Remember when Blackberry mobile devices were all the rage? People loved the ease of checking their email on the go combined with slick cell phone technology. Referred to as “Crackberries” by their legions of devoted fans, the developers of this device, Research in Motion (RIM), enjoyed serious success as one of the top tech producers.
Fast forward several years and RIM is seeing a rather sharp downturn in their popularity. The developers have taken steps to keep up with current smart phones, such as the popular iOS and Android devices, by introducing their own smart phones. However, these devices run on a different operating system from Apple and Android phones. As a result, many application (app) developers have started moving away from the Blackberry as a mobile platform. While there are still many users avidly supporting RIM’s phones, the sheer tidal wave of iPhone apps, as witnessed by our iPhone app reviews, and Android popularity has pushed many developers away from the Blackberry.
Several notable companies to have ‘defected’ from the Blackberry platform, including Seesmic (a social media app company), Purple Forge Corp (political campaign apps), MobileRoadie and several others.
Reasons cited ranged from the added complexity of developing for the Blackberry operating system,dealing with a smaller app marketplace with less popularity, and the potential for customers to experience a frustrating experience with an app. RIM has worked hard to show off their own apps market, with roughly 35,000 apps available for their users to peruse. While this number may seem impressive, it pales in comparison to the powerhouse Android and Apple app selections. Both of the latter operating systems have around 400,000+ apps available for download through their respective online app stores and markets.
While it may be a little too early to sound a death bell for Blackberry’s app marketplace competitiveness, it is certainly not a good sign for RIM to have so many developers leaving. The Blackberry developers will have to come up with new and innovative ways to maintain Blackberry’s user base, otherwise many fans may soon follow the app developers exit to other platforms.