An investment worth $150 million in app start-ups, across all platforms, has been announced by the Blackberry Partners Fund. The money has been raised by ATP Capital, which manages the Blackberry Partners Fund, with the intention that it be invested in those start-up companies committed to developing new applications for mobile devices. However the biggest news is that the investment will not apply solely to those creating apps for Blackberry phones, but will be for start-ups developing them for any mobile company – including major competitors such as Google and Apple, making it a distinctly interesting strategy.
Some commentators are suggesting that the principal point behind the plans may be to spark media and public interest in Blackberry phones, at a time when the company appears to have fallen below rivals such as Windows Phone, Apple and Android in the eyes of both the media and the general public, but clearly there are risks associated with such a strategy for Blackberry, as it will not look encouraging if less apps are developed for Blackberry phones as a result of the investment, than those of competitors. However, two groups who do stand to benefit unconditionally from this investment are the mobile device buying public – who will likely get a lot of great new applications for their phones as a result – and the up and coming app developers.
Indeed, already significant interest in the plan has been expressed by those involved in the creation and development of mobile apps, but the worry for Blackberry is that, in a recent piece of research undertaken by IDC and Appcelerator, around 89 percent of those who expressed an interest in developing new apps indicated that the iPhone would be the mobile device that they would be most keen on developing for – a choice they will be free to exercise under the terms of the investment made by Blackberry.
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