Can RIM strike it lucky with BlackBerry 10?

BlackBerry manufacturer Research in Motion (RIM) is not in the best of health at the moment. Its latest hope for a miracle cure comes in the shape of the BlackBerry 10 platform, which it launched today at BlackBerry World in Orlando Florida.

The company claims that developers and top brands are already on board with the new platform, although it’s clearly hoping to woo more in. Any developer that attends the company’s BlackBerry 10 Jam will be given a BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha device. This is hardly a new ploy for RIM, having given out free PlayBooks to developers earlier this year.

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BlackBerry 10 reportedly features support for native BlackBerry features, such as push and payments services as well as HTML 5. According to Alec Saunders, Blackberry’s vice president of developer relations and ecosystems development:

Developers building for BlackBerry 10 will be able to easily create the kind of cutting-edge apps that deliver truly engaging experiences and ‘wow’ customers, whether through integration with native features and other apps like BBM or by leveraging the new signature design elements of this new and powerful mobile computing platform.

He added that the platform “builds upon the core values and exceptional user experiences that have attracted more than 77-million BlackBerry customers around the world today”.

Rim’s vice president of handheld application platform and tools Christopher Smith also chose not to mention RIM’s troubled history in his assessment of BlackBerry 10.

“There is tremendous interest, anticipation and momentum building toward the launch of BlackBerry 10 devices, and today we’re extremely excited to release the BlackBerry 10 developer beta tools for general use,” he said.

He also claimed that BlackBerry 10 features “a rich API set” that will allow developers to build even more integrated apps and that its toolkit “meets developers on their own terms”.

There are, apparently, developers who genuinely enthusiastic about BlackBerry 10.

“RIM has got it right with the BlackBerry 10 platform. They have really streamlined the app-development process,” said Truphone‘s head of labs and mobile applications Adam Linford,. “The platform’s support for open-source components flattens the learning curve enabling us to build a new application quickly and cost-effectively and have it ready to go when the first BlackBerry 10 devices debut.”

Gameloft‘s Ludovic Blondel meanwhile says the company has already optimised a number of its titles for the new platform and that it is “very excited to be able to provide BlackBerry 10 users with high-quality gaming experiences”.

Applications created with any of the BlackBerry 10 tools will run on BlackBerry 10 smartphones as well as BlackBerry PlayBook tablets when the new platform becomes available for the PlayBook.

Although it failed to give a definitive date, RIM claims the first devices running BlackBerry 10 will reach the public in the latter part of this year.

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