Despite BlackBerry 10 Delay, RIM Begs Developers to Keep Working

RIM is apologizing to developers for delaying the release of BlackBerry 10. Calling their dedication and excitement "gratifying and humbling," the company pledged that RIM would try to be worthy of their trust and support.

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion, after disappointing shareholders, is working to assuage another group hard hit by the news that the long-delayed BlackBerry 10 platform won€™t be released until early 2013.

Alec Saunders, Research In Motion€™s vice president of developer relations, wrote in a June 30 post on the Inside BlackBerry Developer Blog that RIM remains €œstrongly committed€ to its developers.

€œYou€™ve got businesses to run, rent to pay and investors to answer to,€ Saunders wrote. €œYou are the folks who have skin in the game now, and aren€™t just waiting for a new phone personally. We know this delay affects you, and we€™re sorry.€

During RIM€™s June 28 earnings call, CEO Thorsten Heins shared that the platform€™s release had to be pushed from late 2012 to early 2013. The integration of such a large volume of incoming code, he explained, would take more time than originally expected.

€œI will not deliver a product to the market that is €¦ anything less than an outstanding user experience with the quality I expect a BlackBerry product to have,€ Heins said in his opening remarks. €œThere will be no compromise on this issue.€

Heins went on to share that RIM had suffered a $518 million loss during the quarter, and to save money was cutting 5,000 jobs, roughly a third of its workforce.

Michael Finneran, president of dBrn Associates, believes that in that pummeling of bad news, the delay of BlackBerry 10 was €œthe death blow.€

€œRIM's product line is simply not competitive. Even at its best, BlackBerry 10 would have challenges, as the initial devices were to be the first RIM smartphones without a keyboard, one of the features that had kept many of the remaining RIM fans loyal,€ Finneran wrote in a June 29 blog post on No Jitter. €œWith Apple poised to introduce the iPhone 5 later this year and an ongoing torrent of Android devices pouring onto the market, this is the worst of all failings.€

RIM€™s Heins, offering shareholders what good news he could, talked about how €œencouraged€ and €œexcited€ the company is by the traction that BlackBerry 10 has received with developers and content partners. The company is currently hosting a 23-city BlackBerry 10 Jam World Tour€”a series of daylong events acquainting developer communities with the ins and outs of BlackBerry 10€”that Heins said is sold out in London, Barcelona, Berlin, Toronto, Montreal, New York, Santa Clara and Singapore (though it€™s difficult to imagine RIM turning anyone away).

€œDevelopers are excited by the Dev Alpha form factor, high-resolution display and the horsepower that allows for fast and powerful apps that can stream content quickly and easily,€ Heins went on, referring to RIM€™s upcoming smartphone. €œDevelopers have already embraced the BlackBerry 10 platform, showcasing apps at BlackBerry World in May, the camera integration, our first-in-class HTML5 browser and a social ability for apps beyond anything we€™ve seen on a BlackBerry before.€

With the hard work and enthusiasm of developers some of the only good news that RIM has to report, Saunders, in his post, begged them not to leave.

€œOver the last few months, the level of excitement, dedication and pride from our developer partners and from our employees has been both gratifying and humbling for me,€ he wrote.

€œMy pledge to you is that we will continue to work with you, to invest with you, to create opportunities with you, to be successful with you, and to be worthy of the trust and support you have given us.€

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