RIM has let us know about one of their latest posts on the BlackBerry Developer Website. This posting contains some interesting information on App World, the BlackBerry OS, and BlackBerry Development. First, as seen in the image above, the majority of BlackBerry users are on OS 5 or 6. 78% of all free apps and 57% of paid apps are downloaded by these users.
That’s the first challenge that RIM needs to attack. Getting people to upgrade to the latest OS and/or latest device is a big part of a company strategy. RIM seems to be doing well with this on the PlayBook, where 90% of device owners upgrade to the latest OS in the first month of release, but they are falling behind in all other areas. I realize that many companies use older BlackBerry devices and that fact makes up for a huge part of these statistics, but RIM and developers shouldn’t have to be focusing on OS 5 at all.
Hit the break for the read more about these statistics…
Next, we see that BlackBerry devices running OS 7 account for 12% of free apps and 18% of paid apps downloaded. These numbers are decent, but still, when you’re on OS 7 as a company, you need to be getting users and their devices upgraded. I will; however, say this. With BlackBerry 10 coming, we should see these numbers change rapidly. BlackBerry 10 will put the BlackBerry hardware and software on par with the likes of iOS and Android devices. BlackBerry 10 will also use the RIM-based software update feature like the PlayBook has, so we can expect to see the vast majority of BB10 users on the latest OS when it comes out.
And lastly, the PlayBook download numbers. For a product that’s only a year old and makes up such a small chunk of the user base, the download numbers are pretty awesome. 22% of all paid apps downloaded in BlackBerry App World are PlayBook apps. That’s great news for both RIM and developers. The free PlayBook app downloads only account for 4% of all downloads. This number is most likely due to the fact that the vast majority of PlayBook apps are paid. Hopefully we will see more and more free developers come onto the PlayBook and this number can increase.
So, from a simple chart we can pull lots of information. RIM and developers are doing a good job with the PlayBook. But BlackBerry device purchasing and OS updating is falling behind. This just points to the future. The PlayBook was RIM’s first test of the next-gen, QNX-based OS, and it’s working out great. So when they launch the phone version of the OS, we should see both sales and app downloads taking off. And that’s a good thing no matter what your role in the BlackBerry ecosystem is.