BlackBerry Jam Asia 2012 coming to Bangkok, Thailand; not to Barcelona for MWC

By James Richardson on 11 Oct 2012 09:45 am EDT

Registration is now open for BlackBerry Jam Asia 2012 (previously known as DevCon Asia) and this time around the tour will be heading for Bangkok, Thailand, There's a joke there somewhere but I shall keep things professional. The event will take place on 29-30 November 2012 at Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre and if previous Jam dates are anything to go by this one will be jam packed!

For developers the reasons for attending BlackBerry Jam Asia are pretty straight forward:

  • Learn how to take advantage of the BlackBerry platform's key differentiators - integration at deep levels of the OS, sharing through social APIs, and integration with other third party applications for smooth and seamless interaction between apps
  • Collaborate with experts on code and finding a path to port or convert without learning new languages, a key benefit of the BlackBerry 10 platform's open ecosystem
  • The unique opportunity to explore the new BlackBerry 10 tools and application capabilities. The BlackBerry 10 platform leads in open source standards and offers features that can be built into apps that drive user engagement and loyalty, enthusiasm, and the ability to share apps and app experiences
  • Dive into the new APIs and features through Sessions, Hands-on labs, and Expert meet and greets

But as well as the above I have some important news for the CrackBerry Nation. We all know that in Europe - Mobile World Congress is the biggest industry related show - where everybody gets together to show off their new hardware. Well, I *think* I can exclusively reveal that attendees to the show will NOT find a BlackBerry booth there. Nobody panic - I shall explain why.

We all know that BlackBerry 10 was due to be released late in 2012 but we had the setback to Q1 2013. Partly due to this factor RIM has had no plans to attend MWC 2013 for a long time. There are many factors involved in the decision and although I probably don't know them all I do know quite a few.

Reason 1: Unless you have been blind for 2012 you may have noticed that RIM is doing everything possible to motivate and provide developers with the tools they need to get apps submitted for the BlackBerry 10 launch next year. We have seen the BlackBerry 10 Jam World Tour cover North America, EMEA, Asia Pacific and Latin America and now with further dates announced today for Thailand. With the added bonus of the new Tech Centre Porting Labs the support that RIM are giving developers really is 100%.

Reason 2: Out of the 5000 Dev Alpha devices handed out to attendees of the BlackBerry 10 Jam World Tour, over 20% of devs have already submitted applications for the BB10 App Store. Considering we are still a few months away from the new OS being released this strikes me as awesome news.

Reason 3: Thorsten Heins and the management team are working their butts off to close the gap between the company and the consumer, as well as developers. They have travelled the world promoting the upcoming new OS and even today Thorsten met with the leader of a developer group in Jakarta - If that's not dedication I don't know what is!

Reason 4: Cost - (although more than likely not a major factor) the type of money involved in attending MWC in full force is extortionate, and bearing in mind RIM's financial challenges over the last year to two who can blame them. If I was Thorsten Heins I could think of dozens of better reasons to spend the hundreds of thousands of dollars it probably costs to attend MWC and I fully respect his decision. 

So the way I see it is that rather than RIM being at Mobile World Congress next February they are instead focusing on getting out on the road, meeting with customers and developers to ensure the future of RIM is positive. And it will be - I have 100% faith in Research In Motion. The success of BlackBerry 10 may not happen overnight but give it time and I foresee a change in the smartphone trend. You only have to visit our CrackBerry forums to see how interested Android and iOS users are about the new OS. Those users may not switch straight away but I suspect there will be many that do. And remember - RIM has shown us quite a lot of what BlackBerry 10 has to offer but there is still a tonne of other features that remain under wraps at the moment. And clearly I can't discuss what I know as i am in the *Circle of Trust*.

No MWC for RIM - No big deal. BlackBerry 10 will rock and that's final. (If you don't believe me, just ask Kevin's hair)

Reader comments

BlackBerry Jam Asia 2012 coming to Bangkok, Thailand; not to Barcelona for MWC


If MWC occurs in February '13 and RIM plans to launch its phones shortly thereafter, and MWC is the place to show the what's up and coming in terms of technology, wouldn't it be the perfect place to actually attend given the timelines and use MWC has the place to officially announce the release date of BB10 phones?

I would think that the from a pure optics stand point with the public - not developers - RIM should be attending MWC; I can already imagine that the general media will be spinning this news as a negative, i.e., "RIM fails to show up at MWC as BB10 is nowhere to be seen"

That's what I was thinking. If they launch before that, there's really no point. Also, if you ask the average consume what Mobile World Congress is, they won't have a clue, meaning MWC is for the industry people and not for the people who need convincing.

No MWC would not be the perfect place to reveal BB10. If they were to introduce BB10 at MWC it would get lost with the noise. That is why you may have noticed over the last few years that the big boys have started shying away from making big anouncments / releases @ MWC & have instead began follwing Apple's model of having their own events.

I have been wondering amout MWC 2013 for a while. The problem is that it's right around the time RIM is releasing BB10. If it's B4 they release BB10 people will critisize them for not having much to show off & no BB10. If it's right after, once again they will have nothing new to show off. When you think about it, it just makes sense that they don't attend

I'm sorry but the reasons you've given are just not very very good.

The ultimate aim is to get the phones in the hands of consumers, not dev units in the hands of developers. MWC is a MASSIVE event with loads of press coverage. That's basically guaranteed massive advertisement since every single tech blog and the big news services like CNN, Fox, BBC et al will be covering it.

This is a really really big missed opportunity..especially if BB10 doesn't launch before the MWC date. Consumers already on the fence will be treated to awesome new hardware running Android and WP8 and you can be sure many undecideds will be watching with keen interest.

I suspect a good deal of the apps submitted for BB10 are retooled PlayBook apps, so it's good news, but we'll see about AWESOME.

PS: You keep talking about 'bridging the gap between RIM and consumers' but 90% of your article talks about 'meeting with developers'...

Maybe I could have worded it a bit better - however the public marketing is coming and they have a huge plan set aside.

I think it all depends when BB10 is released. If it is before MWC (as it was meant to be) then the whole worlds media will already know about it and MWC may not be worth the money. 

The App Store will be a key factor for RIM with BB10 and for them to focus on getting devs on side is a good thing in my book.

Consumers who consider coming back to BlackBerry will want their apps. I suspect they may well get them. 




Sorry, can't hear the word "Bangkok" without thinking of a specific greetings card... type "despite eric's best efforts no one guessed bangkok" into Google Image search and you'll see what I mean ;)