RIM opens BlackBerry 10 marketplace for submissions
Will $10,000 woo the developers?
RIM has opened its BlackBerry App World store to applications for its forthcoming BlackBerry 10 operating system, with a truckload of incentives to get developers onside.
"This is a huge opportunity to be the first into the store and capitalize on app-hungry BlackBerry users," announced Alec Saunders, RIM’s VP of developer relations.
The company is running an international BlackBerry Jam Enterprise tour in October and November, with five US events, four in Europe, and possibly two in Latin America. The free sessions will cover topics like porting Java applications to the platform, developing enterprise apps, and tweaking for performance and stability, with some developers getting BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha devices.
Developers submitting early will get the first crack of the whip on the sales-boosting front page, with those sent in by October and November getting preferred status. RIM is also promising $10,000 to those applications it judges "Built for Blackberry," provided they shift $1,000 of product themselves.
The launch is aimed at solving RIM's biggest problem. The company ignored apps for far too long, and despite denials from management, RIM is losing the attention of mobile developers. Android and iOS clearly have the bulk of the market and RIM now needs to win back support quickly - not only to maintain its status but to fight off Ballmer's boys pushing Windows Phone 8.
Chucking $10m into the pot for 1,000 good applications could well be a good deal for RIM, but will developers bite? At September's BlackBerry Jam conference RIM showed off a smattering of new BlackBerry 10 applications (sometimes while breaking into song) and promised full social networking integration to the handset, but it'll need more than that to make an impression.
Saunders stuck to the company's forecast of a Q1 release for the new operating system, but shareholders will be keen for something to mitigate RIM's quarterly results in February, and the stock price is down 90 per cent from Valentine's Day last year. RIM's shares had another fall on Tuesday as an analyst's note suggested the new OS won’t be launched until March.
In financial terms, BlackBerry 10 has to work for RIM. While the last quarter's results showed a loss of $235m while increasing subscribers slightly, the company is sitting on reserves of $2.3bn and it'll take a fair chunk of that to prime the pump for the new operating system's launch. After that, it's got to rely on bringing back old CrackBerry addicts and winning over new users.
The company has a lot of strengths. It's still got strong support in government and some enterprise sectors, is good on security, the Messenger platform is very popular with younger buyers, and CEO Thorsten Heins has whipped the company into the most efficient shape it has been in a long time, even adding to the company's slush fund last quarter. In a year or so from now we'll know if he can pull it off. ®
I can see
Lots of people kicking themselves up the arse and whinging if the BB10 system turns into a winner for the corporate market.
Lets face it, most companies have BB servers to control their own mail, I certainly would not outsource my corporate mail to a supplier who is located abroad under "ask and we'll divulge all their data" US laws.
There's a reason RIM hasnt died a lingering death, same as 1980's Apple, they have a niche market that will never die away and one day MAY just bite everyone in the arse (Like Apple) with a suprise product.
I rememeber the same naysayers talking about "I would never develop Android apps, no ne would want them, small market etc etc"
"technically it's time not spent doing other work..."
If you can reliably generate a hundred bucks an hour doing 'other work' rather than coding mobile apps, then consider yourself lucky. If you can't, then your time isn't really worth that much, and the economics change rather significantly...
By the way - from my dabbling in the mobile apps idea, I hypothesize that you're probably better competing with 1,000 apps over 5m(or whatever) subscribers on BB than you are with 200,000 apps over 100m (or whatever) subscribers on android / ios. Say what you will about writing a game for the PlayBook, but if you write a strategy game, it *will* be on the first page of results in that genre... Good luck getting any eyeballs when you're competing with 10,000 other apps instead of 100.
@ Gary Riches
Have you looked at the new dev toold for BB10?
They are developed to make it quick and easy to port an app you have developed for Android or iOS to BB10.
They have also made it simple to use all they new features,and you can pretty much coose which language to write in, java, c, c+ etc.
Take another look, you might be able to rejig your app for BB for a very small amount of time compared to doing anoter for iOS from scrat