To coincide with the milestone, Skype will be launching its cross-platform messaging service on the BlackBerry Z10 alongside the BlackBerry 10.1 firmware update, which will be rolling out to all users later today. Heins also confirmed that a number of other recognisable apps, such as Moog, iHeartRadio, SoundHound and Bloomberg Hub, will be available in the BlackBerry World store following the BlackBerry 10.1 release.
Skype has emphasized that its BlackBerry 10 app is still technically a preview version, although it will come with all of the usual features such as free voice and video calling, instant messages and the ability to call both landlines and mobile phones. The company says it will continue to work with BlackBerry “over the next few months” to refine and improve the app ahead of a full release.
Skype launched its app as a preview version for the BlackBerry Q10 in April; the second smartphone to adopt the BlackBerry 10 operating system, and one that has already been updated to version 10.1.
Heins also announced the BlackBerry Q5, a new mid-range smartphone running BlackBerry 10, at the company’s BlackBerry Live conference in Orlando today. It’s aimed at emerging markets and sports a familiar QWERTY keyboard, as well as a 3.1-inch touchscreen for all the usual swipes and gestures supported by the new platform. BlackBerry says the Q5 will be available in “selected markets” in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia – including the Asia Pacific region – and Latin America when it launches in July.
The 120,000 figure announced today is a significant improvement on the 70,000 apps that BlackBerry 10 launched with earlier this year. The issue, as always, is depth and quality throughout the store. Dozens of Web apps, combined with the absence of big name releases such as Instagram and Vine, will do little to change public perception about the BlackBerry 10 platform.
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