Uh oh, BlackBerry, this is not a good look: BerryReview has noticed (via BGR) that around 48,000 apps available on BlackBerry World’s mobile app store are sourced from a single developer. S4BB, a Hong Kong-based company that also provided Palm software for that company’s PDAs back in the early days of mobile computing, is the prodigious company behind the massive catalogue, which includes such quality titles as “Theme,” “Easy Smiley Pack,” and “Search for Amazon.”
The apps, to be fair, offer up what their descriptions promise, though that isn’t much. S4BB seems to have nailed down a solid system for taking various content and putting into one of a variety of slightly different containers, which apparently makes them legit enough to pass muster with the BB World team. And the S4BB team isn’t putting funds into its website development, clearly, so all of the focus must be on mobile apps.
Other publishers including TP Soft also offer up a long list of apps on the store, and that’s not all that surprising or even specific to BlackBerry 10, as there are similar entities acting on both Google Play and the iOS App Store. The difference is one of scale: BlackBerry has made much of the size of its application store, which counted 120,000 apps in its stable the last time it publicized a number, and a third of those belonging to a single developer takes the issue to a whole new level compared to other stores.
“Developers in all app stores employ a number of different monetization tactics. BlackBerry World is an open market for developers and we let market forces dictate the success or failure of these tactics,” BlackBerry said in a statement provided to TechCrunch. “Discoverability in overcrowded stores continues to be an issue affecting all developers. This is why we have worked hand in hand with developers on the Built for BlackBerry program to help showcase apps and games that exemplify the power of BlackBerry 10.”
It also wasn’t a secret that the quality of the apps on BlackBerry’s new mobile platform wasn’t quite up to snuff versus its more established competitors, but bragging about library size isn’t something the company will likely be able to do for quite a while now, even with significant growth, at least not credibly. It’s bad news for a company that needs no more bad news, but also probably not likely to affect their fortunes significantly at this stage of the game, either.