How BlackBerry fell so fast

The sorry state of the BlackBerry App World is one of the primary contributing factors to BlackBerry’s (BBRY) rapid demise. The company announced Monday that it plans to go private in a $4.7 billion deal that essentially places no value on BlackBerry’s core handset business.


BlackBerry’s new hardware has gotten some good reviews, but software is another story. Many of the most popular apps on the iPhone and Android are nowhere to be found. There’s no Instagram, Netflix (NFLX), Candy Crush or Google (GOOG, Fortune 500) Maps. Many of the big-brand apps that do exist for BlackBerry, including Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp, are infrequently updated and have received dismal reviews from users.

Meanwhile, BlackBerry news site BerryReview revealed last month that a single developer is responsible for 48,000, or 40%, of BlackBerry’s apps. Some of those apps developed by Hong Kong outfit S4BB many seem legit and functional. But many of them are either generic clones of other apps or possess minimal usefulness.

For example, one app made by S4BB is a “camera scanner” that converts photos to PDF files. Another turns off the sounds in your camera app. There are also hundreds of world factbooks, subway maps and city guides.


BlackBerry boasts the fact that there are 120,000 apps for its users to download. What the troubled company doesn’t tell you is that most of them — even the popular apps — are awful.