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RIM Developer Chief on the Future of BlackBerry, BBX

Al Sacco | Nov. 4, 2011
In September, not long before Research In Motion's (RIM) fourth annual BlackBerry Developer Conference--and just a month or so after the company's former BlackBerry development chief stepped down--RIM named a brand new VP of Developer Relations: Alec Saunders.

The main reason: Applications developed specifically for BBX, using native development tools, will be able to take advantage of everything the latest and greatest BlackBerry hardware has to offer, including graphics, display and processor enhancements, Saunders says. Because Android apps weren't built specifically for BlackBerry, they'll work but often won't be as "polished" or advanced as native apps.

Saunders thinks the Android Player creates a great opportunity for Android developers to quickly and easily cater to BlackBerry users via BlackBerry App World. But Android apps will still be at a disadvantage when compared to native apps for the above-stated reason, he says.

Why Saunders Thinks He's a Good Fit for RIM, BlackBerry

When asked why he's confident about joining RIM at a time when the company is steadily losing customers to Apple and Google and RIM stock is dropping like a lead weight from a skyscraper, Saunders calmly states that he has direct experience working with companies in major transitions.

"I have history doing this," he says. "I worked for Microsoft throughout the 90s, focusing on developers. I love developers. I like to work with them. I've walked in the shoes of people doing this kind of work."

Indeed, Saunders helped guide the Redmond-based software giant through a number of major software transitions, including significant Windows launches.

"The toughest problem (RIM and) BlackBerry have is that our story is not well told," Saunders says. "It's being drowned in market noise. People forget there's a beautiful opportunity here. The market needs to understand this. Our customers are loyal, developers are loyal. I want to bring techniques I learned [in the past] to the world of BlackBerry."




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