The Blackberry Bold 9790

Back in June, Telecoms.com asked whether a refreshed software platform was enough to help embattled vendor RIM back on its feet. As the BlackBerry developer tour kicks off in the US, first reports suggest that it may well be.

The company has attracted much criticism in recent times, posting a $518m net loss in its fiscal first quarter ended June 2012, hiring JP Morgan and RBC Capital to conduct a far-reaching strategic review and announcing plans to cut a “significant” number of jobs.

A number of reports of late have forecast that RIM will soon begin to lose subscribers, for the first time in its history. However, the BlackBerry maker has defied expectations so far, revealing that its subscriber base has actually risen from the 78 million it reported earlier this year to 80 million. The news has resulted in the Canadian firm’s shares increasing more than three per cent.

At BlackBerry Jam Americas in San Jose on Wednesday, RIM took another step towards rebuilding its brand,  releasing the latest update to the BlackBerry 10 development tools beta. The beta provides developers with greater capabilities and features for building applications on the long anticipated platform on which its next generation of smartphones will run on.

The updates to the beta software development tools improve the ease and speed of development for BlackBerry 10, which RIM claims is the most open ecosystem on the market today. Developers can choose to develop apps with the languages and frameworks including; Native C/C++, Qt, HTML5, Adobe AIR and Android Java runtime technologies.

“Developers can use the skills and knowledge they already have to quickly and easily build high quality and engaging apps,” RIM said in a statement. “Due to the high demand, we have manufactured a second round of BlackBerry 10 Dev Alpha testing devices for distribution. This is a sign of our commitment to our developer community. We are making sure they have the best software tools to build, and with this device, the best hardware to test.”

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