RIM has been trying hard to be relevant, yet again, in the smartphone market. So far, it hasn’t been successful but recently, images of a leaked BB10 device and before that, leaked images of BB10 operating system has intrigued the users and the developers, to say the least. The problem for RIM is that it won’t be able to port its pre-BB10 apps to BB10 devices. And for that, RIM will have to gear up a solid developer support for the BB10 platform.
In more than one ways, RIM’s future depends entirely on how well the developers respond to BB10 and whether or not they want to develop apps for the platform. The more bulks of apps BB10 gets, the more chances it will have of survival.
RIM has plans of bolstering this support by handing out BB10 devices to developers at the BlackBerry World Conference, scheduled for next week. With BlackBerry 10, RIM is taking a huge leap in that this piece of software is entirely removed from the software that ran on earlier, standard, BlackBerry devices. And that is why, there may be a chance that RIM may finally move its focus to HTML5 apps for BB10. RIM is already investing on the HTML5 front. The company has been adding increasingly greater support for HTML5 in its mobile browser too.
This wouldn’t be easy, of course. And RIM will have to work hard to make the transition successfully. According to former RIM vice president in charge of the global developer program, Tyler Lessard, ‘It’s a bit of a challenge. There’s very little or no compatibility between the old and new operating systems. Existing apps can’t be carried forward to QNX and BB 10. The question is, once the BlackBerry 10 smartphones launch, can RIM have an adequate catalog of apps?’
And that is the most critical question for RIM right now. Even when RIM will be handing out free BB10 device and developer kits for the development of apps, developer wouldn’t be moved unless they see the potential of BB10 platform. Like Lessard says, ‘Some developers see it as a good opportunity; others are taking a wait and see approach.’
According to the senior application development consultant with RIM’s BlackBerry Developer Relations group, Adam Stanley, ‘We’re becoming more of an ‘evangelizing’ team. We’re hiring new people to get out there and talk with developers at conferences, keynotes, local meetups, showing them and guiding them on Web development and preparing them for BlackBerry 10.’
While RIM’s future hangs on how well the developers accepts its BB10 platform, Stanley does seem hopeful. ‘We’re seeing a solid increase in WebWorks apps’ he says.