Breaking Down BlackBerry App World’s 15,000+ Apps


app world

According to RIM’s social media team, BlackBerry App World has recently surpassed 15,000 apps. But is this number really indicative of the number of true “applications” that are in App World? Lets take a look at how the numbers break down:

Business (468)
Education (209)
Entertainment (581)
Finance (242)
Games (1748)
Health & Wellness (437)
IM & Social Networking (186)
Maps & Navigation (282)
Music & Audio (629)
News (698)
Photo & Video (133)
Productivity (459)
Reference & eBooks (3068)
Shopping (115)
Sports & Recreation (469)
Test Center (6)
Themes (3797)
Travel (573)
Utilities (895)
Weather (52)
Total = 15,047

There are two types of “apps” that shouldn’t be included in this list and they are Themes and eBooks. Combined, these categories make up for 6,865 “apps” or 45.6% of App World’s total content. Granted, App World could avoid the argument and something like “App World has exceeded 15,000 ‘pieces of content’” or whatever, but it’s part of a greater problem of app stores racing to the most content while not focusing on quality versus quantity.

There are at least 1,000 “apps” in App World that are simply duplicating web content, and those also shouldn’t be considered apps. The Apple App Store is even more plagued with bogus content with thousands of web sites creating apps and duplicating web content. They also have the problem of “template apps” which take one concept and rebrand it a thousand times.

As App World continues to grow, we’re going to see a race to the bottom with content providers finding the cheapest and fastest way to get their content in to App World, and RIM is going to need a sophisticated system of keeping the junk at the bottom, or perhaps removing it entirely. Reviews are a pretty reliable way of doing this but as themes and eBooks grow, it may be worth stripping them out of App World entirely. Perhaps a BlackBerry Theme World or eBook World would help keep the real apps separate from the low barrier to entry content. Or even more radical of an idea, perhaps RIM should consider removing your app entirely from App World if it’s not seeing any uptake from users or getting too many negative reviews. Too harsh?

  • Eric at Ebscer

    Too many people think that the number means something, so RIM only has incentive to boost it.

    The one step they have taken to help, is removing themes from the top 25 lists…

  • Anonymous

    I wouldn’t care about what was in app world, if it didn’t insist on showing up every time I searched. With so many books included, it’s hard to search for a meaningful English word opr word pair without getting spammed with book results. I’m sure this is exactly as the publishers intended - but it’s pretty useless when you actually want to search app world.