The Alec Saunders world tour continues in Southeast Asia and the Pacific in support of getting more and more developers to develop for BlackBerry 10. Today's stop takes the Vice President of Developers Relations to Indonesia. Promoting the wonders of the upcoming BlackBerry 10 operating system to Indonesia is a smart move because Indonesia is the third largest base of BlackBerry Developers in Southeast Asia. At the Mobile Monday event in Jakarta, Alec Saunders gave an interview to the Jakarta Globe about what the new BlackBerry 10 operating system has to offer to developers.
How would you describe BlackBerry 10?
We’re trying to take things that people love about BlackBerry and modernize that experience. BlackBerry 10 devices are about sharing and [being] social. The keyboard learns how you type and adapts to the way you work. The device can be used with one hand. You’re sitting at a meeting, your phone buzzes and you can check it casu ally.
What’s your strategy for rolling it out?
You can look back at what we have been doing over the last nine months. We started by telling developers to build apps for PlayBook [RIM’s tablet device], because apps for PlayBook are going to be apps that we run eventually. We gave developers PlayBook devices to get working with. We are repeating that strategy all over again with BlackBerry 10, by giving out a large number of BlackBerry 10 alpha devices [to developers]. It’s a third of the size of a PlayBook and a very similar device. Our goal is to have tens of thousands of apps.
Are you going to reach out to Android developers as well?
We already are. About a third of the apps in the PlayBook store today are Android apps. It literally takes 10 minutes to take Android apps and put them for sale in the BlackBerry store.
Can we run BlackBerry 10 on other devices by RIM?
Eventually, everything that runs PlayBook 2.0 today will run BlackBerry 10. Our intention is to release BlackBerry 10 on handsets and tablet devices as well. It won’t work on our old devices. BlackBerry 10 needs a dual-core processor for its sophisticated graphics; it’s a completely new operating system that takes much more memory than old BlackBerry devices.
With so many sophisticated operating systems out there, will you be a little late with BlackBerry 10?
If you rush an operating system to market, it’s a bad idea. … I don’t think too much of the Android and the iOS devices at this point. I think iOS is designed for five years ago. … It was designed with the idea that Steve Jobs had, that it would be a media consumption device. And that’s not what a BlackBerry is. It’s not for sitting on the train and watching TV.
And Android, there are now 3,977 different Android devices out there in the marketplace. For developers, it’s a nightmare. It’s impossible to test them all. So developers now are getting to the phase of, ‘Hey, maybe there are some things better than Android.’
Another thing about Android is — and Google even admitted it — it’s a rip-off of an Apple experience. So Apple is a five-year-old experience, Android is a clone of that five-year-old experience. We’re a new way of thinking about what a smartphone is. We’re going to take the smartphone back to a communication device, not something you sit around and watch movies with.
The PlayBook wasn’t very successful when it went to market. Your thoughts?
I wasn’t with the company when the PlayBook launched, and I’m just going to leave it at that. I think there were many different things that could have been done to make the PlayBook launch more successful than it was, and we’re doing those things now. Not only am I optimistic about BlackBerry 10, I think I have the most exciting job in the world. I get to go and talk to developers every day about what we can do with these products.