Lessons from a BlackBerry App Developer


I just finished reading a very interesting article/story written by Marcus Watkins, who is the creator of PodTrapper. The article discusses his experiences and lessons learned in developing, pricing, marketing and selling his first mobile application on the BlackBerry platform. It was published June 22, 2009; so it’s still recent and very relevant.

Here is an overview of what it covers (taken from the article):

Introduction
BlackBerry Platform
Development
Look and Feel
It’s the Network
Background Apps/Memory
Pricing the App
DRM
Selling the App (Retailers)
Handango
Direct
MobiHand
BlackBerry App World
Initial Sales
Marketing
Sales Post-App World
Dealing [or not] with other companies
My Customers
Conclusion
Topic Outline

For all those BlackBerry developers out there. I hope you have had the chance to check out the App Store and apply for distribution through it’s channel; it can be extremely valuable. If you want to learn more about it, check out my blog post on the BlackBerry Partners Fund Blog called “The Next Wave: Mobile Applications and the BlackBerry Application Storefront,” which discusses some specifics about developing for BlackBerry App World.

Some BlackBerry developers (and outside observers) have recognized that there are some kinks in the process of getting onto BlackBerry App World. Kevin Talbot, co-manager of the BlackBerry Partners Fund, identifies some key issues plaguing BlackBerry App World and invites developers and others to comment and add their thoughts about what RIM can do to fix App World.

If you have just submitted an application, or are planning on developing an application soon, make sure to apply for the 2009 BlackBerry Partners Fund Developer Challenge.

Happy developing!

BlackBerry Developer Challenge


This morning we launched the official call for entries for the 2009 BlackBerry Developer Challenge. We’re pretty excited about it, and there are some great prizes lined up for BlackBerry Developers!

Here is a summary of the prizes to be won at this year’s challenge:

Finalist Prize Package worth approx. US$5,000:
– Featured Placement on BlackBerry App World carousel for one week;
– One BlackBerry Developers Conference pass;
– One BlackBerry smartphone;
– Invitation to demo at “BlackBerry Sweet 16” event at the BlackBerry Developers Conference in San Francisco, California, where final judging will take place;
– Publicity via monthly press release announcing finalists.

Grand Prize Package worth approx. US$100,000:
– $75,000 Cash Prize;
– $25,000 Value Package.
– Value Package includes:
—- One Elite BlackBerry Alliance Membership for one year;
—- One Day Mentoring Session with RIM in Waterloo, Ontario, providing analysis, review and insights into how to best improve the application on BlackBerry;
—- Press Release and Featured Interviews with Media;
—- Two additional weeks of BlackBerry App World Featured Placement on the carousel;
—- Potential investment offer from BlackBerry Partners Fund.

Runner Up Prize Package worth approx. US$25,000:
– $10,000 Cash Prize;
– $15,000 Value Package.
– Value Package includes:
—- One Select BlackBerry Alliance Membership for one year;
—- One Day Mentoring Session with RIM in Waterloo, Ontario, providing analysis, review and insights into how to best improve the application on BlackBerry;
—- Mention in Press Release;
—- One additional week of BlackBerry App World Featured Placement on the carousel.

More information can be found on the official challenge page.

Kevin and I will be Tweeting about the challenge; for real-time updates add @ktalbot and @jsookman.