RIM gives away BlackBerry Playbooks to developers

When you're struggling with sales, cutting prices can help to boost sales. When you're struggling with users, giving away free devices is perhaps an even better way to draw some press to your device when you've already cut prices. This seems to be the concept followed by RIM, as TechRadar reports.

Research in Motion have announced plans to give out free BlackBerry PlayBook tablets to Android developers if they simply submit their apps to the BlackBerry App World (the equivalent of the Android Market). If you're interested in a free tablet you need to submit your app before the 13th of February, so you have ten days to learn how to throw an app together. Once you've uploaded your app you need to email developeroutreachprogram@rim.com, and state the name of the app you've uploaded.

The BlackBerry Devblog states that there are going to be some Terms and Conditions, though these have not yet been published. to Alex K on the Devblog made the following statement:

"the plan is to provide one free 16GB BlackBerry PlayBook to every registered BlackBerry App World vendor who converts their Android app for use on the BlackBerry PlayBook and submits it to BlackBerry App World."

With the price of the PlayBook sitting at £169 in the United Kingdom it seems that RIM are desperate to get people developing apps for the tablet, which launched in April 2011. This might actually be some positive marketing for the tablet, since the easiest way to build up a base of users is to give them things to use on the device you're trying to sell. Certainly, some positive marketing from RIM would be something our own Andy Weir would like to see after he called the #BeBold campaign "awful".

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17 Comments

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Don't quite understand the hate. I like the PlayBook, and good on them for doing what they can to get devs on board. Microsoft did that with Windows Phone, all I saw was people giving praise on this site. Now RIM does the same and it is met with utmost skepticism. Sad, this emotional attachment to a brand, it is bad.

We still haven't sold any PlayBooks after months and months now where I work. Nobody really wants them. They're fast and everything, but so lacking in functionality it's just not fun to use.

Ambroos said,
We still haven't sold any PlayBooks after months and months now where I work. Nobody really wants them. They're fast and everything, but so lacking in functionality it's just not fun to use.

Maybe if you showed them the many games and apps on App World they may think differently?

Foub said,

Maybe if you showed them the many games and apps on App World they may think differently?

LOL! "Many games and apps on App World".... I saw your comment above calling Meph ignorant but now who's looking ignorant? I owned a BlackBerry Storm (past tense) and got rid of it mainly because, well, it sucked. The App World was nothing compared to the App Store available on my iPhone 4. I just looked online at the BB PlayBook App World and there are only 2,157 apps (incl both free & paid). That's it, 2,157 total apps available for download under the PlayBook App World! So showing somebody the "many games and apps on App World" doesn't apply now does it? Especially when compared to the over 500,000 apps available on Apple's App Store (with more than 140,000 apps specifically geared towards the iPad) and the Android Market which as of January 2012 has over 400,000 apps (no idea how many are geared towards a tablet specifically). So seriously, the BlackBerry PlayBook App World is a joke. I'm not even sure why anybody would try to defend it.

Friend of mine will be attending a BlackBerry presentation here in Amsterdam next week (I think) and they're getting a PlayBook for free as well. While it's a cool gift (I wouldn't mind one for free lol), as a company you must be getting desperate trying to generate buzz about a product by giving tons of them away.

Meph said,
The headline tomorrow: Developers return BlackBerry Playbooks to RIM.

I see that you have never actually used one before. You're showing your ignorance. It has stereo speakers that actually work.....

Foub said,

I see that you have never actually used one before. You're showing your ignorance. It has stereo speakers that actually work.....

Stereo speakers that WORK!?!? Stop the presses!!!

HoochieMamma said,

Stereo speakers that WORK!?!? Stop the presses!!!

With all the problems Apple has I would think that this would be something in Blackberry's favor.

YES.

They're doing this to inflate their app world when the playbook OS 2.0 comes out which will support running native android apps that are converted.

Go for it !

I have a VERY simple app on the Android market. Are they saying if I convert it and publish it on their store using their site I will get a free Playbook? This seems too good to be true.

timster said,
i wonder if this was the only way they could get anyone to actually take them

ya dont you hate companies that give things away for free. /s

Not long till RIM dies....

Interesting that all the leading smartphone mobile OS developers have done that now, gave away devices to developers for free... There's also been a shift with console developers too, nintendo dev kits were $15K+, now they're much cheaper, would be interesting to see if any new console companies or existing give dev kits away for free