My first exposure to BlackBerry was my first exposure to a Smartphone, which I did not own but as I was part of the support team for executives in my company that were privileged to own a BlackBerry, I had a chance to support BlackBerry services. In a short while (after 2 years) I had my hands on what is now arguably a superior smartphone compared to BlackBerry. In Uganda, the BlackBerry was and still is a symbol of class for some Ugandans and other people elsewhere (in Nigeria there is a Nollywood movie titled “BlackBerry Babes”). The BlackBerry with its trademark QWERTY has strong messaging capabilities and security has been traded as one of its strength. Despite this reputation, BlackBerry is never traded as that sexy gadget, it is no longer of mass appeal (may be has never been in Uganda) and is seeing its market share taken by iPhone and Android devices.
Even as in the current smartphone market BlackBerry market share has continued to reduce, RIM the manufacturer of BlackBerry has released BlackBerry 10 to its developers. The future of RIM and BlackBerry has been the subject of debate since the start of 2012 but the release of BlackBerry 10 software development kit (SDK) gives it a lifeline to remain relevant in the market if developers are convinced it is worth developing for BlackBerry 10. In releasing the development platform RIM offered developers the essential tools for creating BlackBerry 10 apps, including prototype hardware running the new software.
The Uganda smartphone market has seen more effort move to the android platform given that there are more affordable android gadgets on market. Developers in Uganda may find less appeal for BlackBerry but the fact that the new BlackBerry 10 developer’s toolkit also includes tools for building HTML5 apps is an important feature to take note of. It hence means it will be easier to port your HTML5 apps to blackberry or if you developed first on the blackberry platform you will have less challenge to port your apps to other platforms such as android.
Would you consider developing for BlackBerry?
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