Earlier today, a surprising new team made its presence felt in the mobile industry, as Research in Motion and Appcelerator joined forces to make developing for the BlackBerry 10 system a much more rewarding experience.
Under the program, those who developed applications for the BlackBerry 10 platform would be in line to get access to an array of incentives, from free testing hardware to outright financial reward.
Appcelerator is offering the opportunity to a field of over 390,000 total developers, who in turn have brought out over 50,000 applications total to their credit running on more than 90 million devices. With all those developers in play, it should be comparatively easy to get them on board and working to make apps for BlackBerry devices, especially in light of the fact that developers should – according to Appcelerator's projections – be able to reuse between 65 and 90 percent of their code to transfer apps from Android and iOS to BlackBerry 10.
As for specific incentives, there are surprisingly many. The first 1,000 developers to get an app produced and available for sale on BlackBerry App World will get a BlackBerry Dev Alpha test device at no charge. Up to 10,000 developers will get a year of free service from Appcelerator Cloud Services and Analytics following their successful app posting.
Those who post an app that gets approved will become part of the BlackBerry 10K Commitment, in which developers who earn at least $1,000 with their BlackBerry App World app get an additional amount directly from BlackBerry, assuming certain conditions have been met.
It's not just about free goodies, though, as RIM and Appcelerator call attention to the power of the Titanium platform in app development, including much faster time to market and analytics-driven results measures that allow app developers to see what's working and what isn't – and what, therefore, is more likely to sell – in a much more rapid fashion.
Appcelerator will be demonstrating Titanium support at the BlackBerry Jam Asia show running through tomorrow in Bangkok, Thailand, along with an on-site developer workshop.
RIM, meanwhile, plans a webcast for Titanium training and support starting December 10, 2012.
This is just the kind of thing that BlackBerry needed, really. BlackBerry's successes as a mobile provider have been on the outs for some time now as Android and iOS assert their dominance in the market and remain quite unchallenged. BlackBerry needs apps – good ones – to get users back and interested and using BlackBerry systems again.
It also needs apps to keep its current crop of users from jumping ship and heading for iOS and Android, which many already have.
A system of rewards for BlackBerry developers may well be the best idea that RIM could have to keep the current flock working and bring in more users. Reversing the losses at BlackBerry won't be easy, but it's clear they're not leaving without a fight.
Edited by Braden Becker