RIM

Blackberry, a mobile platform developed by Research In Motion (RIM), is one of the most popular platform. It is well known for its security and corporate email support that is distinguished from other providers because of Blackberry's enterprise server. RIM holds patents for thumbwheel and QWERTY keyboard which are very popular features on BlackBerry devices.

Licensing

BlackBerry's core mobile platform is RIM's proprietary closed source software. BlackBerry's software development platform provides an SDK to public that can be used to build mobile applications on BlackBerry devices. The SDK is free to download and use by public under licensing agreement described at http://na.blackberry.com/eng/legal/sdkla.jsp.

Sponsorship and Financial

Sponsor (Corporation, Community, Joint (corporate and community) etc.) - BlackBerry's mobile platform and SDK is supported and funded solely by Research in motion.
Financial source (Corporate, donations etc) - RIM
Revenue models -
o Majority of RIM's revenue comes from BlackBerry device sales.
o RIM has recently launched BlackBerry app world, which is an online store for third party applications developed using BlackBerry's publically available SDK.

Community

Developer activity and developer community: Because blackberry platform is a closed source software, external developers cannot contribute to the development of the platform. RIM does provide a software development kit to public using which applications can be developed to run on BlackBerry platform.

Documentation

Sample Apps, Books -Out / in development etc.

Market Penetration

The total BlackBerry user base is approximated at 24 million. (Source:http://press.rim.com/release.jsp?id=2406)

Carrier penetration (if applicable)

BlackBerry devices are supported by almost every major carrier such as AT&T, T Mobile, Sprint, Verizon, Rogers.

Support and Infrastructure

There are nearly 1500 third party applications available for download from BlackBerry App World Storefront.

Application store availability

RIM has recently launched a BlackBerry App World Storefront where third party applications built on BlackBerry development platform can be sold or made available for download for free. The current release of appworld supports only one time billing at the time of download. Applications that require different billing model, such as monthly subscription, can be made available on appfront as a free download, and the billing will have to be
handled by vendors separately. The current release of appworld also requires end users to have paypal account to be able to purchase apps from the storefront.
More information about BlackBerry app world can be found at http://na.blackberry.com/eng/developers/appworld/

Type of support

(Professional support, community support, corporate support etc)
RIM has a dedicated space on its website for third application developers at http://na.blackberry.com/eng/developers/. Complete information from how to develop third party applications to how to make those available on BlackBerry app store can be found here. The site contains links to many useful resources and tool downloads to facilitate rapid application development.

RIM also provides a forum for BlackBerry developers where people can post and obtain information about BlackBerry development. The link to the forum is http://supportforums.blackberry.com/rim/?category.id=BlackBerryDevelopment
In addition there are forums run by the third party developer community to support application development
on BlackBerry's application development platform. Some of these forums are:

* http://www.blackberryforums.com/developer-forum/
* http://forums.crackberry.com/f9/

Developers’ tools (IDE, developer sand box etc.)

BlackBerry JDE and Simulators are available to public. These tools and other resources can be found at http://na.blackberry.com/eng/developers/

Quality

Quality/Stability of the platform

BlackBerry development platform is a stable platform and there are nearly 1500 applications available for download on Blackberry app world storefront. RIM provides public access to their Issue Tracker (https://www.blackberry.com/jira) that can be used by third party application developers to submit defects or enhancement requests. As of July 19, 2009, there are 104 unresolved issues against the Java Applications project, while 8 issues have been fixed. Java Applications is the core application platform on BlackBerry devices on which third party apps are developed.

Portability

Hardware dependencies

BlackBerry platform is supported only on RIM's BlackBerry devices. Following BlackBerry devices are supported by
the appworld:

* BlackBerry® Bold™ 9000 smartphone
* BlackBerry® Storm™ smartphone
* BlackBerry® Pearl™ Flip Series
* BlackBerry® Curve™ 8300 Series
* BlackBerry® Curve™ 8900 smartphone
* BlackBerry® 8800 Series
* BlackBerry® Pearl™ Series

Useful Links:

SDK License: http://na.blackberry.com/eng/legal/sdkla.jsp.
Developer resources: http://na.blackberry.com/eng/developers/appworld/
Developer Forum: http://www.blackberryforums.com/developer-forum/
Issue Tracker: https://www.blackberry.com/jira

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