Local app developers won’t benefit from BlackBerry 10

Local mobile application developers don’t stand to benefit much from the initial launch of the new BlackBerry 10 platform, according to tech company president Mark Arteaga.

“The market is becoming very crowded now and there are a lot of people that say they do mobile,” founder of Oakville software company RedBit Development told YourMississaugaBiz.com. “Some companies will benefit, but it’s becoming a lot tougher to compete.”

The platform was released today by Research in Motion in a press event in New York. The company also officially announced its name change to BlackBerry, along with new tickers on the Nasdaq (BBRY) and the Toronto Stock Exchange (BB).

Arteaga said major mobile development firms based in Toronto like Xtreme Labs, Polar Mobile and even Jet Cooper stand to benefit the most from the new platform as they have already established long-term relationships with other major companies like Rogers.

And a lot of developers are choosing to focus on developing applications for iPhone, Android and even Windows Phone devices. “I think right now some people are playing the ‘wait and see’ game,” Arteaga said. “A lot of the requests we still get are iPhone and then they’re saying they’ll possibly get on board with BlackBerry 10.”

While Arteaga said that BlackBerry did announce more than 70,000 apps available in its Blackberry World, his company also hasn’t received any requests for that platform so far.

However, Sheridan mobile computing professor Joseph Sant said if the new phone is adopted by the 10 to 30 million users estimated to upgrade to the new device, small firms like RedBit will ultimately benefit. “If this marketplace takes off, those big firms aren’t going to have near enough developers to satisfy the demand,” he said.

In addition, Sant said BlackBerry has made development for BlackBerry 10 extremely easy and low cost, as well as easy to convert applications from other platforms.

Still, Arteaga said there are a few factors that will determine how many people in business adopt the new device. “It’ll depend on when they can upgrade their phones,” he said. “It also depends on if they’re allowing their employees to bring in their own phones.”

“They have lost a lot of market share to iPhone and Android.”


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