In addition to losing smartphone marketshare, BlackBerry maker RIM is losing app developers, too. Developers are seeing RIM’s platform as too complex and not worth the financial investment based on market size, according to BusinessWeek.
“As soon as RIM brought in a touchscreen and mixed it with a thumbwheel, a keyboard and shortcut keys, it made it really difficult and expensive to develop across devices,” commented Brian Hurley, Purple Forge, one of the companies that’s backing away from RIM. “What Apple scored big on is having a touch screen and a button and that’s it.”
Developers are leaving BlackBerry for iPhone
Developers aren’t impressed with RIM’s shrinking market and relatively small app market compared to Apple’s App Store.
Seesmic is leaving RIM behind to focus on its iOS and Android apps, too.
“You have to put your resources where the growth is,” said Seesmic CEO Loic Le Meur. “It’s coming down to the explosive growth of the iPhone and the Android operating systems.”
The difference in the number of downloads developers see for each platform is striking, too. When launching the same app on the iPhone and BlackBerry, Purple Forge saw a 20 to 1 difference in downloads in favor of the iPhone.
Mobile Roadie offers tools that let users build their own apps for various mobile platforms — but doesn’t plan to continue supporting RIM because of the number of BlackBerry devices that couldn’t properly display app graphics.
“At the end of the day, I even felt like developing for BlackBerry could be hurting our reputation,” commented company CEO Michael Schneider.