21 December 2012
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Commentary
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RIM moving in the right direction

A little ray of sunshine from Tomi Ahonen, a former Nokia exec, has built up quite the following for his insightful analysis of the phone industry.

Up until this month, he had been quite dismissive of RIMs chances whenever it came up in a blog post. This changed in Brief Notes from Smartphone Bloodbath Battlefield in Year Three: Digital Jamboree:

There are some good early signs for RIM. The large corporate clients are notoriously reluctant to ditch major IT investments on any temporary fads, ups and downs in smartphone fashions for example. Blackberry had done the hard work to land in over 80% of the largest US corporations and government entities, and that work is paying off. Now there are good signs that some US government agencies are pre-testing the Blackberry 10 OS and seem willing to continue using RIM’s platform for their smartphones into 2013. A good example is the Immigration and Customs agency that will pilot BB 10 from January. Don’t count Waterloo out of the smartphone races just yet..

This is the sort of thing that needs to happen if RIM is to make a go of it with BB10. The platform certainly seems to be up to the task, all RIM need now are believers from the mainstream.

Which brings me to the recent BB10 port-a-thons. These were online sessions in which RIM provided technical support to developers, offering $100 per app ported, with special bonuses for porting larger quantities of apps, such as Playbooks and BB10 devices. Even a free trip to a game developer conference for those who managed to bring 10 or more apps across during one session.

If I had the time, and lots more apps, I’d have been all over that…

I think the BB10 app store is going to be well stocked… and with the Playbook OS and BB10 merging in the future, it’s only going to get better, and easier for developers to support RIM’s tablets and phones.

One of the things that’s killed Windows 8 on phones and tablets is the perceived lack of apps caused by the actual lack of apps at launch. Microsoft appears to have mistakenly thought that “Field of Dreams” was a documentary.

See, Microsoft? That’s how you launch a new platform. Make it compatible with the old one and get the developers on-board, from day one.