By Jonathan Charles | Jul 09, 2012 01:23 PM EDT
RIM, the makers of the BlackBerry devices, has been in the news recently for the wrong reasons: a potential Microsoft buyout, mass layoffs and the delay of its reboot BlackBerry 10 mobile operating system until 2013. The company has proven there is some good news, though: its app store - BlackBerry App World - has registered 3 billion downloads.
With a billion downloads registered in the last six months, that averages at 2.5 million app downloads a day. That's with just 90,000 apps available, a sign of the company's position behind competitors iOS (Apple) and Android (Google) which have broken the half a billion total apps market in the respective marketplaces.
In March 2012 Apple announced there had been 25 billion app downloads across 650,000 apps, while Android got 20 billion downloads across 600,000 apps by June 2012. Even Microsoft, which is considered to be in third place in the smartphone space, has struggled to maintain growth momentum despite growing at a faster pace than iOS and Android during the launches of those platforms.
During Q1 2012 BlackBerry lost $518 million and its revenue decreased from $4.2 billion to $2.8 billion from Q1 2011.
iOS and Android devices have simply made features RIM offered less meaningful, such as BlackBerry Messenger: Apple introduced iMessage, a cross-iOS device chat service that's free. There's also apps such as WhatsApp that allow users to chat across different platforms providing the app is installed. BlackBerry Messenger is a built-in IM client for BlackBerry devices; users give out codes to add other users.
Mass layoffs also revealed RIM could be relieving up to 6000 employees and its Canadian manufacturing partner will reduce the amount of BlackBerry devices produced, until production is ceased within the next 3 to 6 months.
BlackBerry 10 was seen as a reboot for the platform, skipping versions 8 and 9. It brought a virtual keyboard that predicted what users would type by showing the word above letters, which could be selected by swiping upwards. There was also a post-shoot photo editing tool that allowed users to effectively rewind frame-by-frame.
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