It may not have quite the punch of Apple's iPhone 6 launch, but BlackBerry's attempt to re-ignite interest in its platform by bringing out an updated version of one of its most popular smartphone designs got some surprising reactions from app developers.
Hold the Fire phone: Amazon is bringing its Appstore to BlackBerry? At a moment when most developers were focusing more on the online juggernaut's launch of its Fire smartphone, BlackBerry momentarily stole the spotlight by announcing that some 200,000 Android apps from the company's app store would be available on its own devices later this summer.
As if it wasn't difficult enough for BlackBerry to get more apps created for BB10, recent controversy over a botched developer contest probably will not help matters. The contest snafu is just another sign the company hasn't quite gotten its act together.
BlackBerry managed to surprise onlookers by launching two new devices of its own at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, Spain. Developers on Twitter didn't take long to render their verdict on the prospect of new BlackBerry hardware.
They came, they saw, they downloaded. Well, some of them downloaded. Consumer interest in apps continued to climb in 2013, but for the developers who created them, the year was filled with a variety of platform changes, concerns over how user data is handled, an emphasis on analytics and more than a few surprising mergers and acquisitions. Thus, FierceDeveloper is taking a look back on the year that was to put some of the biggest stories in perspective.
For several years now, it's felt as though most developers had their eyes focused on Apple and Google, while BlackBerry was someone on the side, within their peripheral vision. Now I can't imagine the company is in their line of sight at all.
It's reaching the point where most developers probably can't look at the news online without seeing a headline along the lines of, "More trouble for BlackBerry." The notion that its selection of apps has contributed to its troubles has been a particularly hot topic on Twitter.
Not many developers can claim they've created close to 50,000 apps, but after a recent scandal involving troubled smartphone provider BlackBerry, many of them probably wouldn't want to.
Android and iOS may have captured the majority of developer mindshare, but platform diversification is more important than ever before, according to the Developer Economics Q3 report recently published by Vision Mobile.
The former Research In Motion knew that when it launched BlackBerry 10 and the related device Z10, it was going to be all about the apps. Whether it has managed to satisfy potential developers and users is another matter.