RIM has announced that it is extending the deadline for Built for BlackBerry after receiving more than 19,000 applications. One of several incentive programs launched by RIM to attract developers for BlackBerry 10, Built for BlackBerry is meant to highlight apps that have “passed an added level of evaluation” and will receive extra marketing from RIM through several channels.
The Ontario-based company, which recently re-branded its store from BlackBerry App World to BlackBerry World, also held a series of “Port-A-Thons” to help developers port apps built for other platforms over to BB10. Last weekend’s event brought in more than 15,000 apps, according to the company. There may be as many as 104,000 apps available by the time BB10 launches on January 30.
Alec Saunders, RIM’s vice president of developer relations and ecosystem development, said back in September that BB10 will have more apps at launch than any other mobile operating system. But, as CNET UK’s Crave blog noted, that might not be enough to help BB10 catch up as it vies with Windows Phone for third place after Android and iOS. The company’s market share has plummeted over the past year, falling to 5.3 percent of the global smartphone market, down from 11 percent in the year-ago period, according to research by Gartner. Its fiscal Q3 2013 earnings report was slightly better than the analysts’ lackluster forecasts, but revealed a drop in its subscriber base from 80 million to 79 million during the quarter.
RIM CEO Thorsten Heins recently told German newspaper Die Welt that he has not ruled out licensing BB10 to other manufacturers, and that his company is also open to the possibility of selling its hardware production business.