Device Manufacturers Are Striving to Engage More Developers
The fanfare around Angry Birds, Instagram and WhatsApp have not gone unnoticed by device manufacturers, who now consider a well-stocked application environment essential in generating sales and the functioning of devices.
As a result, device manufacturers who run their own platforms, such as RIM and Nokia, are striving to engage more developers to create powerful applications, or apps, for the platforms as devices increasingly become app-centric.
In a telling move, RIM chose to unveil their BlackBerry 10 platform to developers first by holding the BlackBerry 10 Jam world tour.
During the conferences, RIM shared how-to tips on building apps for the latest platform, though launch delays have eroded trust in the company amid languishing stock prices.
RIM’s aim was singular — get as many developers as possible to create apps for BlackBerry 10, so that the platform would have a wealth of available apps during its launch, set for the first quarter of 2013.
“For RIM, the developer ecosystem is key,” said Sarim Aziz, RIM’s head of developer relations for the Asia-Pacific region. “So we are giving developers a head start before we launch the product.”
Besides RIM, Nokia is heavily involved with local app developers as well.
To maintain strong ties with the roughly 12,000 local developers creating for Nokia, the company organizes monthly events, such as hackathons, or meet-ups where developers trade knowledge.
Besides covering development costs, Nokia also gives developers tools, training and books to learn how to code.
Hasting Singh, the vice president of RIM for Southeast Asia, said that RIM also facilitated developers in making money from the sales of apps and in-app advertisements.
RIM gives 70 to 80 percent of revenues from the sale of an application to the developer, in addition to offering advertising schemes within the app.
“The key concept is we want to be a platform that developers find easy to work with,” he said, adding that RIM has 3 billion apps in their app store, with 2.5 billion downloads per day.