RIM kicks off final BlackBerry 10 port-a-thon before launch

Last week's event attracted 15,000 app submissions ahead of the Jan. 30 launch

Research In Motion kicked off its latest and last port-a-thon event on Friday, pushing developers to port their applications over to the new BlackBerry 10 operating system. The new OS, on which much of the fortunes of Research In Motion ride, will be launched in less than two weeks.

The port-a-thon, which takes place online, began at noon Eastern Time Friday and will run for 36 hours.

RIM attracts 15,000 apps for BlackBerry 10 in two days

Developers are being offered US$100 for each of up to 20 apps that are ported to BlackBerry 10 and accepted in the company's App Store. Developers who submit five or more apps will be entered in a drawing to win one of 250 BlackBerry 10 development handsets.

The port-a-thon follows a similar and successful event last week that attracted 15,000 app submissions.

(Watch a preview of the BlackBerry 10 operating system in this YouTube video.)

Research In Motion will launch BlackBerry 10 at an event in New York on Jan. 30. The company is also expected to unveil the first handsets supporting the operating system at the same time.

RIM has seen its fortunes fall over the past few years as it failed to keep up with smartphone innovation driven by Apple and Google's Android.

The company still has a large number of business users that rely on its phones and messaging systems, but RIM needs to make a success of BlackBerry 10, otherwise it risks being further marginalized in the competitive smartphone market.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

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