Following the opening of its first lab at the University of Pretoria’s Information Technology Department in May, BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM) has now opened its second Apps lab in South Africa.
The new lab in Cape Town and that which is based in Pretoria, aim to help the development of mobile applications in SA as well as create new job opportunities in the local mobile space with its available resources for students, developers and entrepreneurs.
Of the opening of the Cape Town lab Alexandra Zagury, MD for South Africa and Southern Africa at RIM says that “Cape Town is a key innovation hub, and a natural site for RIM’s second BlackBerry apps lab in South Africa. We are now looking forward to fostering mobile innovation in the Western Cape and helping to grow South Africa’s next wave of mobile app developers. Our investment in this lab is a signal of our commitment to supporting South Africa’s thriving BlackBerry developer ecosystem.”
While the company quickly looses market share in international markets like the U.S. and Europe to iOS and Android powered devices, in South Africa BlackBerry use is on the increase and has also been voted as the “Coolest Brand”. This is primarily due to its affordable unlimited BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS).
BlackBerry is hoping to reduce the loss of market share with the upcoming release of BlackBerry 10 expected early in 2013.
The new operating system, deemed critical for the success or ultimate failure of the struggling smartphone manufacturer, was originally planned for a 2012 launch but was delayed due to an unrealistic timetable according to RIM CEO Thorsten Heins.