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BlackBerry Fund Shows Signs of Life

"Silence won't cut it," he says. "RIM needs to beat the bushes to get large numbers of coders excited about building their businesses by developing software for the BlackBerry platform."

Talbot hopes BlackBerry's growth and popularity will attract developers. At the end of the quarter, the total BlackBerry subscriber account base was over 16 million, and the company already has an ecosystem of 1000 software developers, he says.

And it's still too early to call the game, says Michael Gartenberg, vice president and research director for Jupiter Research. "It's far, far too early to claim the victory for anyone," he says. "Unlike the PC desktop market, we are not seeing one dominant mobile platform."

"There are a lot of BlackBerrys out there, and funds and investments are only one part of the motivation to support a platform," says Gartenberg.

As can be seen by the thousands of programs in the iPhone's app store, developers are happy to create software for a device they find attractive, even without funding.

Shares of RIM closed up $6.50, or 5.1%, to $133.75 Friday. During the week, the company launched its much-awaited BlackBerry bold smartphone in Austria and Germany and is expected to bring it to North America next month.

RIM's stock is up about 17.6% since the beginning of the year, while Apple is down about 13%. Handset makers Motorola (MOT) and Nokia have lost 40% and 27.6% respectively this year.
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