After what seems like an eternity of stalling, delays, and plummeting RIM stock prices, BlackBerry 10 is now hurtling towards the world at full speed. The Canadian company recently pegged January 30th as the official launch date for RIM’s last, great hope, and it wants the ecosystem alive and breathing when the first handsets fall into consumer hands. Yesterday, the company promised to have a bug-squashing beta update and the final version of the BB10 software development kit into developer hands within a month, on November 29th and December 11th, respectively.
RIM clearly understands that apps can make or break an ecosystem — just ask webOS — and it’s working hard to woo developers back from Android and Apple. The company apparently learned from the recent release of Windows Phone 8 as well. With WP8, Microsoft angered legions of would-be developers when it didn’t bother to release a final SDK until the day after the official launch of the mobile operating system.
Jumping back into RIM’s arms could pay dividends for developers who have the skills to create worthwhile apps. Any BB10 apps submitted to RIM by January 21st are eligible for the company’s “10k Developer Commitment.” In a nutshell, RIM promises that developers will earn at least $10,000 on their BB10 apps, and if they manage to crack the $1,000 mark but not the $10,000 line after one year, RIM will pay out the difference.
RIM’s pushing hard and doing all it can in its quest to return to relevance. The underlying operating system looks slick and intriguing thus far, but as we’ve said before, BB10’s true salvation lies in getting developers on the bandwagon. News like this can only help that endeavor.