Asia's a market that's brimming with potential for a company like RIM, having already tasted great success with Indonesia where the company's BlackBerry smartphones took the country by storm, turning the BlackBerry into something more akin to social glue than mere smartphone. However, RIM also understands that the future of the smartphone doesn't just lie in bringing better, faster and more advanced models to the market year after year, but also in the software and applications that drive those devices. Over the course of two short days in mid-January on the idyllic shores of Bali, Indonesia, RIM brought together Asia's developer communities by hosting the first ever BlackBerry DevCon Asia.
What follows are some of the key highlights of the opening keynote, and on the following page, a quick pictorial hands-on of RIM's tablet contender, the BlackBerry Playbook.
Kicking off the 2-day event was a keynote speech by Gregory Wade, managing director for RIM Southeast Asia, who highlighted that the growth potential for smartphones in the region also means major opportunities for BlackBerry developers, hence RIM's decision to host Asia's very own BlackBerry DevCon for the very first time.
Today, there are more than 55 million global subscriber accounts for BlackBerry devices, with RIM's BlackBerry Messaging service leading the way as the world's largest mobile social network.
Wade also touched on the Super App, a term originally coined by RIM Co-CEO and Founder Mike Lazaridis, saying that users should expect a slew of Super Apps to lead the charge into the future of smartphones, offering seamless integration with native and third-party apps in a manner not only proactive and notification-driven, but also highly contextualized and connected.
RIM is also looking to take their popular BBM functionality even further, with the ultimate goal of turning BBM into a social platform. Develoeprs can build apps that provide additional functionality to BBM, for example, or simply to include BBM chat into their apps. The possibilities are endless, and limited only to the ingenuity of the developers and apps in question.