It takes a tough crowd indeed to overlook 70,000 applications available for any given device. Yet that is what several BlackBerry watchers appear to be doing, honing in on how the absence of a handful of big players may cause potential headaches for the company's new smartphone.
For BlackBerry — formerly known as Research in Motion — the lack of key apps could spell problems for its new unit. In a world where functionality is an integral part of smartphone popularity, the new BlackBerry's fortunes are tied to how many developers it can attract to its platform.
For BlackBerry's critics, however, its problem is less about quantity than quality.The company does have some impressive names already on board, including Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and Skype.
Yet conspicuously absent are Google Maps, a staple so important to smartphone users that a chastened Apple was forced to bring it back to its platform after briefly banishing it last year — and Instagram, Facebook's hugely popular photo software that boasts 90 million active monthly users.
(Read more: Apple's Messy Map Problem)