Now that RIM’s recently installed CEO Thorsten Heins has revealed some details about the company’s next-generation mobile operating system, BlackBerry 10, he’s understandably keen to get as many app developers as possible on board to put some meat on the bones of the new OS. Devices running BlackBerry 10 are expected to launch later this year.
In a keynote address at its BlackBerry Jam event — happening as part of its BlackBerry World gathering in Orlando this week — RIM’s vice president of developer relations Alec Saunders announced on Tuesday that it would guarantee developers first-year sales earnings of at least $10,000. If they fail to reach that sum, the company will pay the difference.
It’s a neat idea, though could ultimately cost the company a fair whack of cash. Still, without such incentives, the Ontario-based company could have trouble attracting developers to its new mobile platform, and few apps will mean few customers for its devices running the OS.
However, before a developer submits any-old-app to RIM in anticipation of a $10,000 payday, they’ll need to keep in mind that there are, not surprisingly, some terms and conditions attached to the deal — conditions that should prevent the company being bankrupted by sub-standard apps.
To qualify for the payment, an app must first be recognized as being of a certain quality, a judgment that will be made according to the guidelines of a certification program operated by a third party. Details regarding this mysterious third party were not forthcoming at the presentation.
The app will then be fast-tracked to BlackBerry’s app store, App World. If downloads of the app fail to generate more than $1,000 in its first 12 months then it’s game over for the developer with regards to their $10,000 payout. However, if revenue exceeds $1,000 but fails to hit the $10,000 mark, Heins will take out his checkbook and make up the difference.
RIM is betting its future on BlackBerry 10. It has to succeed. And if it means burning through checkbooks like there’s no tomorrow, then so be it. For if BlackBerry 10 fails, there really will be no tomorrow for RIM.