RIM: 1 billion app downloads down, 14 billion to go to catch Apple

Beta version of the app store upgrade on the way

Research in Motion says  its two-year-old BlackBerry App World has crossed the 1 billion app download mark and that a beta version of the app store upgrade is on the way.

The news comes about a week after Apple crowed that its three-year-old App Store for iPhones and iPads had passed the 15 billion app download mark.  Apple crossed the 1.5 billion app download threshold about a year after the App Store opened but, of course, that was pre-iPad.

Google recently said its Android Market passed the 4.5 billion app download line.

BACKGROUND: How RIM is getting left behind

In a blog post, RIM says its BlackBerry App World is now seeing 3 million app downloads a day on average.  Those downloads come from both BlackBerry phones as well as the new PlayBook tablet computer.

The beta of BlackBerry App World 3.0 will start later this month and screenshots of it have started to leak out across the BlackBerry blogosphere. A minor update, Version 2.1.4.9, has already started to roll out.

Word of BlackBerry App World hitting the 1 billion app download milestone is a needed dose of good news for RIM, which has had a rough year that has included sliding earnings, product delays and mixed reviews for its PlayBook tablet.

Count Bob Brown among RIM’s customers. Follow his tweets at www.twitter.com/alphadoggs

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