Skip to main content

Will RIM's $10K offer make developers turn on Google, iOS?

Is RIM's offer to developers too little too late?
RIM's offer may come off as desperate, and it may be too little too late

Research in Motion has finally begun showing off BlackBerry 10, and it's a doozy.

Blackberry 10 is very clearly aimed at winning over the Android and iOS crowd, who are easily enchanted by more user-friendly interface features and thriving app stores.

To that end, RIM announced a series of partners - including Endomondo, Gameloft, Mippin, Occipital, PixelMags, Poynt Corp., Truphone, and Wikitude - who've already thrown their support behind BlackBerry 10, as well as an enticing offer.

RIM guaranteed that BlackBerry 10 apps that earn BlackBerry Quality Certification (those that make at least $1,000 initially) will go on to earn $10,000 in their first year, or RIM will make up the difference.

Competing with the big boys

It's difficult for many app developers to see past the dominance of Google Android and Apple iOS, which currently holds 51 percent and 30.7 percent respectively of the US smartphone market, according to Comscore's latest figures.

With those markets already established and booming, why bother developing for a brand new and unproven platform?

RIM already holds 12.3 percent of the U.S. market, which is more than Windows Phone's 3.9 percent, though RIM's number declined - like their shares did after the Blackberry 10 reveal.

Similarly, around last month's release of the Nokia Lumia 900, Microsoft began offering incentives like free phones, free advertising and funding to developers willing to jump to Windows Phone.

But Microsoft's share of the smartphone market is down overall as well.

Too little too late?

RIM's offer may come off as desperate, and it may be too little too late.

The BlackBerry App Store currently hosts around 10,000 apps, while Windows Phone has 65,000, and Android and iOS devices have access to hundreds of thousands of apps in their respective app marketplaces.

The $10,000 incentive may not be enough for some developers to switch to RIM's significantly smaller install base.

Even if they do wow developers, BlackBerry 10 will likely need to have some more tricks up its sleeves if it's going to compete with the big boys.