Looks like BlackBerry 10 naysayers will have to bite the bullet after all. BlackBerry’s event Port-a-Thon, held to encourage app and game submissions, has seen 15,000 app submissions in about 37 hours. Alec Saunders, VP – Developer Relations, RIM, wrote in a tweet, “Well there you have it. 37.5 hours in, we hit 15,000 apps for this portathon. Feel like I've run a marathon. Thanks to all the devs! (Sic).”
While RIM is facing quite a task trying to ensure BlackBerry 10 gets a grand welcome, it is trying to do all it can to make sure users do not have to face a shortage of apps post the launch. RIM is serious about making its newest OS stand out and the Port-a-Thon is testament to it.
RIM put its money where its mouth is, quite literally, as it announced that it will be dishing out $100 per approved app to developers in this event. The promise of a cash prize seemed to be alluring enough for the Port-a-Thon to clock in 15,000 apps that began at noon on January 11 and ended just before midnight on January 13.
15,000 apps. How many will make the cut?
There were more than just cash rewards up for grabs. RIM promised BlackBerry hardware to developers who went that extra mile. Developers submitting between two and five applications were eligible for a BlackBerry PlayBook, while those who authored more than five approved apps entered a lucky draw to receive a BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha device.
While it isn’t possible that every single app will get approved, in a hypothetical situation it did, RIM would be spending over $1.5 million paying developers as an incentive to submit their apps.
The Port-a-Thon is worth drawing comparisons with the Windows Phone app store. Relatively a new platform compared to the flailing BlackBerry one, Windows Phone had found fewer takers due to its lack of apps.
Microsoft had to strive hard to lure developers into building apps for Windows Phone. The problem intensified with the launch of Windows Phone 8. Microsoft threw open its app certification program in December and saw a 40 percent rise in app submissions for Windows 8 since its launch.
Microsoft kept the app certification program open for most of late December, including what is considered as the festive season, in order to combat quality app shortage in the Windows Phone Store. In fact, the only days Microsoft certifiers took an off were December 24, 25 and January 1 in order to meet the festive deadlines of apps.
Microsoft is also urging developers to go for worldwide distribution of their apps by working with the Dev Centre in order to maximise the reach of new markets, where a variety of new Windows Phones have or will soon be released.
The Windows Phone Store now covers 113 countries and is in a serious need to step up app rates in order to find more takers. Coupled with excellent hardware and an OS considered to be slicker than both Android and Os, the only thing that seems to be coming in between Windows Phone and great success is the scarcity of apps.
RIM seems to have learnt from Microsoft’s mistake and is sparing no quarter or money when it comes to making sure that its latest launch is not left without apps.
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