RIM promises more apps - and considers licensing OS

Posted by Emma Woollacott

RIM is extending the deadline for its Built for BlackBerry program, citing an overwhelming number of applications.

Built for BlackBerry gives developers an extra level of certification for their products, along with more marketing support. RIM says it's had more than 19,000 applications for the program.

It now expects to be able to offer more than 100,000 apps altogether when it launches the BlackBerry 10 operating system at the end of this month. That, says the company, is more apps than any other OS has had at launch.

Last week, the company netted another 15,000 apps through two Portathon events, and has since extended the deadline for submitting newly-ported apps until February 8th.

It's renamed the BlackBerry App World web store - now simply called BlackBerry World - and is adding videos and music to the site.

"With BlackBerry World, there are various ways to browse, download, buy, and manage apps using a BlackBerry smartphone, BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, or desktop or laptop computer — inspiration is at your fingertips," says the company's Donny Halliwell in a blog post.

"And if you find something you love and want to tell the world, you can easily share it with your friends over BBM, Facebook and Twitter. Also, you can simply tap smartphones together and invite your friends to download it — just like that."

Meanwhile, CEO Thorsten Heins has told German newspaper Die Welt that he would consider licensing BB 10 to other manufacturers, and that he'd also consider selling the company's hardware production business.

"It is important, first of all, to put BlackBerry 10 successfully  on the market. Then we shall see," he said.

Licensing the OS would be a big change for RIM which, like Apple, has in the past maintained a 'walled garden' with tight integration between hardware and software.