Research In Motion today said that it plans to distribute a limited number of BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha devices to developers who attend an upcoming BlackBerry Jam in Orlando.The BlackBerry Jam will run from May 1st through the 3rd alongside the BlackBerry World Conference.
The idea is to get the new OS in the hands of developers and these handsets are designed specifically to allow the code jockeys to write applications for the new software. According to Alec Saunders, RIM’s vice-president developer relations, these devices will not have the same looks and navigation as the units that eventually will be sold to consumers. Saunders says that distributing these phones is important to RIM’s future. This is a tool the developer can use to get a jumpstart to build applications that will be great on a BlackBerry 10 device in the future,” the executive said.
Saunders said that RIM is holding back on revealing what the BlackBerry 10 OS will look like in order to create a buzz. Company spokeswoman Victoria Berry, said on Friday that the new BlackBerry 10 handsets will be launched in the latter part of 2012. This is a very important launch for the Canadian based company as RIM has not been able to be competitive with iOS and Android. RIM is hoping that giving the test devices out to the developers will result in a number of new applications that might be able to drive sales.
A January survey from Appcelerator and IDC showed that 89% of the developers responding to the survey are “very interested” in developing for the Apple iPhone. That figure is 79% for Android models and drops sharply to 16% for BlackBerry models.