BlackBerry: 20% of BB10 apps are Android ports


Roughly 20 percent of the 100,000 applications available for the fledgling BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) 10 mobile operating system are ports of apps originally developed for Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) rival Android, BlackBerry Vice President for Global Alliances and Business Development Martyn Mallick told All Things D.

The BlackBerry 10 software development kit, released late last year, includes the BlackBerry Runtime for Android, an emulation engine enabling developers to repackage apps originally written for the Google OS. "We give [developers] a very nice on-ramp to get onto the platform," Mallick said Tuesday. "Our users deserve to have great content. If that is the fastest way we can get some of that content, that's great."

Mallick said some developers and publishers who initially planned to simply port existing Android apps to BlackBerry 10 have since committed to build native BB10 apps following strong device sales overseas. Others are adapting their Android apps to leverage core BB10 features like BlackBerry Hub, which offers a single point of access for all personal and professional conversations, including BlackBerry Messenger interactions, email and social media updates--for example, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) added new BB10 features to the Android version of its Kindle e-reader app, and eBay integrated push notifications.

Many high-profile brands like Facebook (NASDAQ:FB)-owned Instagram and Netflix have not yet rolled out BlackBerry 10 apps at all, however. "There are still some partners that are not in a position where their schedules line up with our schedules," Mallick said. "There are some partners where their priorities are elsewhere, not even necessarily in mobile."

BlackBerry is employing multiple tactics to attract developers to the platform, promising to pay the difference between actual earnings and $10,000 for eligible apps and vowing that the first wave of BlackBerry 10 devices will incorporate one of two screen sizes to limit fragmentation. "Overall we're excited by what we are seeing in the marketplace," Mallick said. "We have a high level of confidence we will continue to see more of the application partners come on board."

The BlackBerry World storefront topped the 100,000 app milestone last week, signaling an increase of 30,000 since BlackBerry 10 launched two months ago. Even at 100,000 apps, the platform remains far behind the pace set by Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) App Store and Google Play for Android, which offer more than 700,000 apps each.

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