April 28, 2010, 2:05 PM — The BlackBerry Partners Fund, an investment group backed by Research In Motion (RIM) and formed in part to aid in the development of innovative new BlackBerry applications and services, on Wednesday announced its third annual BlackBerry Developer Challenge at RIM's Wireless Enterprise Symposium (WES) in Orlando, Fla.
The new program, "2010 BlackBerry Super Apps Developer Challenge," is open to any and all interested BlackBerry developers. And it's meant to highlight the best BlackBerry "super apps," whether new or existing applications, and recognize their creators.
A BlackBerry "super app" is an app that "delivers the most engaging experiences possible for BlackBerry users," according to the BlackBerry Partners Fund website.
During his WES 2010 opening keynote address on Tuesday, RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis told attendees that BlackBerry super apps are what will set the BlackBerry platform apart from other major mobile platforms in the future. And Lazaridis stressed that mobile application quality will be key.
"It's who has the best apps, not the most," Lazaridis told the thousands of WES attendees.
Though no cash will be awarded, participants are eligible to win a variety of prizes, and the grand prize is valued at roughly $86,000. That grand prize includes a BlackBerry Alliance "Elite" membership, three BlackBerry devices and a number of app-promotion opportunities via the BlackBerry Partners Fund, BlackBerry.com and BlackBerry App World, among other benefits.
And for the first time since the program's inception, the BlackBerry Partners Fund will select separate winners in each of seven categories from four geographical regions: Asia Pacific, excluding North Korea; Latin America, including Mexico; Europe, the Middle East and Africa ("EMEA"); and North America (Canada, excluding Quebec, and the United States, excluding Mexico).
Judges will select winners based on overall application quality, user experience and their ability to meet the definition of a "super app."
More specifics on prizes are as follows:
- Up to 400 Regional Selections will receive a free BlackBerry smartphone
- Up to 28 Regional Semi-Finalists will each receive prize packages worth over USD$16,000
- Up to 12 Regional Finalists will each receive prize packages valued at almost USD$35,000
- Up to four Regional Winners will each receive a prize pack valued at USD$85,000