'Portathon' nets RIM thousands of new apps

Posted by Ken Kola

Research In Motion has 15,000 new apps for the BlackBerry, thanks to two 'Portathon' events over the weekend.

The company released the 'gold' build of its BlackBerry 10 SDK to developers in December. And, in the two 36-hour Portathon sessions, developers ported their existing applications to the OS. Another similar event is planned for January 18.

A range of incentives was on offer. Each app that was approved for BlackBerry App World netted its creator $100, while the first 200 developers to port between five and ten apps won a BlackBerry Dev Alpha device. The first 10 developers to break the ten-app mark got a trip to Amsterdam for the launch of BlackBerry 10.

The company's already promised that any app that earns more than $1,000 but less than $10,000 in the first 12 months will get a payment from RIM to bring it up to the $10,000 total.

"Well there you have it. 37.5 hours in, we hit 15,000 apps for this portathon. Feel like I've run a marathon. Thanks to all the devs!" commented RIM vice president of developer relations Alec Saunders.

BlackBerry 10 is scheduled for launch on 30 January, along with at least two new handsets. The launch was delayed from its original date of late last year.

The new apps should be approved in time for the launch, bringing the company's total up to something like 85,000 - although this is nowhere near the 775,000 apps currently in the Apple App Store. Google Play has almost as many, at around 675,000.