1960's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roo Zilla View Post
    That's funny. I have yet to meet someone with a high end Android or iPhone who have less than 50 apps. Most have over 100.
    And how many haven't been used in forever?
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrackedBarry View Post

    And sure to a large extent its about the top 100 apps, but it's also about the long tail end of the app store. The more apps there are, the bigger the chances of you finding an app for your unique job/hobby/interest. (As an example, my son really likes his LEGO's, so I have a couple of LEGO apps on my phone and our ipad that we can use. Is it vitally important? Heck no. But it makes using an iOS device all the more useful, handy and enjoyable.)
    Excellent point about the long tail. i would argue that the long tail is even more important than the top 100 apps. Every platform is expected to have the "top 100" apps. It is the long tail that is the differentiator.

    Even if you have the top 100, consider that this is not a static list and new entries come up all the time. In the case of the Apple App Store, which remains the incubator and showroom for apps, this happens weekly. Out of nowhere a new app or game could just spring up and become really hot. This is the advantage of being in a large ecosystem, you get to enjoy these apps at launch. By the time it gets to the smaller ecosystems, the app could very well be old news.

    Another aspect of the long tail are the apps you use for work. My company supports GotomyPC and WebEx. Splashtop is not a solution on work machines. Other companies would have other combinations. You want your app store to support all of these combinations.
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