With the release of its BlackBerry 10 (BB10) platform mere weeks away, it appears Research In Motion (RIM) is doing all it can to get the word out and get people talking about the new platform.
According to Computerworld, the company’s efforts included hosting a recent “portathon” to build a base of mobile applications for BB10. For the event, RIM offered various incentives—including U.S.$100 for each app approved and chances to win development devices and invitations to RIM events—to developers in exchange for them porting apps and programs to BB10. The result was 15,000 app submissions in just under two days.
RIM targeted Android developers as well as those focused on other platforms such as Appcelerator, Sencha and PhoneGap, among others.
Yankee Group Senior VP of Research Wally Swain comments
“While we have confidence in RIM’s ability to deliver quality hardware and we find what we have seen of BlackBerry 10 compelling, the new device platform’s success will be driven by the richness of the apps on offer. This is particularly true of an important category of potential clients: former BlackBerry users who have switched to Android or iOS. If switching means losing the apps that they have loaded to personalize their environment, it’s likely they will stick with their new devices instead of returning to BlackBerry.
And while the huge number of apps on the Apple App Store and Google Play sound ridiculous, it means there is a very long tail of people using very specific apps. It is not just necessary to have a travel expense manager available; potential buyers will want the specific travel expense manager they are accustomed to using or they won’t switch. That is why portathons like this one are so important and why 15,000 sounds like a big number. However, it may not matter if the right apps are not available.
Apple-specific apps like FaceTime will not be there for obvious reasons. Skype will not be there because it is a Microsoft product now. WhatsApp says it has no plans to support BlackBerry 10. That will pressure RIM to think about a multiplatform version of BBM. We have recently seen the importance of having Google Maps on a device. Facebook and LinkedIn have already been ported.
Convincing die-hard BlackBerry fans is one thing. Convincing the non-BlackBerry faithful to switch to BB10 will depend on the apps.”
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News | June 19, 2013