Today we’ll see RIM’s quarterly results announcement; the world is prepared for the worst, not only following up on an earnings warning given a few weeks ago but also because they are caught in a situation where new devices are pending and there is little reason to encourage purchase of the existing smartphone product line, based on their now-orphaned BlackBerry 7 Operating System. They may also be talking about the extent of recent job cuts as RIM focuses on having the resources required for a successful BlackBerry 10 launch.
On the other hand my BlackBerry PlayBook running on the QNX operating system has given me some feel for the potential of the user experience on the forthcoming BlackBerry 10. I also had a chance to try out the BlackBerry 10 touch keyboard last week. And it’s the overall user experience, built around QNX’s demonstrated robustness and true multitasking capability, that will drive adoption. Frankly my PlayBook has become my default device for tracking my email and mobile web browsing. In the latter case, let’s just say it’s the fastest mobile tablet web browser on the HTLM5 test scores and it shows.
But the other activity that has not been covered much in the mainstream press has been their revitalized BlackBerry Developer program. Not simply by providing more tools, many based on open source, but also through their active recruitment of developers through their BlackBerry 10 Jam developer recruitment program RIM now demonstrates through action that this activity is critical to BlackBerry 10’s success. Over 500 developers attended the sold-out BlackBerry 10 Jam session in Toronto last week. And, as shown on the right, they all lined up at the end of the day to receive a BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha device to test out their applications. Similar attendance has been seen at events in North America and Europe as well as forthcoming events in Asia Pacific and Latin America.
RIM has also been actively recruiting Developer Evangelists around the world. Today long-time acquaintance and IP-communications entrepreneur Luca Filigheddu announced he will be joining RIM July 2 as BlackBerry Developer Evangelist for the Italian market. Having been involved in two successful startups over the past ten years, Luca brings a wealth of engineering knowledge, developer expertise and business management experience to the RIM Developer program. Luca sums up his decision with:
…. RIM is creating an outstanding Developer Relations team around the world, headed by VP Alec Saunders, dedicated to help developers bring their great apps to the new upcoming operating system.
BlackBerry 10 is going to be an incredible revolution for the smartphone market, a truly open platform, capable of running Android apps natively and also the platform that is easiest in terms of porting and developing mobile apps. Moreover, it’s the only truly multi-tasking mobile OS, open to possibilities that could have been never imagined before, with outstanding performances.
In a recent discussion with Luca he pointed out that, now that he has two well-managed operating businesses, he was looking for a new challenge. With his background, he feels BlackBerry 10 can bring significantly differentiated user experiences driving adoption. He is passionate about spreading the word about building applications for its unique QNX-based platform.
Bottom line: An active, broadly-based App World is one critical component to achieving success with BlackBerry 10. Hirings such as Luca’s brings world class experience to RIM’s developer relations activities. He understands developers’ needs, not only from the tools required but also their need to build a sustainable business. And he has the communications skills and passion to succeed.