Research In Motion (now Blackberry), the Canadian company that was once the bellwether of smartphone market, is now struggling to keep afloat. But with its latest offering the Blackberry Z10, the company hopes to turn things around for the better. Apart from going gaga over its awesome operating system, the app community has marveled at the enormous number of apps launched in Blackberry app store, called the BlackBerry World.
Unlike the new MS Windows OS which brought in bouquets and jeers in equal measure the Blackberry OS has come in for favorable reviews from users. Blackberry claims users will not find yawning differences between the Blackberry OS and Android or iOS. The OS is claimed to work beautifully and executes all commands using fingers of one hand earning the moniker of one-handed multitasking machine.
In addition Blackberry has put its heart and soul into building a vibrant app ecosystem.
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With apps being the buzzword today, Blackberry realized its best in class product offerings would falter if not backed with software accessories mainly the apps. In fact it is the lack of apps for its earlier avatars that saw Blackberry’s dominant market share of 45 % plummet to a mere 8% percent, post the entry of Android devices and iPhones.
Blackberry went out of its way to get many developer conferences going. Many new ideas cropped up and many among them became reality. Over 30 conferences themed on app development Over 30 conferences were hosted by Blackberry which also provided its devices to app developers to build test and develop the Blackberry app pool.
To drive this program further Blackberry announced its 10K Developer Commitment program. As per this program an app developer is entitled to receive the remaining of 10,000 dollars if his app is popular enough to have made 1000 dollars within a year of its launch but is unable to generate 9000 dollars to complete the 10K tally. Furthermore the app will be certified Built for Blackberry, more like a Hall of Fame certification!
The result of all this effort is that apps by dozen have flooded the Blackberry app store. The company has marked these apps as free and paid. So apps like Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Whatsapp and so on are freely available for download, other like the gadgetbox, clone camera, games apps and so on are available for a price. The price of apps ranges from ninety nine cents to under a thousand dollar per app.
As per the latest reports the number of apps has crossed 100,000 and still growing.
People who swear by Blackberry are dwindling in numbers prompting Blackberry to arrest this trend. It needed a fresh infusion of miracles and that is what it has been going about to achieve. With its continued active support, the app community can develop apps that are robust and malleable to tweaking to stay relevant in the dynamic app market.
It is to be seen if Blackberry would also encourage business tinged apps in areas like mobile retail, mobile banking, mobile health and so on. Mobile development companies are sure to lap up the latest operating platforms to venture into another segment of mobility.
The days of high profile executives brandishing Blackberry devices are set to come back, if the trend to resurrect its market share bears fruit.