RIM Puts Strong Focus on Recruiting Developers

By Wayne Rash  |  Posted 2012-05-03 Print this article Print


But Bocking also noted that RIM already has a large collection of apps that will run on BlackBerry 10 devices. €œExisting PlayBook apps will work on BlackBerry 10,€ he said. €œThose need to adapt to a slightly smaller screen and portrait first orientation,€ he added. He said new app submissions are up significantly since the announcement of BB10. €œWe had our best ever quarter last quarter for app submissions,€ Bocking said, adding that the numbers were up 240 percent for QNX apps for the PlayBook€”all apps that can easily be tweaked for BB10 devices, he noted.

Bocking also said that RIM is considering licensing BlackBerry OS 10 for a variety of devices, not so much for makers of handheld devices such as HTC or Samsung, but for embedded and automotive devices. Earlier Heins had noted that 60 percent of the cars on the road use QNX software, and Bocking said that these devices could support BB10.

Bocking said interest in developing for QNX and BlackBerry 10 is growing rapidly. He said developers are finding that BlackBerry users are willing to pay for their apps instead of expecting them to be free. He also said developers appreciate the fact that BlackBerry App World effectively eliminates piracy and that it gives them an effective way to monetize their efforts over a very large global user base.

BlackBerry is growing worldwide, Heins noted, and while it€™s losing market share in the U.S., that€™s not the case in other regions. In some areas, Heins said, RIM is able to position BlackBerry devices to compete effectively with feature phones by offering less expensive, much more basic devices than the company sells in North America and Western Europe.

While Bocking wouldn€™t say publically exactly how many apps will be in BlackBerry App World when the BlackBerry 10 devices appear, he did say that the numbers will be substantial. He noted that RIM is working closely with developers to give them the tools they need to develop for the device, including providing devices for developers to use, as was the case at BlackBerry Jam, the developers conference that happened concurrently with BlackBerry World in Orlando. €œWe are treating our external developers as if they were internal by making sure they have early access,€ Bocking said.

Of course, it€™s impossible to know for sure whether the efforts of Heins, Bocking and others will be able to reverse the slide that BlackBerry has suffered due to the mismanagement by the previous team. But at least from the outside, it does seem that they recognize their problems and have a plan for overcoming them. This alone should be good news for RIM.

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Wayne Rash Wayne Rash is a Senior Analyst for eWEEK Labs and runs the magazine's Washington Bureau. Prior to joining eWEEK as a Senior Writer on wireless technology, he was a Senior Contributing Editor and previously a Senior Analyst in the InfoWorld Test Center. He was also a reviewer for Federal Computer Week and Information Security Magazine. Previously, he ran the reviews and events departments at CMP's InternetWeek.

He is a retired naval officer, a former principal at American Management Systems and a long-time columnist for Byte Magazine. He is a regular contributor to Plane & Pilot Magazine and The Washington Post.

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