RIM ramps up its courting of European developers

BlackBerry maker announces the date and location for its first-ever developers conference aimed at European programmers. We read a little deeper into what that may mean.

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BlackBerry DevCon Europe logo

Research In Motion is expanding its series of developers conferences to European programmers.

The first DevCon Europe, as it's called, is set for Amsterdam on February 7 and 8, 2012.

The BlackBerry maker has been slowly increasing its outreach to developers, launching DevCon Asia this year. (The 2012 show will take place in Bangkok.) Meanwhile, the San Francisco area will see its fifth such conclave this fall.

RIM's quickening pace for wooing developers with dedicated shows makes us wonder how much the troubled mobile-device maker hopes that developer interest will increase its mainstream appeal. Android and iOS have hundreds of thousands of apps apiece, and even the much younger Windows Phone OS may have arguably surpassed the longer-established BlackBerry App World.

There's no guarantee that a swollen app store will turn consumers into buyers, and even beyond its stagnant app store, RIM's strategic bosses have more pressing worries. More high quality apps are certainly a bonus and a factor in smartphone purchasing decisions, but what RIM really needs to announce at one of these DevCons is some excellent new hardware to match. Only then will RIM have a chance at regaining its momentum.