The Apple App Store has more than 700,000 apps, and Google Play has more than 400,000. RIM’s BlackBerry app world is lagging behind, with less than 100,000 apps available for download.
Apple and Google have proven that a thriving app ecosystem is an important part of any successful tablet or smartphone device, and RIM is attempting to catch up with a new initiative announced at its BlackBerry Jam keynote in Orlando.
RIM’s Alec Saunders is guaranteeing that all developers will make at least $10,000 in sales of BlackBerry 10 apps during the first year, and should a developer fail to hit that mark, RIM has pledged to write a check for the difference.
Of course, the caveat is that all apps must be BlackBerry 10 apps and “quality certified” by a third party and make at least $1,000 in order to qualify for the guarantee.
This is a smart move for RIM, because developers are wary of putting time and effort into a platform that may or may not be successful. A certain payday of at least $10,000 may potentially draw quite a few developers to the platform. Microsoft, too, has been working hard on developer incentives for its Windows Phone, financing the creation of Windows apps like Foursquare and Facebook.
RIM’s famously delayed BlackBerry 10 devices are set to launch later this year, possibly in October. BlackBerry 10 apps will run on the new smartphones as well as RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook.