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Alec Saunders Reaffirms RIM’s Commitment to Developers

Alec Saunders Be Calm

While some are commending Thorsten Heins for taking the hard road and not shipping a half baked BlackBerry 10 there is one group that was hit hardest by RIM’s BlackBerry 10 launch delay. Developers have been energized with ramped up support and build up to a BlackBerry 10 launch later this year. Alec Saunders, RIM’s head of developer relations, immediately realized the implications of this painful yet necessary decision by RIM. He immediately reached out with this statement on the BlackBerry DevBlog reaffirming RIM’s commitment to developers and their apology for the delay. Most important was high highlight that:

We are committed to this launch, and to continuing to work with you to make this launch a success. We will work to ensure that the launch is executed brilliantly, with a complete platform that delivers the best experience for our customers.

Here is the full text:

Over the last twelve months, I hope you’ve all seen the changes in how we interact with you, our BlackBerry® developers.

You’ve seen us commit to you in a way that many have remarked upon, starting last year with initiatives including BlackBerry® DevCon Americas, the BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet and BlackBerry® 10 Dev Alpha seeding programs, hackathons, BlackBerry® 10 Jam in Orlando, and the BlackBerry 10 Jam World Tour that we’ve been running across 23 cities. Some of you have even said that this “new” Research In Motion® (RIM®) is the best platform company for developers to work with today.

Earlier this year when Thorsten Heins took the reins as our new CEO, he was very open about the approach the company would be taking to this new platform launch. Yesterday, he delivered some tough news: a shift in timeline for the launch of the BlackBerry 10 platform until the first quarter of 2013.

When we in the Developer Relations group were informed of the news, our first thoughts were with you – our development community – who are continuing to work with us to build great new applications for BlackBerry 10. You’ve got businesses to run, rent to pay, and investors to answer to. You are the folks who have skin in the game now, and aren’t just waiting for a new phone personally. We know this delay affects you, and we’re sorry.

Despite yesterday’s announcement, I want you to know that we remain strongly committed to you. While RIM continues to work towards the launch of BlackBerry 10, our engagement levels and plans for our joint success have not changed.

The BlackBerry 10 platform is designed to offer developers the tools they need to drive a successful business, including simplified rich development; the ability to create, deliver and share powerful visually stunning content, quickly; and multiple paths toward monetization. We are committed to this launch, and to continuing to work with you to make this launch a success. We will work to ensure that the launch is executed brilliantly, with a complete platform that delivers the best experience for our customers.

Over the last few months, the level of excitement, dedication and pride from our developer partners and from our employees has been both gratifying and humbling for me.

My pledge to you is that we will continue to work with you, to invest with you, to create opportunities with you, to be successful with you, and to be worthy of the trust and support you have given us.

Alec Saunders, VP Developer Relations
Research In Motion

RIM is going to see the results of their announcement shortly at BlackBerry 10 Jam World Tour events still running in many countries. Developers are still excited about the platform and RIM remains committed to making sure the BlackBerry 10 launch is executed brilliantly with a “complete platform.”

If you are a BlackBerry 10 dev or potential one what do you think?

3 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. After reading several articles from different BlackBerry websites and their reasons, I can truly understand the delay, even though a painful decision.
    If it means to wait for RIM to develop a fully functioning final product with great applications, then I’m behind RIM 100%
    In the meantime, I’ll be working on my #BB10 application:)
    Thank you.

  2. Getting the OS right is important since it would be a serious blow to bring out anything with flaws in it. It does hurt developers who were hoping to start seeing returns on their invested time/money when the new phones launched in October, and now have to wait.

    However, it also gives developers more time to do a number of things, such as:
    – Get more familiar with the ins and outs of the OS and it’s API’s (this would’ve been a rush for some to do before October, and would’ve affected the quality of some apps).
    – Use that time to also make versions for other platforms (especially important if you have a new idea, or a really good twist on an old idea, so others don’t copy it on another platform).
    – If you haven’t already, make versions for older OSes that support the features you’d created – as RIM has shown, older devices do still generate a fair percentage of sales in AppWorld.

    • I agree.
      Those focusing solely on BB10 and BB specific tools like Cascades and bbui.js will be disappointed.
      Those who got lucky RIM and major players never released their standard apps for the PlayBook will be happy to see some revenue for an extra 6 months.
      Those who do cross-platform development will only be somewhat disappointed and will probably postpone their development effort. No point in improving a BB10 apps for 6 months if RIM doesn’t exist any more in 9 months.

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