The Second BlackBerry Developers Conference Asia (Part 1)

4/24/2012 9:28:35 AM

Earlier last month, in the Lion City, across the Causeway from Malaysia, the second ever BlackBerry Developers Conference Asia (also known as the BlackBerry DevCon Asia) was held, and it was a grand event indeed – even with developers coming to the Suntec International Convention Centre on very short notice. Why? Read on.


Description: The Second BlackBerry Developers Conference Asia

The first BlackBerry DevCon was held in Bali on January 2011 and that was the first time ever we got our hands on the BlackBerry PlayBook. The second BlackBerry DevCon was supposed to be held in Bangkok. Bangkok, however, was facing one of the worst floods in recent years and the decision to change the venue from Bangkok to Singapore was very last minute. Despite that, the conference was a huge success!

The Opening keynote

Gregory Wade, the Regional Managing Director of East Asia at Research In Motion, started his keynote by thanking the developers for making him a ‘rejuvenated gamer’, because he has been spending a lot of time having fun on his PlayBook playing NFL, something that he played in the 70s and 80s.

Description: Gregory Wade, Regional Managing Director of East Asia, RIM

Gregory Wade, Regional Managing Director of East Asia, RIM

He then went on to give us some information about this year’s edition of DevCon Asia. He said that there are more than 1,000 registrants to DevCon Asia in Singapore. He also said that the reason why there is an Asian version of DevCon is because of the emergence of Asia as an economic hub. With the tremendous base of application developers, there is no doubt about the fact that the development of applications is coming more and more from Asia. He also said that all attendees will be given a BlackBerry PlayBook to further develop applications for the 7 inch tablet.

Gregory also extended a special note of thanks those in the audience that came from Thailand, for being there at Singapore, even after all that’s happened in Bangkok. Some of the attendees from Thailand left Thailand for the first time in their lives, making it even more meaningful to Gregory. BlackBerry DevCon Asia was supposed to be held in Thailand and RIM had to change the venue just two weeks before the actual date because they had to take into account the attendees’ safety in mind. Research In Motion has donated 50 BlackBerry smartphones and 1 million Baht for relief efforts in Thailand.

‘I am very proud to share with you that we are committed to bringing the next DevCon Asia to Thailand.’ He said. So mark you calendars and plan a trip to Thailand for the next DevCon Asia.

Description: RIM donated 50 BlackBerry smartphones and 1 million Baht to the Thai government for flood relief efforts.

RIM donated 50 BlackBerry smartphones and 1 million Baht to the Thai government for flood relief efforts.

Growth in Asia

After giving his commitment that the next BlackBerry DevCon Asia is to be held in Thailand, Gregory then gave us an outlook on the growth of BlackBerry in Asia. He said that BlackBerry smartphones are the number one smartphone in multiple countries in Asia, including Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines. There are over 3 million BlackBerry fans engaged on social media channels in Asia. The most interesting date is that according to an IDC report, BlackBerry will grow faster than the Asia Pacific smartphone market.

‘We’re committed to Asia and we are actively investing in Asia. We are opening more and more facilities and offices across the region. Investing back into the community, like the BlackBerry Academic program, that provides universities with the materials and tools to educate students for today as well as the future,’ he said.

After he shared about RIM’s progress in Asia, Gregory then said that Asia is so important to RIM that they launched he BlackBerry Bold 9790 and the BlackBerry Curve 9380 first in Jakarta, Indonesia, instead of anywhere else in the world. Even RIM’s Co-CEO, Jim Balsillie, was there at the launch in November. (Our coverage of the launch is in the November 2011 issue)

After giving us an overview of the Asia market and the prospects for RIM continuing its business in Asia, Gregory invited George Staikos, Vice President, Web Technologies, East Asia of Research In Motion to come on stage and talk about the BlackBerry platform.

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