There’s a component of BlackBerry Balance that isn’t really being talked about but is very relevant to developers: the fact that Government and Enterprise now have access to consumer apps and games. RIM has something like a million government BlackBerrys in circulation in North America and they’re currently locked out of downloading apps and games. With BlackBerry Balance, these BlackBerrys will be first provisioned as consumer devices, with Balance creating a separate instance for Enterprise, allowing any Balance user to switch to their personal side of Balance and buy/download anything they want.
The fact that BlackBerry 10 devices are initially provisioned as consumer devices is really telling when it comes to the “New RIM”. The Old RIM was first an enterprise device and the consumer features came second. It seems now that RIM is realizing the shift in the industry that the enterprise looks increasingly consumerized, and yet IT still demands security and protection from data leaks.
If you’re a BlackBerry developer or someone considering BlackBerry 10, realize that Balance is a big part of opening up a world of customers that no other device has access to (unless they own multiple devices).