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RIM bets on BBX to reel in app developers

Brad Reed | Nov. 4, 2011
RIM is tailoring its upcoming BBX operating system to meet the needs of developers who want a simple and profitable way to sell their mobile applications.

"People who are really good designers can now program a great UI and can do it without having to get programmers involved in the same way," Saunders explains.

And finally, RIM wants developers to utilize BlackBerry Messenger more to help make their apps more interactive. Saunders notes that while there are currently only 200 apps on App World that are connected with BlackBerry Messenger, those apps represent around "10% of downloads in a given month." Saunders says the primary virtue of BlackBerry Messenger is its ability to quickly and easily send information to other users. For instance, he notes that FourSquare has happily embraced BlackBerry Messenger as a mechanism for its users to send around their location data with ease.

All told, then, RIM is making a major push to take back a leading role in the world of mobile apps. This is somewhat of a shift from a company whose co-CEO last year said that mobile applications were a secondary factor for RIM since the company was primarily focused on delivering the best Web experience and not on getting the latest applications. And while RIM has been in a state of limbo for most of the year the company is betting that its new platform will spark new interest in the company and generate more innovative apps.

"Developers are making money on the BlackBerry platform," Saunders says. "And the BBX platform is a rich palate that developers can use to create even richer experiences."


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