It’s Friday, which means it’s time to dig into some of the bigger BlackBerry stories of the past week. Normally I’ll pick one, maybe two, and focus on them. But this week I bounced among three stories. None is really big in itself, but each caught my eye. so without introducing the topics too much — they’re in the headline — let’s just get started. Yesterday I saw the darndest headline on BGR: RIM’s recent marketing blitz deemed a bust; BlackBerry 7 sales weakened in January. Really, now? While I think there’s room for legitimate criticism of RIM and its marketing practices, I had a feeling, before reading the article, that this would be oversimplified number — not even number crunching. Number reciting, really. I was not disappointed. As with most articles of this nature, the BGR bit included a quote from an industry analyst. The quote, like the headline, was predictable. “Our January checks indicated weak sell-through trends for the new BlackBerry 7 smartphones despite increased marketing efforts.” They then went on to compare to strengthening trends for the iPhone 4S and Android. Big surprise, right? Look, the BlackBerry 7 line didn’t sell that well to begin with. By the time they had come out, people had already left behind the BlackBerry brand. It’s not what BlackBerry fans want to hear, but it’s the reality of the matter. We’ve all known for a long time — before the BlackBerry 7 devices dropped, even — that BlackBerry 10 would be the make it or break it line for the company. BlackBerry 7 did accomplish its goal, though. It gave BlackBerry fans a quality upgrade option. I’m not sure RIM intended to win over new customers, or win back old ones, with a more powerful version of their old system. Of course, the report neglects something that almost all reports of this nature neglect. Yes, sales might have been weak in January, despite marketing efforts. But what would have sales looked like without the marketing campaign? Would they have only been marginally worse? Or would they have been significantly worse? Until we get an answer to that with an acceptable level of precision, the platitudes spilled by analysts are pretty meaningless. The profitable App World RIM did get some good news this week. At DevCon Europe, RIM’s VP for Developer Relations Alec Saunders shared some stats about App World’s usage. As it turns out, RIM does sell a decent number of apps — over two billion to date, which averages out to about 30 apps per BlackBerry user. He also cited the profitable nature of BlackBerry apps, but the data on that was a little more murky. In the above-linked Verge post, Vlad Savov notes that App World “generates 40 percent more revenue for developers, we’re told, than the Android Market.” That makes sense, since the Android Market contains many more free apps. Those free apps contain advertising, though, and that advertising revenue is not part of this data set. Still, according to RIM, 13 percent of App World developers have made six figures. That’s good in one way, but that $100,000 gets spread pretty thin. RIM still pushing BBM Music While it was a good idea, BBM Music hasn’t really caught on the way RIM had hoped. But they’re not giving up on it, which is admirable. I mean, it might be only 50 songs, and they might be available only on your BlackBerry, but the way you can expand your library by friending people is a pretty neat concept. Via the Inside BlackBerry blog, RIM has done even more to make it easy. You can now invite friends via Facebook and Twitter. Remember, the more friends you have, the bigger your BBM Music library. So invite anyone you can. Every one that signs up gives you access to 50 more songs. Another feature I dig: your “now playing” as your status message. Hey, if I see you playing a tune I like, or one I’m curious about, I’m going to message you about it. It seems like a great way to keep the conversation flowing and getting people to take full advantage of BBM Music. My favorite feature, though, is the ability to request a gift subscription. Don’t want to plop down your $5? Troll friends and family until you find someone who will pay it for you. All that’s at stake is a little dignify.