One of the main concerns surrounding Research in Motion’s (RIMM) upcoming BlackBerry 10 operating system is the lack of compatible applications. In this day and age, a mobile device is nothing without a strong app ecosystem. The large selection of apps in Google’s (GOOG) Play Store and Apple’s (AAPL) App Store has allowed both companies to flourish, and even Amazon’s (AMZN) app selection has helped the retail giant see success in the tablet market. In an interview with Forbes on Monday, RIM’s chief marketing officer Frank Boulben revealed that there will be more than 70,000 BlackBerry 10 apps at the time of launch.
While impressive, the number is relatively small compared to Google and Apple’s offerings, however, both of which have more than 700,000 apps in their respective stores. In fact, RIM will still trail the Windows Phone Marketplace, which is estimated to have roughly 100,000 apps.
Boulben, who joined the struggling smartphone vendor last year, said that he was excited to be part of “what could be the greatest comeback in tech history.” The executive notes that RIM has 80 million BlackBerry subscribers globally and actually gained an additional 2 million last quarter. He cites the company’s strong presence in markets outside the U.S. and its loyal fan base as reasons to not write RIM off just yet.
Despite all this, investors still can’t make heads or tails of the company’s future. Some have argued that RIM’s fate is sealed despite the reception of BlackBerry 10, while others believe its upcoming operating system could help it become next year’s comeback kid.
RIM will launch BlackBerry 10 on January 30th alongside a massive advertising campaign as it takes its crucial first steps toward what it hopes will be a major comeback.