RIM says BlackBerry App World has 60K apps, 13% of publishers earn more than $100K

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Research in Motion announced on Tuesday that its BlackBerry App World is the second most profitable mobile application store behind Apple's App Store, beating out Google's Android Market.

At a developer's conference in Amsterdam, new RIM CEO Thorsten Heins was joined by vice president of developer relations, Alec Saunders, who declared App World to be the second-most-profitable mobile platform. He said that's based on the fact that RIM has more paid downloads available than the Android Market, where most software options are free, according to PaidContent.org.

Saunders also said that 13 percent of all application publishers on BlackBerry App World have made $100,000 or more. Those profits come from 60,000 applications that are available on App World.

Of course, BlackBerry's numbers pale in comparison to Apple, which is far and away the mobile application leader with more than 550,000 applications available for iOS, including more than 170,000 specifically designed for the iPad. Officials also announced in Apple's last quarterly earnings conference call that the App Store has now paid out over $4 billion to developers.

While Apple's market domination for paid mobile applications is no surprise, RIM's claims that its BlackBerry App World is more profitable than the Android Market is unexpected, particularly considering the company's recent struggles that contributed to its co-chairmen and CEOs stepping down. Developer Shaun Austin speculated via Twitter that RIM's BlackBerry platform doesn't attract "hobbyists" as much as more popular platforms like Apple's iOS or Google Android.

RIM also announced that its App World sees 6 million downloads per day, totaling 2 billion total downloads as of last month. In comparison, the iPad alone is estimated to have seen 3 billion downloads as of early January, while the iOS App Store topped 10 billion total downloads more than a year ago.

Heins, who took over as CEO of RIM last month, said on Tuesday that 65 percent of the population of Europe, the Middle East and Africa are still using feature phones, which he believes gives RIM an opportunity to regain some ground lost to iOS and Android. Though RIM was once dominant in the corporate world, it has lost traction there with major companies like Halliburton, as AppleInsider exclusively reported this week that the energy service corporation plans to phase out thousands of employee BlackBerrys and switch to Apple's iPhone.