According to a report by All Things D, approximately 20% of the 100,000 apps in Blackberry World are simple Android ports. In case you don’t want to do the math, that’s about one in every five apps. What many outlets fail to realize, however, this is not a terrible thing.
Out of 100,000 apps that are currently available (70,000 were available at launch), if only 20% are Android ports, that means 80% of the apps are native Blackberry 10 apps, and the total number is growing. In just seven weeks, the number jumped from 70K up to 100K- that’s pretty damn impressive.
Blackberry was aware that they had a new platform on their hands, one that developers would be reluctant to switch over to. After all, the Blackberry brand hasn’t been in the mobile spotlight for quite some time now, Android and iOS made sure of that long ago.
Because of this, they created an unusual emulation engine that allows developers to easily port their software to the Blackberry 10 platform, which would then give them an example of what it has to offer.
“We give them a very nice on-ramp to get onto the platform,” said Martyn Mallick, Blackberry’s vice president for global alliances and business development, in a recent interview.
“Our users deserve to have great content. If that is the fastest way we can get some of that content, that’s great.”
Thanks to this interesting way of thinking and the emulation engine, developers who originally ported their apps to the platform are now developing local versions. This can also be attributed to the great sales of Blackberry 10 on a global scale.
Basically, Blackberry used the natural porting tool to entice developers to come on over to the platform, and it worked!
Mallick also pointed out that although some developers of leading apps have yet to announce a Blackberry 10 version (Netflix, Instagram), some providers have adapted their Android port by adding specific Blackberry features. For example, Amazon integrated unique features to the Blackberry platform when it ported the Kindle app and eBay did the same with push notifications.
Blackberry is trying real hard to get some of the missing content on the platform.
“There are still some partners that are not in a position where their schedules line up with our schedules. There are some partners where their priorities are elsewhere, not even necessarily in mobile.”
Evidence of Blackberry’s hard work can be seen with the $10,000 guarantees for new app developers migrating to the platform.
Furthermore, Blackberry has also promised that even though it plans to launch six different models over the course of the next twelve months, they will all use one of two different screen sizes. They’re hoping this will help prevent fragmentation, something that plagues Android considerably.
“Overall we’re excited by what we are seeing in the marketplace. We have a high level of confidence we will continue to see more of the application partners come on board.”
Mallick also made some comments on the lackluster US launch so far. Many are chastising Blackberry for their inability to gain traction in the US market. Mallick seems to think that will change with T-Mobile’s recent launch and Verizon’s soon to come.
“Take a look over the next couple of weeks. I expect we will see a stronger response.”