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A Qatar Airways official presenting the airline’s BB10 applications.
Doha: The new BlackBerry10 (BB10) platform will make it easier for programmers to develop mobile phone applications in Arabic, says a senior BlackBerry official.
The region is facing a dearth of reliable mobile phone applications in Arabic, but the latest BlackBerry platform is set to give a boost to developers.
“Our new tools make it much easier to develop applications in native languages,” said Lewa Abukhait, Senior Alliances Manager, Middle East, BlackBerry.
BlackBerry Z10 is the first mobile phone that was launched with 75,000 applications.
“Since we started what we call BB10 Jam Worldwide, the response was not less than massive,” said Abukhait.
The platform provides multiple development languages, including C++, QT, HTML, Adobe, Java and Android, the official said.
“Qatar is where we have had the most success stories in the region. Many brands are developing applications with us here,” he added.
Qatar Airways (QA) and Al Jazeera showcased their new applications on BB10 during an exclusive BlackBerry event at Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) on Sunday.
QA is also the first Middle East airline to have an application ready for BB10.
Additionally, the Al Jazeera application, in its BETA version, gives readers access to news and services in Arabic and English on their smartphones.
MBC Group is working on Shahih.net, the biggest video portal for BB10.
Other organisations such as Grand Cinema, the UAE Roads and Traffic Authority and Abu Dhabi Police are also streamlining their applications on the new platform.
Abukhait said that Dubai Electricity and Water Authority already has a live application on the new platform, while leading Arabic newspapers and magazines such as Sharq Al Awsat, Sayidaty and Al Iqtisadi are also working on applications.
“The platform is new so the developers will need time to learn its tweaks and tricks, but we will not stop until our platform is flawless and we have all development assets,” said Abukhait. “What we’re telling developers is that regardless of your expertise or your capabilities, BB10 platform is the only platform that provides tools for multiple languages,” he said.
“Last week we announced the launch of Z10, and Q10 will be available in the market by the second quarter of this year,” said Ahmad Olaywan, the Country Director, Qatar, BlackBerry.
In 2012, BlackBerry had a 119 percent growth rate in the Middle East, and the latest platform is one of the most ambitious launches by the Ontario-based company.
The Z10 is now available in all retail outlets in Qatar at a price of QR2,599.