Research in Motion (RIM) offered a $100 incentive to app developers and hosted two Port-a-thons, where BlackBerry and Android developers ported their previously written apps to BlackBerry 10. The result was a whopping 15,000 apps in just two days.
The Portathon was held on 18th and 19th January and was about 37 hours long. Apart from the 100 dollar incentive for approved apps, developers with more than five entries were entered into a lucky draw for a BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha device. The devices were later awarded to 200 developers. A free PlayBook was also offered to the first developers that submitted between two and five applications.
The Portathon was split into two sessions; the first was concentrated on porting Android apps, while the second session was dedicated to porting from other platforms. The developers were also promised that if the app makes more than a thousand dollars, RIM would make up the difference between what they earned and 10,000 dollars. With so many incentives on offer, the developers ported 15,000 apps in 37 hours which has to be some kind of a world record.
It is being speculated by several analysts that BlackBerry 10 is in direct competition with Google’s Android, and the only advantage held by Google is the larger number of available apps. That all can change now that 15000 apps have been added to BlackBerry’s app store in just two days.
The BlackBerry 10 will be out in a few days, and people are already calling it RIM’s best competitor to Android and Apple’s iOS. There are several hundred thousand apps available on Apple’s and Google’s app stores, so BlackBerry 10 will have a lot of catching up to do. However, the new product is expected to put BlackBerry back on track, as it has slowly lost market share to competitors over the last year.
If BlackBerry 10 is successful, it would not only bode well for RIM but it would be great for the smartphone industry on the whole. More competitors mean new innovative products and lower prices. It is expected that BlackBerry would be ideal for SMEs that need to equip their employees with smartphones.