The success of new devices such as BlackBerry's Z10 are likely to rest on the quality of the app ecosystem users have available to them. One of BlackBerry's key goals has been to increase the number of developers interested in the platform, resulting in the company offering some shortcuts that can be used to port existing apps over to the all-new operating system, for example an 'Emulation Engine' which allows developers to convert their existing apps to appear natively on the OS.
Martyn Mallick, BlackBerry's vice president for global alliances and business development, commented in an interview that "we give them a very nice on-ramp to get onto the platform. Our users deserve to have great content. If that is the fastest way [offering porting tools] we can get some of that content, that's great."
Most notably, however, Mallick confirmed that around 20 percent of the 100,000+ apps currently available for BlackBerry 10 have been published using emulation tools. Plainly, a fifth of all BlackBerry 10 apps are just Android apps in disguise. Despite this, Mallick was quick to affirm that BlackBerry wants companies to be building native applications for the platform in the long term.
Some larger players in the market have not yet released apps for the BlackBerry 10 platform, most notably Netflix and Instagram. Mallick again was quick to avert the blame from company to developer - "There are still some partners that are not in a position where their schedules line up with our schedules. There are some partners with their priorities elsewhere, not even necessarily in mobile." Whether the last statement is a jab at Netflix, focusing heavily on the promotion of their self-made political drama House Of Cards, or whether through the facade of managerial speak, BlackBerry's VP is simply saying companies don't see BB10 as a platform worth developing for. Yet.
BlackBerry's Z10 smartphone has been met with mixed reviews from both critics and users, citing the limited app availability as a major drawback. Naturally, as soon as one major developer spends time on the platform, others will follow. The company's flagship device will be carried by both T-Mobile and Verizon soon, a time at which Mallick says we'll see a "stronger response".
Source: AllThingsD | Image: ArsTechnica