RIM waves cash at developers ahead of BlackBerry 10 launch

RIM waves cash at developers ahead of BlackBerry 10 launch

Summary: Research In Motion is guaranteeing earnings of $10,000 for any BlackBerry 10 app that is submitted before the platform's launch and that pulls in at least $1,000 on its own during its first year of release


Research In Motion has moved to attract developers to its BlackBerry 10 platform ahead of its launch by guaranteeing certain mediocre performers thousands of dollars in free cash.

The $10K Developer Commitment, unveiled on Tuesday, will ensure that developers earn at least $10,000 (£6,307) for each app, as long as they pull in at least $1,000 in actual revenue — including in-app payments — during the app's first year of release.

BlackBerry 10
RIM is hoping to attract developers to its BlackBerry 10 OS. Image credit: Ben Woods

For apps to qualify, they will need to be submitted to App World before BlackBerry 10 launches early next year. The precise launch dates are still to be announced.

"With the $10K Developer Commitment, we're putting our money where our mouth is," RIM spokesman Alex Kinsella said in a blog post. "We know our dev community is the best out there, and we're as committed to your success as you are."

There are a couple of catches: the apps in question will each have to have at least 100 unique downloads over the course of the 12 months, and there is a capped $10m "fund pool" for the scheme.

Kinsella also revealed a new quality assurance scheme for BlackBerry 10 apps, called Built for BlackBerry.

RIM has used the same name in the past, most recently as a mark of approval for BlackBerry and PlayBook accessories. The new 'Built for BlackBerry' programme is closer to that launched in 2007 as a download hub for third-party apps.

Under the new scheme, developers who have already had their apps accepted for sale on BlackBerry App World will be able to submit those apps up to three times to get a special badge of quality, which will be displayed in that storefront and in marketing literature.

Both WebWorks and native apps could qualify. That said, the rules for Built for BlackBerry suggest rather fuzzy criteria for the possible revocation of those quality marks.

"A 'Built for BlackBerry' designation could be revoked if issues arise, either by RIM or by users, and are not resolved in a timely manner," the rules state. "Failing to do so may result in revocation of the Built for BlackBerry designation."

Topics: BlackBerry, Apps, Mobile OS, Mobility

David Meyer

About David Meyer

David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't pay the bills. David's main focus is on communications, as well as internet technologies, regulation and mobile devices.

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  • Breaking With Tradition

    I'm not sure that there is NO precedent but the article implies that paying developers is not standard practice.
    Well, issues of proper etiquette aside, RIM have no alternative but to sweeten the pot. Failure to bring desirable apps to the BB10 market would be devastating. With doomsday on the horizon RIM have no alternative but to buy interest.
    • Well...they don't have many useful applications for the Playbook (QNX OS)

      As with all other smartphones & tablets, the vast majority of applications available are useless trash.

      RIM totally blew it with the PB, when it launched it without either an e-mail client or calendaring client. Brilliant move RIM.

      The update(s) that followed added these features, BUT...the e-mail client does not allow messages to be left on the hosting server, when deleted from the PB. There IS an option in the e-mail client to leave messages on the host server when deleted from the PB...but...IT DOES NOT WORK! And there are other equally annoying features missing, that are standard fare with most all other e-mail clients.

      Glad I got my PB at a very discounted price...because now it is nothing more than a paperweight until such time that RIM fixes these missing capabilities...if they ever do.

      RIM are playing catch-up from 2 years ago...at least...and it is doubtful they will prevail. Too many bone-headed decisions and delays
  • Build it

    and they will come.

    RIM is still in the fight; make no bones about it. What are those precariously low RIM stock prices at??

    "Sell high, buy low ... coz that's the way to go."

    (n.b. remember, you heard it here first.)
  • This scheme only matters

    if you insist on using the industry "x thousand/million apps!" standard. When I look at my Playbook, I don't look for apps which are duplicated a million different ways - I look for Skype (not there), Kindle (not there), Facebook (meh), Twitter (HTML5 doesn't cut it), Cisco Anyconnect (not there - yet anyway) and so on.

    I would rather RIM look at the top 30-40 apps on iOS, Android and WinMo and do their damnedest to ensure good quality apps are present for those on BB10. The problem is many of the must-have platforms are also associated or forming close ties with hardware manufacturers which may result in being shut out or being provided inferior access - Skype-Microsoft, Kindle-KindleFire, Facebook/Twitter-iOS, Google apps-Android and so on.
    • Facebook and Twitter are on ALL Blackberry devices

      Do you really own a Playbook?? Blackberry is one of the top devices for social messaging. There's no way it could even claim such a thing without being connected.
  • Re: Kindle

    I have Kindle on my PlayBook. I am still waiting to be able to synch Outlook, and to be able to leave messages on the server.
  • desperate meaures???

    but there is nothing else to do.... :-(
  • Cash for developers, who would a thunk it !

    Apple and Android are milking developers by offering them nothing. The overwhelming majority of these developers make next to no cash. Good for RIMM to recognize the importance of developers, not just as 'pushovers' like the other big 2 do.