Question is: why?
App developers have been given a stay of execution if they still want to be considered for RIM’s Built for BlackBerry programme.
With just nine days to go before the much-awaited BlackBerry 10 platform is launched, the Canadian manufacturer has extended the deadline for developers to 18th February 2013.
Under the programme, developers who commit to building high quality, BB10 exclusive apps stand to earn at least $10,000 providing the idea qualifies and earns at least $1,000 in downloads over the next 12 months from 4th March 2013. If sales fail to reach the $10k mark, RIM pledges to make up the shortfall itself.
Next week’s launch of BB10 is being seen as pivotal to RIM’s fortunes if it’s to make any kind of comeback against rivals such as Apple and Samsung. Though its share price currently stands at just under $16, a marked improvement from just a few months ago when it stood at just $6, it is still nowhere near its peak in 2008 when the stock commanded nearly ten times its present value.
In a bid to persuade app developers to commit to the new platform, the BlackBerry manufacturer has also run a number of ‘port-a-thons’ recently which, in two weekends alone, witnessed more than 30,000 app submissions.
Meanwhile the company says the extended deadline for submissions is due to the need to clear a backlog, though the move may also raise questions about whether the company has done enough to instil confidence among developers and, more importantly, build up a sufficiently impressive app catalogue in readiness for the crucial launch next week.