With the release of their BlackBerry 10 beta development tools and Dev Alpha devices earlier today, RIM has made it very clear that they want to build up as much developer love as possible before BlackBerry 10 officially launches.
Well, as it turns out, that’s not the only thing they’re doing to attract devs. Alec Saunders, RIM’s VP of Developer Relations, revealed at BlackBerry World that RIM will guarantee developers of quality apps a minimum of $10,000 in annual earnings — if developers come in under the $10K mark during their first year, RIM will actually pay them the difference.
Ah, but there’s a catch (isn’t there always?). In order to qualify for RIM’s generous offer, the apps in question must meet a strict new quality certification program whose standards have yet to be laid concretely laid out. One thing is known for sure though — once an app has been officially approved for sale in the App World and nabs that new certification, it has to generate at least $1,000 on its own before RIM swoops in and cuts the developer a check.
Translation: the apps can’t completely suck. Sorry fart app devs, that means you.
It may not be the most novel approach — hell, just look at Microsoft’s track record — but it certainly drives home their developer-focused point. Frankly, it also smacks a bit of desperation. The one-time king of the smartphone realm now seems so hard up for more good apps that they’re willing to pay developers to build nifty things for their new platform.
Then again, with all of mud that’s been flung at RIM in the recent past, I can’t really blame for turning to payouts to make their platform a safer bet for developers. Creating rich, meaningful mobile content takes plenty of time and effort, and RIM is clearly doing whatever they can to make sure their app store gets some of that good stuff. Now the big question is whether or not RIM will be able to keep the momentum from this program going after they blow through their budget.