BlackBerry’s commitment to their third party developers is admirable and the gold standard (and perhaps even beyond that) of how developers should be treated. Under the leadership of Alec Saunders and the Developer Relations team, RIM has essentially written the book on how to grow a third party mobile app ecosystem.
Today, RIM is sending out emails to confirm the payment information for developers who participated in the first BlackBerry All-Aboard Port-a-thon which saw developers submit about 4,000 apps to BlackBerry World. The second Port-a-thon broke all records with a staggering 15,000 app submission total. The final Last Chance Port-a-thon will be taking place Jan 18th and should bring in many more thousands of apps.
The rewards, (at least the cash) should be distributed within 4-6 weeks. Other rewards, like the Dev Alpha devices and the Trips to Amsterdam may come at different times.
As a BlackBerry developer myself, I have seen first hand the lengths RIM has gone through to actively cater to our every need. Instead of paying Apple for the privilege (and having to buy an iPhone AND a Mac) to write applications for iOS, many developers are moving to BlackBerry 10. The apps look better, the apps are more powerful, developing is free, you can use whatever machine you want, the tools are excellent, and the developer support team is legendary. Mix this in with potentially tens of millions of subscribers and BlackBerry World should explode.
If the launch of BlackBerry 10 is successful, and millions of devices are sold, you can bet the continued commitment to developers should help bring the remaining big name apps to the platform.
For details on registering for the Last Chance Port-A-Thon check out this blog post.