RIM in the pursuit of 'App'iness
| by Naina Khedekar
RIM has been one of the most talked about companies of 2011, albeit, not for all good reasons. Evidently, the year has been a tad sour for the company. Although, it may have lost the top spot in the U.S. market, the company claims to be doing well in Asia. At a conference held in Mumbai, RIM’s Head of Alliance and Developer Relations, Annie Mathew along with Sham Banerji - Chairman and CEO, i2i TeleSolutions, Kyati Bhulla - Product Manager, Sarla Analytics, Ranjit Singh - CEO, Manthan Studio, Ashwin Kandoi - Direcor, Winjit Technologies and Prashant Singh -Product Manager, Spice labs. Annie, along with BlackBerry app developers from across India put across the BlackBerry App World scenario in varying categories like games, health, spirituality, business and more.
The BlackBerry App World has been expanding with over 50,000 applications, over a billion downloads from the App World and 5M+ daily downloads. It supports 26 currencies and 400,000+ application developers across the world. BBM is one of the key and popular features among BlackBerry users with 50 million BBM subscribers.
According to Annie, the BBM connected apps are doing really well in the BlackBerry App World, calling it a horizontal category, rather than picking a standard category. Any app with BBM connectedness adds to the extra value. This has been trending in the BlackBerry App World, she adds. BBM APIs were made available to developers six months back and it has shown a tremendous rise since then and the uptake by the Indian community has been large. In fact, it is not just the BBM trend; the newer technologies have been widely accepted by the Indian app developers, like augmented reality and NFC.
On comparing to other platforms (read iOS and Android), Annie also says that BlackBerry has overcome many challenges and is improving by opening up more and more APIs to developers. She believes in putting the power in developers’ hands and the newer BB10 version is going to be phenomenal with advanced functionalities.
Now, this isn’t possible until the end of next year, but Annie says that BBM10 device will make it anytime around the second half of the year. All we can say, hope it’s not too late for BlackBerry.
The recent events haven’t been great at BlackBerry with the BBM outage and the most recent delay of the BBX device… we mean BlackBerry 10. The BlackBerry 10 is supposed to be RIM’s response to the improved OSes emerging from the mobile terrain. However, the device is said to be delayed until later next year, because the makers are awaiting the production of an essential chipset. Releasing products way long after their announcements is something we’ve seen BlackBerry doing for a long time now. With iOS, ICS, rumored Jelly Bean and Windows and Nokia alliance, BlackBerry needs to speed up. Waiting until later next year, may just cost BlackBerry more than expected.
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