BlackBerry VP of developer relations Alec Saunders today refuted reports that Blackberry pads its oft-boasted 130,000 thousand apps on Blackberry World with 48,000 “junk” apps from a single developer.
Saunders attributed the rumor to poor reporting in a recent CNN article titled “What killed BlackBerry: Terrible apps,” but some of the reports point to a BerryReview piece posted over a month ago as the original source, which states:
The first 20-30 actually seem like good to decent quality legitimate apps and then it rapidly goes downhill. There are tons of city guides (Gdynia, Poland anyone?), audio books (is an audiobook an app?), phrasebooks, and more available for BB10 and many times also BBOS.
The article’s contents were reposted on many other reputable sites throughout the web.
Saunders did admit that more than one quarter of BB10 OS apps do in fact come from Hong Kong-based developer S4BB.
“They’ve built a template application, and they have a methodology for going and getting information from public sources and combining it together in a meaningful way for customers.”
During my brief interview with him at Blackberry Jam in Hong Kong, a clearly agitated Saunders whipped out his BlackBerry to show me a city guide app – one of the 48,000 – to prove it wasn’t junk. “So they make a lot of them. More power to them,” said Saunders. “I would stand by this application in our store over lots of applications in other stores any day.”
Saunders called the allegations “a drive-by shooting” and “irresponsible reporting.” A brief glance at the app did indeed seem to be solid, though that isn’t necessarily representative of the rest of S4BB’s work. Saunders insists all of them are valuable and are not just for artificially cushion BlackBerry’s app numbers.
“I looked at the applications and said, ‘You know what? Those provide value.’”
(Editing by Steven Millward)