BlackBerry bullish about app future - Mobile World Live

BlackBerry bullish about app future

26 SEP 2013

With the future of BlackBerry as a major app platform looking increasingly uncertain, the company is still attempting to generate developer interest among its developer partners.

Speaking at the BlackBerry Jam Asia developer event in Hong Kong, Alec Saunders, VP of developer relations for BlackBerry World, said apps remain a top priority and that the company is working to scale its app environment.

Saunders also said developers are now significantly more likely to recommend developing for BlackBerry than they were when BlackBerry 10 was first unveiled in May 2012.

In a bid to show that BlackBerry 10 is being embraced by major developers, a BlackBerry press release said more major brands are building apps for the platform.

These include Bloomberg, Citrix, Evernote, Rovio, Flipboard, QQ, Sina Weibo and WeChat.

“We remain focused on bringing relevant, sought-after apps to the BlackBerry World storefront, and we are excited to announce and welcome these new partners to BlackBerry 10,” said Martyn Mallick, VP of BlackBerry World and global alliances.

But with developer interest already proving hard to come by, recent events could make working with BlackBerry even less attractive.

According to the company, the vast majority of the 3.7 million devices that generated revenue in the quarter ending on 31 August were running the BlackBerry 7 platform, suggesting uptake of BlackBerry 10 is struggling.

In a further blow to developers, Blackberry said it will narrow its focus to the enterprise and prosumer sectors, ending a consumer strategy that has driven significant device sales in the past.

A large amount of the 131,000 apps currently in BlackBerry World are games, meaning the shift to enterprise will render these programs redundant, and limit the scope for developers to build apps for the platform.

Back in April, a survey conducted by app development platform provider Appcelerator found that just over 10 per cent of developers were “very interested” in developing for BlackBerry, around three times less than said the same about Windows Phone, which itself is struggling to make inroads into a market dominated by Android and iOS.

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Tim Ferguson

Tim joined Mobile World Live in August 2011 and works across all channels, with a particular focus on apps. He came to the GSMA with five years of tech journalism experience, having started his career as a reporter... More

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