In the final mile before it officially unveils its new BlackBerry 10 smartphones, RIM’s quest for mobile apps and content appears to be going well. So well, in fact, that it says it is pushing back the deadline for its developer incentive programs due to the large number of apps that have been submitted for review.

The Canadian firm has run a series of Port-A-Thon events, where developers can ‘port’ their games and apps to BlackBerry 10 from other platforms, to help encourage content. Events began in late 2012 but its first of 2013 saw more than 15,000 apps submitted, while the final one — held last weekend — saw just over 19,000 submissions, according to Alec Saunders, RIM VP of Developer Relations.

As a result of the number of apps that need to be reviewed, RIM has shifted the timing for its ‘Build For BlackBerry’ program and ‘$10K Developer Commitment’ to allow it sufficient time to look over all that are pending.

“The response and interaction from developers has been nothing short of amazing,” Saunders says, writing on the BlackBerry Developer blog. “This continues to show an overwhelming level of commitment from developers to the BlackBerry 10 platform…The fact is, the volume of apps being submitted for review and entry into the program has been remarkable. Due to that large volume of apps, we are extending the deadline.”

Back in September 2012, RIM announced the Build For BlackBerry program, which allows developers to submit native apps (i.e. not ported from Android or iOS) for approval without charge. It also introduced its $10K Developer Commitment, which incentivizes developers with a promise of a minimum of $10,000 in earnings from their app.

There are terms and conditions but, essentially, developers whose app earns at least $1,000 on its own but less than $10,000 over 12 months, will be paid the difference between the revenue that was brought in and the $10,000 guarantee. That’s extra cash will come out of RIM’s pocket, and the firm says it is “putting our money where our mouth is.”

10kdevcommit 730x496 RIM extends BlackBerry 10 app incentive deadlines following remarkable number of submissions

The 10K Commitment deadline was originally January 21, but developers had been advised to submit their apps to BlackBerry World by January 11. RIM’s new scheduling is as follows:

  • Apps that have been submitted on or before 8pm EST on January 21, 2013, may qualify for the $10k Developer Commitment if the developer agrees to the official terms and conditions and passes Built for BlackBerry testing.
  • Developers may apply for Built for BlackBerry review and the $10k Developer Commitment offer in the BlackBerry World Vendor Portal by 8pm ET February 18.
  • The qualifying sale dates for the 10k Commitment is 12:01am ET, March 4, 2013, to 11:59pm ET, March 3, 2014.

Yesterday, CEO Thorsten Heins told German newspaper Die Welt that BlackBerry 10 would launch with 70,000 apps in the BlackBerry World store — which had video and music content added to it yesterday. While it is unlikely that all of the apps submitted will be approved for the store, certainly RIM appears to be pleased with the level of commitment shown by developers.

The new devices will be officially unveiled at a press event on January 30.

Headline image via Justin Sullivan/Staff