BlackBerry Z10, the company's touch screen smartphone, is confirmed to be hitting AT&T shelves on March 22nd and people are still skeptical of the device. A possible cause of this skepticism: the failure of the European release. With lagging sales overseas, retailers slashed the price of the device to attract more users. Carphone Warehouse, for example, cut prices about ВЈ160, while Vodaphone cut ВЈ72, both a savings over the life of the contract.
Another reason some are hesitant to consider the Z10 as an option is the fact a mere 70,000 apps are available in the BlackBerry World store. When you compare this to 775,000 as of January 2013 in the Apple App Store and 700,000 as of November 2012 in the Google Play store, you can see why customers might balk at the $199 price tag. Well, in the weeks the world has waited for the Z10's US debut, it appears they have been busy stocking the BlackBerry World store's proverbial shelves with new apps.
100,000 And Counting
BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins, in an interview with the Australian World Financial Review, said that the BlackBerry World app count will likely surpass 100,000 just in time for the Z10's release. This is good news for BlackBerry fans, but it still remains to be seen if the apps to be offered will be of a good quality.
I mean, didn't your English professor ever explain to you that it isn't the number of pages in the essay, but the quality of the words themselves? It's the same idea here. You can quickly pump out app after app, but are they really worth paying for and/or installing?
Even putting the quality of the apps aside, there are users that still won't jump on board with only 100,000 apps. Why bother, when you can pick up an iPhone and have access to just over seven times that amount? In other words, BlackBerry needs to keep the apps coming, and attract the big-time developers that create the popular apps, which will in turn attract the customers to the Z10.
Some Popular Apps: Still Not On Board
Two specific apps that have a tremendous following, Instagram and Netflix, are hesitant to release BB10 versions of their apps. They are being cautious, waiting to see how great the platform really is, before wasting time and money developing a compatible app. Instagram has been working on an Android port of the popular photography app, but it's still quite messy.
Heins' response to these arguments: the company is working on changing their perceptions of the BB10 in order to get these popular apps in the BlackBerry World store. He thinks these companies, through the talks they have been having, are more comfortable with BB10, although he adds that the companies will likely remain hesitant until they see how the device fares after its release.
Heins has chastised Apple, calling them “conservative” in their development of iOS. He feels that innovations occur so quickly, almost at the speed of light, and if you don't change it up at that pace, you'll fall behind as a brand.
QWERTY Lovers Must Wait Longer
There are those who refuse to give up the QWERTY keyboard versions of their beloved BlackBerry. In another bad move for sales, the company has announced this version, combining the old-school QWERTY keyboard with an added touchscreen, won't be released until some point in May or June. It isn't clear how these moves will affect sales here in the US, but it doesn't appear it will help the company