Turk-internet.com: What can you tell me about your developer ecosystem? BlackBerry has been criticized for not having a strong application market and ties with developers… Now with the rise of smartphones, everybody is talking about the developers ecosystem. It’s a common perception that Symbian and BlackBerry have been a little late in this race and Android Market is growing solidly. Can you provide me any details about the situation? What is BlackBerry working on in terms of developers and application market? How do you see it and do you have special events for developers community?
Jamie K. Moran: BlackBerry App World launched in April 2009 and is now available in more than 101 countries. It has been available in Turkey since June 2010, there are now over 20,000 applications available worldwide to download. An average of over 2 million apps are being downloaded every day from BlackBerry App World which is now used in more than 35 million smartphones.
The BlackBerry developer community has already started to submit applications for the BlackBerry PlayBook. Furthermore, registered developers who submit a qualifying BlackBerry PlayBook app that is accepted into BlackBerry App World prior to the initial product launch in North America will receive a free BlackBerry PlayBook, subject to certain terms and conditions.
RIM gives a lot of importance to its developer ecosystem and hosts an annual BlackBerry Developer Conference which is attended by thousands of the world’s most enthusiastic developers, BlackBerry experts, and Research In Motion partners. It’s the place to get technical, code-driven information that can be applied to projects; the place where new tools and technologies can be experienced for the first time.
Turk-internet.com: Although Playbook is thought to be the strongest tablet launch, it’s missing autonomous telephone capabilities according to the first announcements. Your rivals are building 3G and 4G wireless data connection which can connect to HSPA data networks. It’s even rumored that new tablets will have most telephone functions. What is your opinion?
Jamie K. Moran: RIM has recently announced that the BlackBerry 4G PlayBook will also support Wi-Fi + WiMax and is expected to be available from carrier Sprint in the summer of 2011. Furthermore, a brand new announcement was made during Mobile World Congress mentioning that the BlackBerry PlayBook will have variants supporting LTE and HSPA and that these variants will be available during the second half of 2011.
In addition to the Wi-Fi and 4G connectivity, each tablet will also also support Bluetooth tethering, Mobile hotspots (ie. a MiFi, smartphone or other portable device equipped to act as a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot) and the BlackBerry Bridge. BlackBerry Bridge will allow users to wirelessly connect their BlackBerry PlayBook tablet to their BlackBerry smartphone for a secure, enhanced view of core BlackBerry services on the tablets large high-resolution display including full email inbox, BBM, address book, calendar, task list, and memo pad.
Turk-internet.com: As my last question, how do you see the tablet and smartphone market right now and what is your predictions for future? What should we expect (both generally from the whole market and specifically from RIM)?
Jamie K. Moran: The launch of the BlackBerry solution in 1999 essentially heralded the beginning of todays dynamic smartphone market, which is increasingly characterised by a sustained level of growth. According to Gartners Q3 2010 figures, the global smartphone market grew by 95 per cent year-on-year, with the total number of devices shipped increasing from 41 million last year to over 80 million in 2010. Meanwhile, IDC has predicted that sales of smartphones in 2010 will exceed analysts previous expectations by 10 per cent, with 269.6 million devices expected to be sold by the end of the year, compared with sales of 173.5 million in 2009. In addition, IDC is forecasting that the smartphone market will grow by 24.5% next year.
turk-internet.com : Thank you
See for the Turkish translation of this chapter at Jamie K.Moran : Blackberry 4G Playbook’unda Wi-Fi ve Wimax’i Destekleyecek – 2