RIM to spice BlackBerry 10 AppWorld with local flavors

Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:43pm EST
 

By Euan Rocha

WATERLOO, Ontario (Reuters) - Research In Motion is pushing for app quality, not quantity, with its make-or-break BlackBerry 10 devices set for launch on January 30, and targeting applications to customers in various regions.

RIM's projected 100,000 apps - a record for any new platform at launch - will still be a fraction of those available on Apple Inc or Google Inc devices.

But it is a stronger showing than RIM's PlayBook tablet computer which was slammed at its 2011 launch for a dearth of apps and incomplete software.

In an interview with Reuters on Wednesday, RIM Chief Executive Thorsten Heins admitted that app libraries play a crucial role in the success or failure of smartphones. But he said the game is not just about numbers.

"The tactic we are deploying is by country and by region. We are aiming to have the most important 200 to 400 apps available, because many applications are regional and they really do have a regional flavor," Heins said.

RIM says it aims to offer both the most popular applications in the market, and also those most relevant to Blackberry aficionados - people Heins described as hyper-connected multi-taskers who need to get things done.

RIM's ultra-secure BlackBerry was once the smartphone of choice for government and corporate elites. But rivals have taken giant bites out of RIM's market share, especially in North America, and the company's stock has slumped. The BlackBerry remains popular in many emerging markets, partly for its popular BBM messaging system.

With this in mind, RIM has hosted events with developers across the globe.   Continued...

 
Research in Motion President and Chief Executive Officer Thorsten Heins discusses the upcoming release of BlackBerry 10 during an interview at the RIM offices in Waterloo November 14, 2012. Research In Motion Ltd plans to introduce its new line of BlackBerry 10 smartphones on Jan. 30, the company said on Monday, giving investors a measure of confidence the long-awaited devices are approaching the finish line. REUTERS/Mike Cassese