BlackBerry races to release new apps

2013-08-30 12:21
BlackBerry apps are displayed on a Z10. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

BlackBerry apps are displayed on a Z10. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - Despite taking a beating from competitors, BlackBerry is determined to expand the market or its BlackBerry 10 platform.

One of the criticisms of BlackBerry 10 was the lack of slick applications that engage users and the company has been on a drive to court developers to build for the platform.

BlackBerry announced several new applications for the BlackBerry platform to expand the 70 000 apps that the platform had at launch. offers Office 365 collaboration on BlackBerry 10 devices. The application allows access to Microsoft Office applications as well as offline file storage.

"The apps run within the BlackBerry Work perimeter and provide full-featured SharePoint and Office Web Apps functionality, including secure connectivity and offline document access," said


Airline KLM released a travel and information app on BlackBerry 10 that allows users to manage their travel details. While the app is one of many travel apps, it illustrates the expansion of the platform.

According to industry analyst Gartner, smartphones are the engine of growth in the mobile space led by Apple and Samsung.

"The success of Apple and Samsung is based on the strength of their brands as much as their actual products. Their direct competitors, including those with comparable products, struggle to achieve the same brand appreciation among consumers, who, in a tough economic environment, go for cheaper products over brand," said Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner.

BlackBerry is under pressure to increase the sales of its smartphones and the operating system was recently overtaken by Microsoft Windows Phone OS.

Even though Samsung has sold in excess of 10 million Galaxy S4 smartphones running Android, the company has an eye of Windows Phone and has launched devices featuring the platform.

HTC has also made a point in releasing its Windows Phone-powered 8X and 8S smartphones, despite headlining the brand with the One - running Android.

BlackBerry's share of smartphones globally continues to decline and company recently launched a 9720 running the older BlackBerry 7 OS as it tries to retain the share of the market on BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS).

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