BlackBerry maker, Research In Motion (RIM) is arming itself for a dramatic move against market-dominating competitors Apple (IW 500/14) and Google with its BlackBerry 10 device expected out later this year.

The first step in this move: making up lost ground with developer applications.

To do this, RIM unveiled a developer platform for the BlackBerry 10 and handed out about 2,000 prototypes to developers at the BlackBerry World 2012 conference in Florida this week, with the hope of recruiting an enthusiastic group of designers to help build up its catalog.

"There is tremendous interest, anticipation and momentum building toward the launch of BlackBerry 10 devices, and today were extremely excited to release the BlackBerry 10 developer beta tools for general use," said Christopher Smith, vice president, Handheld Application Platform and Tools at RIM at the event.

"Developers can use this first beta of the tools to get started building apps for BlackBerry 10 and as the tools evolve over the coming months, developers will have access to a rich API set that will allow them to build even more integrated apps," he said.