In the run up to our launch in the USA, I suspect discussion of the number of Android titles in BlackBerry World will again surface. First a bit of history to frame my thoughts here.
Historically platform changes have always been a high risk/reward proposition, and the industry continues to exhibit behavior described by Geoffrey Moore in his classic Crossing the Chasm. Using Moore’s terms, to encourage “pragmatists” to adopt lead to creation of a two part platform introduction strategy. First, focus all evangelism on the new platform to attract the “early adopters” and secondly supply tools or a porting layer to enable a move from the incumbent platform to the new target to decrease risk for the “pragmatists”.
Does this work? Yes, over the many platform changes I’ve overseen on the PC use of porting tools/layers have been effective tactic, but I’ve not seen as an effective implementation and execution as we’ve done at BlackBerry. While the speculated number of Android ported apps in BlackBerry World grossly overshoots the actual numbers, what’s important is the number of “pragmatist” partners who used the porting layer to ship a BlackBerry 10 app for launch with minimal risk. Based on observed BB10 results/downloads these partners are now working on native BlackBerry 10 Cascades apps that fully integrate with the BlackBerry Hub, for them, the porting layer served it’s purpose. This is a textbook example of the platform change strategy in execution and over the coming months we’ll all enjoy this second wave of native BlackBerry 10 apps.