RIM launches BlackBerry apps lab in the University of Pretoria

RIM launches BlackBerry apps lab in the University of Pretoria
By DJ Reyes on 31 May 2012 10:35 am EDT

The drive for creating apps for the BlackBerry platform increasing, with RIM's BlackBerry 10 Jam World Tour kicking off in Milan, developers are certainly very excited about building apps for the BlackBerry devices. However, that is not the only way RIM is helping the developer community. RIM also has the BlackBerry Academic Program, which was launched back in 2010. This allowed academic institutions around the world to sign up as a BlackBerry Academic Centre where they can get access to self-study tools, software development resources and academic content.

Today, RIM has announced the opening of BlackBerry apps lab at the University of Pretoria, a BlackBerry Academic Centre. RIM already have 39 academic institutions in Africa signed up to the Academic Program and the University of Pretoria is the largest one in South Africa. The aim of the lab is to help accelerate mobile software develoment, as well as creating more opportunities and jobs in the mobile arena. As well as providing the usual development resources and tools, the lab also marketinng, training and sales tools to aid developers increase their business opportunities. RIM also hope to work with developers in the area to develop local and regionally applicaitions for currently BlackBerry devices, BlackBerry PlayBook as well as the upcoming BlackBerry 10 smartphones. Read the full press release below.

Press Release

RIM opens BlackBerry apps lab at the University of Pretoria 

Pretoria, South Africa - Pretoria, South Africa - Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ: RIMM; TSX: RIM), the maker of BlackBerry® smartphones and BlackBerry® PlayBookTM tablets, and the University of Pretoria today announced the opening of the BlackBerry apps lab at the University of Pretoria, a BlackBerry Authorised Academic Centre.

The BlackBerry apps lab aims to accelerate mobile application development in South Africa, thereby creating new economic opportunities and jobs in the mobile space, and supports the larger context and objectives of the South African Department of Communications' (DOC) eSkills Institute.

The lab will provide local developers, including University of Pretoria students and faculty, start-ups, entrepreneurs and others, with access to resources in development, marketing, sales and training to help them expand their ideas and business opportunities. RIM will work with developers to create local and regionally relevant applications for BlackBerry smartphones, the BlackBerry PlayBook and devices running on the upcoming BlackBerry® 10 platform.

Prof. Stephanie Burton, Vice Principal, Research and Postgraduate studies at the University of Pretoria said, "We are excited to be partnering with RIM to bring the BlackBerry apps lab to our campus. One of our key objectives at the University of Pretoria is to empower our students to develop industry relevant skills that will accelerate mobile application development in South Africa and help create new economic opportunities and jobs in the mobile space. Our partnership with RIM, and the collaboration with the DOC's e-Skills Institute, will allow us to deliver on this promise."

Rosey Sekese, Director General of the DOC, said, "The e-Skills initiative aims to address the shortage of critical skills in the ICT sector. During this financial year, several initiatives are planned. We are excited at the huge potential that this programme offers us in our quest to close the skills gap in the sector."

The e-Skills Institute (e-SI) is a South African Government initiative that aims to harness the potential of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) across the whole of society in order to help address the major socio-economic challenges that South Africa faces in service delivery, wealth creation and global competitiveness. The institute sees itself as a catalytic collaborator in e-skilling the nation in employment readiness, effective e-governance and service delivery, business development, socio-economic development and research and development. For more information, visit http://www.doc.gov.za.

Bob Bose, Managing Director for Africa at RIM said, "RIM is committed to supporting mobile software development in Africa and future digital entrepreneurs. The growth of smartphones and the appetite for mobile apps presents a huge opportunity for developers, and we're pleased to work with the Department of Communications and the University of Pretoria to share resources and ideas that will help and inspire innovative minds to make the most of that opportunity. South Africa is a key innovation hub and by working together, we aim to build a community that will create locally relevant apps for BlackBerry customers, new skills and job opportunities for graduates and new revenue streams for developers."

The BlackBerry apps lab is part of RIM's extensive developer programme that spans Africa and includes key innovation hubs such as Nigeria, Kenya and Egypt. RIM also partners with groups such as Mobile Mondays and Garage 48 across the continent, hosts BlackBerry Developer Days and the annual BlackBerry Innovation Forum in Johannesburg, where developers are encouraged to share ideas with their peers, and hear from business innovators, technology leaders and BlackBerry customers.

RIM has been working with 39 universities, colleges and schools across Africa through the BlackBerry Academic Program, which provides institutions with materials and content to teach and educate students on mobile application development.

About the University of Pretoria

UP is the leading research university in South Africa and one of the largest in the country.

The University has seven campuses as well as a number of other sites of operation, such as the Pretoria Academic Hospital. Central administration is located at the Hatfield Campus.

The University of Pretoria offers more than 1800 academic programmes in two of the official languages, namely Afrikaans and English. (Some programmes and modules are offered only in English.)

In 1996, the University of Pretoria became the university with the highest research output in South Africa and we have maintained this status.

The University of Pretoria celebrated its Centenary in 2008.

The academic programmes of the University are offered in nine faculties, as well as a business school. The faculties comprise a total of 140 departments and 85 centres, institutes and bureaus. UP is at the forefront of tertiary education in the country and collaborates with world-class partners to ensure continued excellence in learning and teaching.

For more information, visit www.up.ac.za.

About Research In Motion

Research In Motion (RIM), a global leader in wireless innovation, revolutionized the mobile industry with the introduction of the BlackBerry® solution in 1999. Today, BlackBerry products and services are used by millions of customers around the world to stay connected to the people and content that matter most throughout their day. Founded in 1984 and based in Waterloo, Ontario, RIM operates offices in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America. RIM is listed on the NASDAQ Stock Market (NASDAQ: RIMM) and the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: RIM). For more information, visit www.rim.com or www.blackberry.com.

This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and Canadian securities laws, including statements regarding: RIM's intention to provide shareholders with updates, when possible, relating to RIM's progress and challenges; RIM's transformation as it moves towards the BlackBerry 10 launch; RIM's expectation that the business will continue to be challenging for the next few quarters; the effects of the intense competition in the wireless communications industry, and RIM's plans and strategies to address competition; RIM's current expectations regarding its financial performance in Q1 of fiscal 2013, and its anticipated cash position at the end of the quarter; RIM's expectations and beliefs relating to the support of its developer partners and the development of its ecosystem in advance of the launch of BlackBerry 10; the anticipated timing of the launch of RIM's BlackBerry 10 platform; the anticipated benefits of recent strategic changes to RIM's senior management team and the hiring of outside advisors; RIM's plans and expectations relating to the CORE program; and RIM's expectation that it will be able to create long-term value for its stakeholders. The terms and phrases "would", "will", "transformation", "move towards", "continue", "ongoing", "expect", "likely", "well underway", "to be ready", "believe", "progress", "still on track", "position RIM for the future", "prepare for the launch", "targeted", "goal", "accelerating", and similar terms and phrases are intended to identify these forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on estimates and assumptions made by RIM in light of its experience and its perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments, as well as other factors that RIM believes are appropriate in the circumstances, including but not limited to general economic conditions, product pricing levels and competitive intensity, supply constraints, the timing and success of new product introductions, RIM's expectations regarding its business, strategy, opportunities and prospects, and RIM's confidence in the cash flow generation of its business. Many factors could cause RIM's actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, including, without limitation: RIM's ability to enhance current products and develop new products and services in a timely manner or at competitive prices, including risks related to further delays in new product introductions, such as the Company's BlackBerry 10 smartphones; risks related to intense competition, including RIM's ability to compete in the tablet market, strategic alliances or transactions within the wireless communications industry, and risks relating to RIM's ability to maintain or grow its services revenues; RIM's reliance on carrier partners and distributors; risks relating to network disruptions and other business interruptions, including costs, potential liabilities, lost revenue and reputational damage associated with service interruptions; RIM's ability to manage inventory and asset risk; RIM's ability to implement and realize the anticipated benefits of its Cost Optimization Program and CORE program; RIM's ability to maintain or increase its cash balance; security risks and risks related to the collection, storage, transmission, use and disclosure of confidential and personal information; RIM's ability to attract and retain key personnel; RIM's ability to adapt to recent management changes and fill vacant key management positions; RIM's reliance on suppliers of functional components for its products and risks relating to its supply chain; RIM's ability to maintain and enhance the BlackBerry brand; risks related to RIM's international operations; risks related to government regulations, including regulations relating to encryption technology; RIM's reliance on third-party network infrastructure developers, software platform vendors and service platform vendors; RIM's ability to expand and manage its BlackBerry App World applications catalogue; RIM's reliance on third-party manufacturers; potential defects and vulnerabilities in RIM's products; risks relating to litigation, including litigation claims arising from the Company's past practice of providing forward-looking guidance; RIM's ability to manage its past growth and its ongoing development of service and support operations; potential additional charges relating to the impairment of goodwill or other intangible assets recorded on RIM's balance sheet; disruptions to RIM's business as a result of shareholder activism; risks related to intellectual property; and difficulties in forecasting RIM's financial results given the rapid technological changes, evolving industry standards, intense competition and short product life cycles that characterize the wireless communications industry. These risk factors and others relating to RIM are discussed in greater detail in the "Risk Factors" section of RIM's Annual Information Form, which is included in its Annual Report on Form 40-F and the "Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements" section of RIM's MD&A (copies of which filings may be obtained at www.sedar.com or www.sec.gov). These factors should be considered carefully, and readers should not place undue reliance on RIM's forward-looking statements. RIM has no intention and undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

Reader comments

RIM launches BlackBerry apps lab in the University of Pretoria


This question is more for the people who run this site but everyone chime in.

With RIM obviously hurting big time, and teetering on being sold off and or worse, I think this could seriously HURT BB10. Think about it, if you are a developer wouldn't you be very concerned with RIMs struggles? Why would you invest, people time and money into building apps for a platform that may have doubts on sustainability. This is RIMs biggest challenge, being a consumer based phone company and attracting people to their UI. They need apps to compete with the Apples and Androids of the world. Plain and simple. However before their OS didn't allow for content rich apps like on the other platforms, and now they have one (hopefully) but with things no doubt going to be worse before their are better and with RIM hurting so badly is it even smart for developers to invest time and money into these apps. If I were a developer, I would stick with my bread and butter (apple, android) at least until BB10 is established and the company is on better grounds.

What do you guys think. I feel this could potentially be a big issue for RIM. Convincing the masses to come to BB10 when I think internally it's going to be close to see if BB10 can compete given how far behind it is, and secondly (and more scary) if BlackBerry even makes it in it's current state.

I think your post is far too watered down with "information" based on speculation - or even direct speculation on your part.

The entire team at RIM are confident, and it shows. That's a good thing. If they didn't have that, they would be doubting THEMSELVES, just as you've doubted them in your post and the outcome (if any) would be about as unsatisfactory as pre-mature e******tion to a woman.

You need to take what you hear from "sources" with a grain of salt. My love gone passionate-love for this company within the last year has me doubting absolutely any article about absolutely anything. I even question what comes out of the mouths of people. If it's not direct, it's somewhat a waste of my time.

All I'm saying is that your post contains a gigantic amount of doubt in RIM. If an idiot troll read what I said, they would say that dumb "stop looking thru rose-colored glasses" type of thing, but I am not an idiot. I feel what I feel for a reason - and it's a good feeling! If anything, the idiots are those who take speculative garbage news articles as factual information without the least bit of question. :)

I'm with you there.
Never mind the bollocks -Just keep on keepin' on...
I wish I had kept a running tally of all the lies.
Some doofus at Best Buy tried to tell me, 2 days ago, that Google was half way through buying RIM!
Never mind the Bollocks!
I'm sure RIM has tricks up their sleeve.
The sky is not falling.
The Good Guys will win.

I think BB10 will go ahead under RIM and developing apps for it should not be a concern for developers. If the worst comes to the worst the company still has all the hardware and software to continue to produce and refine BB10. That has value. With 2bn in the bank they should be able to fund the project

If I'm a developer and want to make some money. Right now is the time for me to start writing some quality app for BB10. Why? Because it's early in the game. My app will have best chance of exposure. RIM wants me to write quality apps so the incentives are there. They will help me every step of the way.

RIM and the BlackBerry brands of smartphones have have come to stay. The restructuring currently going on is to reposition rim for the future. They may not be lunching phones rapidly the way samsung and apple does but I think they produce the best smartphones so far. In nigeria for instance, 50% of smartphone users carry blackberry. It is a symbol of style and help in instant communications. RIM is meant to survive. And of course it will and succeed I love BB personally.

You may be correct but I think they are taking the correct approach. Dev devices, dev initiatives, Etc. I think this is the correct strategy. If they don’t get the developers onboard, they are doomed. Unfortunately, this is what the consumer wants. They wants apps and logs of them. How much easier can they make it for them?

I never said I had "sources" or any speculative information. I am basing this on the press release from RIM. They clearly state they are hurting (to be clear I am para-phrasing), and while I don't believe RIM thinks they won't be around or won't be in it's current state, clearly as the CEO said they are exploring their options.

My point is whether you want to deny it or not RIM is fading away into obscurity. Their overall subscriber base grew, however their market share is declining quarter after quarter and not even at a slow pace.

I'm not saying RIM is going about it wrong, I agree with the poster before they are doing it right, they are making it as easy as possible because they know if they don't have the apps and developers on board they are doomed. That being said if I am a developer and I hear the CEO of RIM saying they are exploring options on all their business and have hired bankers to explore these options, I would be very nervous to put all the effort into building the apps that yes RIM needs, BUT the developers obviously are going to consider their needs before Blackberrys.

You lost me at the second paragraph. Do you understand how many times per day I hear different variances of EXACTLY what you're saying? It's not interesting to me. I'm not here to argue, but there are us who are excited and confident, and the you-type who have Android-brain logic that makes no sense - and it's OPEN SOURCE - how does that work?!

I am confident of rim and blackberry. They are smartphones that I have come to love. I'm very passionate about it. I the truth is that the critics don't have a stand point. I have probably used the os 4, 5, but not the 6 % 7. I don't the house without my torch 9860.

To answer why Developers should waste their time on making an app for a platform that has no guarantee for success, the answer is the BlackBerry Certified App Program. RIM has already budgeted these funds and if the Dev take the small extra step of getting their app certified they are guaranteed 10K in income no matter what. So if the Developer is smart, they will be on board because RIM is putting money where their mouth is.

BB10 will come see and conquer. It will take time but Rim will make it through this rough transition period.

This article is another example of how RIM does socially responsible things that also promote its own interests.
I love the Bold 9900 I pack and my Playbook but one additional reason I am, and always will be, a huge fan of BlackBerry is their socially responsible behavior.

RIM is a truly global company and this not only has saved it from disaster as U.S. sales have fallen but it has also helped the rest of the world.

Typically, I am rooting for the U.S. teams to win but given the leading U.S. team is being sued by the Justice Department for price fixing, sues more people than Microsoft, is shamelessly engaged in carrier price fixing and the fact that by contrast our Canadian friends at RIM are just such an awesome and responsible corporate entity that provides the best mobile device to meet MY priorities, I am and always will be proud of being a RIM supporter.

These are dark days for RIM, at least in the U.S., but even here there are staunch and loyal supporters that will never switch to a gimmicky device over the most secure, most reliable, real-time, global communications device.

BlackBerry is still the one.

I've had to actually fight with the 19 year old kids trying to sell me a big screen TV that happens to make phone calls and pushes some e-mail almost EVERY time I go to a mobile store, but even if it comes down to hand to hand combat and despite any negative U.S. media against them, I can still think for myself and the best smart phone in the world today is a BlackBerry Bold.

Very Well said!

Here in South Africa a fair amount of isheep and fandroids have seemed to come out of the woodwork. They bad mouth BB to all ends with negative jibes about how its boring and stale it is. And cant get enough of how "Cool" other devices are. Only to receive very nasty surprises at the end of the month when their data bills arrive (our call and data rates are appalling, believe it!)!

My response is always that my Blackberry GETS THE JOB DONE for ME! Faster, better, and cheaper than any other smart-phone available in South Africa.

I'm on the edge of my seat looking forward to BB10. I firmly believe from what we've seen thus far that it will be a quality product that will only be better than BB as we currently know it!


For all you trolls, a wise man recently said: “sorry, couldn't hear you over all the noise of us making blackberry 10 amazing. ”

Let's rock and roll this!!!!

Even if RIM were sold off today, it still does not evaporate the 70 million users out there that depend on a device that just plain gets things done. And, even if those 70 million users did misteriously evaporate, the lessons learned in those courses are not just RIM specific. These courses are designed to give people the tools to succeed in the "mobile arena". Correct me if I'm wrong, but isnt the old os based on java? There is still a huge demand for knowledge based on java. That alone is worth taking the time to learn. Even if it is an old language, there are newer languages based on java that having that backgroud puts you ahead of the curve.

For the record, I have had a Blackberry for MANY years, and LOVE Blackberry. I prefer it FAR more than the touch screen phones that everyone seems to be going towards. All that said, I myself have trouble considering Blackberrys nowadays. They have been afwul when it comes to marketing and having foward vision. They are still trying to convince people to step up to BB7 when those phones are dead weight, not to mention even the most loyal of BB fans probably wouldn't upgrade to BB7 at this point with the impending release of BB10.

Someone mentioned having 2 billion dollars in cash, and that is true, however that isn't as much as it seems, not to mention that will dry up real quickly if they are truly writing down so much unsold inventory, laying off significant workforce, and still having to get through 2 quarters of what in an likelyhood will be a blood bath for earnings.

Unforetunately lets not forget BB has been anything but good in keeping timeframes for products. They cannot afford to fail or not deliver on this one. The fact that they are still putting out new phones and they have the balls to charge 300 dollars for them is crazy! The TOP of the line Androids that like it or not run circles around BB are less expensive.

BB does have a niche, they are without a doubt the best in security, but the consumers obviously are not that concerned with that level of secuirty. BB should have changed the business YEARS ago. They practicully invented the smart phone and it was never initally designed for the everyday Joe. It was built for the business customer, an app store wasn't neccessary. And then consumers began flocking to these phones because you could get personal email and search the web on it, it was like nothing else out at the time, that is when RIM began to FAIL, they didn't think they needed to change the game for the everyday person, they made slight improvements here and there but to this day, BBs are for businesses and not everyone else. Then Apple came along and BB still did nothing, yes they added their app store, but these apps in comparision are like going from the original Nintendo to an X-box. Not even in the same league, and still BB sat on it's hands, then droid came along again another company that said we will do what BB does but make the phones fun and attract a young customer base, still BB did NOTHING.

I love that they are thinking global and getting app developers, but I wish they did some of this domestically in the US. That is where they are loosing market share and where the brand is suffering.

They have assets YES but the asstes that hold the most valuable don't need to be on a BB devide, they can go on other devices. BB needs to decide what they want to be. At this time it's hard to envision them as "players" in the mobile market.

This site is more and more turning into some kind of religious sect. We have the worshipable objects in the forms of BB 9900, the Playbook etc. on the altar. The teacher , guru or headpriest is Kevin, preaching the glories of Blackberry and RIM to his dedicated disciples, the regular readers of Crackberry.com!
BB10 is the Messiah coming to bless everybody and give them peace ond happiness but at the same time also to slay the demons in the form of iPhone and Android.
" All glories to Blackberry" !

You have much to learn, little one...
Of course, we know: Steve Jobs eats rainbows
and farts unicorns,
Religion? Ever notice how much apple stock climbed after the book was released? One final act of self-aggrandizement.
Perhaps, little perjade, he will rise from the grave and come to your house? (I don't think you'd like him ).
You, perjade, are the last person to talk about religion.
Now, go tell Mommy it's time for your breastfeeding.

I'm not sure if any of the comments above were placed by a fellow South African, but for those that don't know - the University of Pretoria is one of South Africa's Top 5 universities and has a world class ICT Faculty. It (together with University of Stellenbosch near Cape Town) are determined to ensure that the the immense growth in Africa's ICT requirements are met by South African Developers - and this also rings true for the Number 1 Smartphone platform in South Africa (and other emerging markets).

For those that know little about RIM outside of the US, best you start reading!!

A Blackberry Lover & User of a Playbook & Torch9800!!

How unfortunate that people think that the US is all that matters. There's an extremely healthy BlackBerry Community in Emerging Economies like Middle East Africa (1.2bn people) and Indian Ocean Territories (250m people in Indonesia alone) where BlackBerry reigns supreme. This is not some kind of sect - its just that everything isn't about the US!!

A Blackberry Lover & User of a Playbook & Torch9800!!

I would like to repeat

a wise man recently said: “sorry, couldn't hear you over all the noise of us making blackberry 10 amazing. ”

Also like Rocky Balaboa sez
It's not about how hard you can hit, it's about how hard u can get hit.
True for times like these.
RIMPIRE will strike back. Just a matter of time.