A Peak into the BlackBerry App Strategy

BlackBerry is trying to play the iPhone apps game and still create something distinctive. In general the RIM platform needs to create a better "home grown" (as opposed to Opera) mobile browser experience and offer enough apps to keep App World generally competitive with the iPhone. It doesn't need to cultivate 100K apps, but it needs to have "enough" in each category. That's something of a moving target but there are clearly diminishing returns when the numbers get too large -- and discovery becomes a problem. 

Simply duplicating what the iPhone or others (e.g., Android) are doing is probably not a winning strategy for RIM. But an interview with ZDNet offers a peak at how RIM will seek to differentiate and distinguish the BlackBerry apps experience from the competition. 

Here's an interesting bit from the interview with RIM Senior Vice President Alan Brenner:

This notion of enabling deep integration is distinctive, and it speaks to our traditional strength as BlackBerry — which is we make the applications work together, and their functionality is orchestrated around users' needs and tasks and objectives, rather than [around] the features of an application.

So the idea is to make BlackBerry apps work with the core functions of the handset and software at a deeper level than the iPhone or other smartphone apps platforms, where the apps are like stand-alone sites and basically don't integrate much with the handset (save the camera and location awareness). 

We'll see how this turns out in practice but conceptually it's very interesting.