RIM, Appcelerator team on incentives for BlackBerry 10 developers
Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) is teaming with mobile development platform Appcelerator to offer incentives including financial rewards, free services and testing hardware to mobile software developers who build apps for the device maker's forthcoming BlackBerry 10 operating system revamp.
Appcelerator's Titanium platform will integrate a pre-release version of BlackBerry 10 on Dec. 7, giving developers and enterprises the tools to begin creating new apps or port their existing apps to the RIM OS. RIM and Appcelerator will give a free BlackBerry Dev Alpha test device to the first 1,000 Titanium developers who submit BlackBerry 10 apps to the BlackBerry App World storefront. In addition, up to 10,000 developers will receive one year of free Appcelerator Cloud Services and Analytics once their app is available for download. Developers may also apply for the BlackBerry 10k Developer Commitment program, which offers cash rewards to qualifying BlackBerry App World submissions.
The Appcelerator ecosystem spans more than 390,000 developers and 50,000 applications deployed across 90 million devices worldwide. Appcelerator adds that Titanium developers can use between 65 percent and 90 percent of their existing code as they adapt their software to run on BlackBerry 10 devices.
BlackBerry 10 runs on the same QNX-based software powering RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. Features include the new BlackBerry Flow user interface highlighted by BlackBerry Hub, which enables simplified access to all messages, notifications, feeds and calendar events. BlackBerry 10 also boasts BlackBerry Balance, which separates personal applications and information from encrypted work profiles, enabling organizations to protect their data while giving users the flexibility to optimize their devices for personal use.
RIM began accepting applications optimized for BlackBerry 10 last month and will release the final version of the BB10 SDK on Dec. 11. The first BlackBerry 10 devices are expected to reach retail in February 2013.
RIM is betting on BlackBerry 10 to reignite developer passion for its platform. According to a recent survey conducted by Appcelerator and research firm IDC, just 9 percent of respondents are very interested in writing BlackBerry apps, an all-time low. Forty percent of developers expressed strong interest in BlackBerry as recently as the first quarter of 2011, underlining the operating system's fall from grace. In comparison, 85 percent of respondents are very interested in building apps for Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone, and 83 percent express comparable enthusiasm for creating apps optimized for the iPad tablet.
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