In an effort to increase the number of apps available in their app market, Blackberry App World, RIM has decided to prolong a special promotion which aims to give developers a free Playbook in exchange for porting over their Android app(s) to Blackberry OS. The offer was originally available between February 2 to 13 but has been extended until March 2. 

RIM stated there has been overwhelming interest in the promotion. The company claims it has been working around the clock to approve apps and kindly asks developers to be patient. RIM says the approval process is taking longer than usual as a result of the increased number of submissions.

Over 6,600 new developers have registered since the promo began and more than 1,500 app submissions have been made although prior figures to form a basis of comparison are mostly unknown. With some help from this extension, those numbers can only grow.

According to RIM, App World currently holds 60,000 apps and serves an average of about 6 million downloads per day. While these paltry sums are nowhere near the Android or iPhone app markets in terms of sheer volume, that still leaves plenty of room for useful, high-quality apps. Let's hope some of the apps ported over to Blackberry OS are some really good ones which the community would like to see.

The company featured a set of repackaging tools which aim to simplify the porting process, although RIM makes it apparent they've encountered a few potentially reoccurring issues as a result of the process:

To help speed up the approval process of your application, we strongly recommend the following:

  • Before submitting your application to BlackBerry App World, please make sure to remove all mention of the word "Android" from your application - both in the application description and the application itself.
  • Please remove all links to Android Marketplace from within your application.
  • When submitting your Android application to BlackBerry App World, please make sure to select a minimum OS of 2.0.
  • Please make sure your application is signed. For more information on code signing, please view the code signing documentation on the BlackBerry Runtime for Android Apps webpage.

The terms and conditions for the offer can be found here.