back to article RIM's apps revolution swings on Blackberry 10

"I'm a Java developer. What can I do to bring my apps over to BlackBerry 10?" asks an attendee at BlackBerry Devcon Europe in Amsterdam this week. The answer comes back: "Rewrite your code." The exchange illustrates how deeply RIM is changing its mobile platform: from the Java-based BlackBerry OS used in current smartphones to …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    mobile OS? just one.

    This is a purely practical response to the developer question;- 1

    The reason is that clients dont want to pay 3 times for their app to be on all devices (iOS, Android, Blackberry).

    As an app developer doing native iOS and Android, the thing i keep my eye on the most is the cross-platform tools;- Air/Flex, Appcelerator, PhoneGap etc.

    Its simple economics, but if i had to choose one, it would be Android. Apple are like King Canute in their arrogance and blackberry is a nice to have for clients, but its to support existing users, new users are going to iPhone and Android, not blackberry.

    1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

      Canute wasn't trying to hold back the tide, he was trying to prove to his councillors and people that he *couldn't* hold back the tide. They wanted to declare him divine, he didn't want to be a god so he sat on the beach and let the water come past him as proof that he couldn't hold it back.

      It annoys me when people get it wrong. I can understand why people get it wrong (it's such a great metaphor that I can even forgive it sometimes) but it annoys me, nonetheless.

      1. Kristian Walsh

        How dare you...

        ... bring facts into a discussion thread!

        ...I never knew that about the old Canute story, though. Have a thumb-sticking-up-gesture :)

  2. Nate Amsden

    late 2012

    Didn't RIM already say Blackberry 10 for phones would be coming late 2012?

    "Though BlackBerry 7.1 certainly isn't BlackBerry 10, RIM's upcoming OS that's built on a new and completely different software foundation, it's definitely worth the update, and it ought to help tide over anxious CrackBerry users until BlackBerry 10 becomes available in late 2012 or early 2013."

    Which to me means probably late Q1 2013. I recall last year many people were commenting how the new mobile OS would be out in Q1 2012.

    Sad to see RIM crash and burn so much, their current decline combined with a disruptive upgrade I think will only cause further erosion in their market share in the next few years. Really doesn't seem that long ago that RIM's stock was a market darling reaching to new heights every few days/week.

    "Halliburton Co. became the latest major enterprise customer to abandon RIM on Tuesday in favour of Apple’s iPhone, the Canadian company’s largest rival. The Houston, Texas-based firm — among the largest energy services providers in the world – plans to replace about 4,500 company-issued BlackBerrys with iPhones within two years."

    not that I am a fan of apple, quite the opposite in fact. My smart phone platform of choice is WebOS so I know how RIM feels.

    1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

      Halliburton going Apple? I'm surprised they didn't mutually annihilate.

  3. david 12


    We've got QT apps. QT support on IOS and Android is very weak. Blackberry now becomes our target.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Hmmm wasn't QT fuly supported in symbian and if thats the case does this offer a better migration platform for symbian applications than windows platform.

  4. Tom Maddox Silver badge


    Write once, run anywhere . . . no wait, rewrite from the ground up for new platform.

  5. JeffyPooh

    " that users will no longer require a Blackberry smartphone to get email..."

    The quoted statement is oft-repeat and utterly incorrect.

    Read quote. Read this truth: I have a PlayBook. I do not have a *BlackBerry* smartphone. I cannot "bridge". But I can get my email on the PlayBook just fine. I can get to my webmail account through any wifi hotspot, or via my iPhone's hotspot. The email access is perfect and complete in every possible way. I can send and receive attachments no problem.

    The quoted statement is incorrect. Those that repeat it are mistaken.

    At this point, several people will respond to my point by reinterpreting the quoted statement, ignoring the rules of our Queen's English, to try to make the quoted statement correct by some fantastical nonsense. Forget it. It's wrong. Period.

    1. Sean Timarco Baggaley

      The issue with the v1.0 PlayBook OS is that it lacks a NATIVE email client.

      For a company with RIM's track record, this was beyond stupid. RIM products are (or were) very popular in corporate environments because the BlackBerry phone email client could be easily integrated into the corporation's IT infrastructure.

      Webmail doesn't cut it. Not even close.

      1. Mr Atoz

        Tell you what....

        If it had an email client I wouldn't use it. If I want mobile email I'll use the web client that's available from pretty much any email provider. It's such a stupid point that Blackberry haters keep going on and on about....STFU already.

      2. TheRealRoland


        Email is sent to an email inbox

        Box is accessed through BIS / BES

        Playbook / Blackberry phone is fed this info through BIS / BES

        Maybe, maybe for corporate users you need a mail app that plugs in to BES for emails to be delivered 'securely'.

        In any other scenario? Perceived security, if you think you need a 'native email client'.

        But for BIS users, and most of the BES users? Use Blackberry Bridge and your Playbook.

      3. Giles Jones Gold badge

        There's a simple and rather headslapping reason for that. Their services assumed that only one BB device would connect to a user account at a time. So their services weren't able to cope with multiple devices synchronising Rather short sighted I guess.

  6. Barry Rueger

    Rebuild on strengths

    If I were RIM I'd be looking at ways to rebuild the corporate and government reliance on their products by building on the existing reputation for security and reliability (outages notwithstanding).

    Arguably the attempts to move into the consumer (read: teenaged girls) market is what did them in. They should be selling themselves as a rock solid, secure end-to-end communications tool. That kind of reputation allows for premium pricing and long term buy in by the corporate and government customers that built the company.

    Sure, good browsing, a music player, and Angry Birds should also be there, but RIM has to define their own market instead of chasing Apple and Google.

    1. Giles Jones Gold badge

      They had pretty much saturated the business market (for everyone that wants such mobile comms), so were looking at growing into the consumer market. Everyone tries to do that if possible, you don't want to be reliant on one market.

  7. unlockworldwide


    I will defer to the others in respect to the technical attributes ... or lack thereof, of the Playbook.

    I am however intrigued by the ability to use the smartphones qwerty keyboard to supplement, or substitute the tablets touchpad. Regrettably, that still leaves the user to purchase and carry two devices.

    Assuming that the technical attributes are all up to snuff; I think the next great incentive for those who want more than a phone, will be a tablet that incorporates all the phones functions, offers a slide out qwerty, and leaves the user to carry the tablet in .... dare I say ... a "man bag". A wireless earpiece completes the ensemble.

    The mass market, while susceptible to Apple hype, will ultimately follow convenience and affordability.

  8. Nathan 6

    Really RIM?

    So rather that providing a single (Java based) API based on your old API, but improved for you new OS. You instead provide 3 APIs for developers to target. Well given how well that has work for the Playbook, can't see why it wouldn't be a success and your smart phone market share goes to 99% this time next year.

  9. JeffyPooh

    "...lacks a NATIVE email client..."

    "...lacks a NATIVE email client..." is a perfectly correct statement. However, a platform without an email client is a bit like a fish without a bicycle (your opinion may vary). No argument here.

    In contrast... "...require a BlackBerry smartphone to get email...", is an incorrect statement. Thumbs down all you want, but it's still a string of words that makes a statement that is not correct. The only reason I'm taking issue with it is because the exact same (!) daft phrase is popping up all over the Interweb. Its probably just extremely sloppy wording - and mindless copying - if they're trying (and failing) to explain that 'bridging' is a workaround for lack of a "NATIVE" email client.

  10. PhilBack

    They are dead

    I was a BB fan. No more.

    Switched to iOS and couldn't be happier.

  11. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Self-destruct sequence

    Every manufacturer has to keep at least one API going when transitioning from one platform to the next. Maybe they can kill it off in a few years, but until then they have to bring the developers with them. Apple are very good at this. Some would argue Microsoft are too good as Windows is still soldering on under the weight of backward compatibility.

    RIM obviously aren't any good at all. When faced with a load of Java code and a completely new platform which doesn't use Java, one is sorely tempted to jump ship to Android.

  12. Robert Grant Silver badge

    @Dan 55

    If Windows maintains backward compatibility with code that requires soldering, then that is some serious effort gone into keeping everything working!

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      That was a typo or side effects from reading too much of Chen's blog recently.

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