There is no doubt about the fact that Apple are doing well with their online application store, over a billion downloads in under a year is a pretty impressive figure. However, it seems now that other companies have seen this success and want a slice of the action. Just looking at the popularity of the app store, I can't really blame them for having a touch of the green-eyed monster.
This piece of news courtesy of Bloomberg.com reports that Research in Motion Ltd have recently doubled the amount of applications available for their BlackBerry handsets in an attempt to lure the spotlight away from Apple's success in this matter. RIM will develop this idea by allowing users abroad to also be able to download their dedicated BlackBerry applications. The first to be able to take advantage of this, according to Jeff McDowell, vice president of global alliances will be: Italy, France, Germany and Spain with access further provided to accommodate Brazilian and Indian user in the coming months.
In terms of upping the game, this can be considered as a bit of a futile attempt. Even with the increased amount of downloads, RIM are still trailing Apple's amount of applications by less than five percent.
Apple, having more than 50,000, makes its devices more attractive to consumers, according Needham & Co.'s Charlie Wolf.
"RIM is at an increasingly competitive disadvantage," said the New York-based analyst. "That hasn't caught up with them yet -- I suspect it will." He goes on to advise buying Apple shares and holding onto RIM stock. Bad news for RIM, perhaps their efforts in terms of competitive expansion have been a little too little. However even with the previous comment, Research in Motion seem to be 'very happy' with the development though declines to disclose the exact figure. McDowell believes that it is more about quality of a broad range rather than sheer number. He states that the App World has enough variety of music, videos and games for its customers to be able to compete with Apple's offering.
"I don't think it matters whether it's 40,000 or 2,000, you've still got a broad range of choice."
I'm not so sure we'll see RIM causing Jobs any loss of sleep just yet. It's great to see another company bring something similar to the field, although i think this expansion needs a little more time before we can make a proper decision as to the outcome.