The launch of BlackBerry 10 on January 30th is a major event in the smartphone industry. RIM is going to redefine the BlackBerry brand with this all new platform. Along with the platform, RIM will also launch 2 new devices based on this platform.
For any smartphone platform to be successful in today’s smartphone market, it should come with an app store and it should be loaded with a lot of apps. One reason why Microsoft’s Windows Phone is not widely used is because of the fact that it lacks developer support, though the platform itself is unique and stable. Nevertheless, RIM has got this covered and it has been running programs where it would re-imburse developers for the apps they submit. Recently the Canadian company had a port-a-thon online event where in which it paid $100 for each app the developers ported to its new platform. This offer of course received a lot of attention and RIM received more than 15,000 apps in less than 2 days, which is a great achievement. It’s not clear how many of these apps were actually approved into BlackBerry World, nevertheless, RIM seems to have things under control as of now.
It is said that BlackBerry World will have 70,000 apps at the time of launch, and it was confirmed today by the leaked training materials. That’s a pretty good number considering RIM is aiming for quality vs quantity as said by the company’s chief:
“The tactic we are deploying is by country and by region. We are aiming to have the most important 200 to 400 apps available, because many applications are regional and they really do have a regional flavour,” RIM Chief Executive Thorsten Heins said. “In my view it is really short-sighted to say, you have 600,000, you have 400,000 and you only have 100,000 apps, so you are not good,” he said.
“Look at how many actually get downloaded. … BlackBerry App World today is still the most profitable portal for application developers – it has the highest number of paid for downloads.”
Though RIM claims that it has the app problem under control, it actually may not. According to the rumors, the company will be launching two new devices, the Z10 and X10 at the press conference this month. The Z10 is a full touch screen device whereas the X10 will come with a hardware qwerty keyboard. The problem is that RIM has been distributing the alpha developer’s handset to the developers and that device is similar to the upcoming Z10, which means the apps are optimized for Z10, and hence all the 70,000 apps won’t be supported by qwerty equipped X10 out of the box. The touch-only Z10 will have a 16:9 display with a 1280×768 pixel resolution, quite different from the X10’s 1:1 display at 720×720 pixels.
RIM spokesperson Victoria Berry explained the SDK for the traditional, Qwerty keyboard toting BlackBerry 10 devices will be available once BlackBerry 10 launches. Early adopters of BlackBerry X10 will surely face problems for at least few months because it will take good amount of time for developers to optimize their apps for the particular screen size. What are your thoughts on this?