Research In Motion Hiring an iPhone App Developer [Update]

RIM on iPhone?
BlackBerry maker Research In Motion is looking for a few good app developers, more specifically, an iPhone app developer. The company has posted a help wanted ad on its LinkedIn page for a developer with deep experience building apps for both the iPhone and iPad.

According to AllThingsD, which found the ad, RIM is working on bringing BlackBerry Mobile Fusion to Apple’s mobile platform. Such a move would mark a departure for RIM, which built its empire with a proprietary model similar to that employed by Apple for iPhones and iPads.

It should be noted that a departure is precisely what Thorsten Heins, RIM’s new chief executive officer, said his company will be doing, promising recently that RIM will be doing something “dramatically different,” according to Bloomberg.

Dramatically different, or not, RIM is facing difficult times as market share and sales are declining. Bloomberg’s quote, for instance, came in a story about how BlackBerry recently lost its number one market status in Canada, Research In Motion’s home country. BlackBerry has traditionally done very in Canada because it is a home-grown business.

IDC said that RIM shipped 2.08 million BlackBerry devices in Canada in 2011, while Apple shipped some 2.85 million iPhones during the same period.

Like Apple, Research In Motion went through a change in leadership in 2011. Apple cofounder Steve Jobs passed away late in the year, but RIM’s leadership change from cofounding CEOs to the naming of Thorsten Heins to the top spot was forced by RIM’s board of directors.

Research In Motion originally helped bring the smartphone concept into the mainstream, and the company’s devices became so popular in corporate America that were quickly nicknamed CrackBerrys.

Apple disrupted the smartphone market in 2007 with the introduction of iPhone. Google followed with the release of Android, and the two OSes have combined to take over the smartphone market. BlackBerry market share saw steep declines around the world starting in 2011.

Which brings us back to the new job posting. Qualified candidates would be responsible for, “[creating’ exciting enterprise applications for distribution on the iOS platform…[and be] capable of architecting, designing, developing and testing complex applications for iPhone and iPad devices.”

One candidate for such development would be BlackBerry Messenger, which is nicknamed BBM. This service remains quite popular in corporate circles. Broadening that service to other platforms would likely cost Research In Motion hardware sales, but it, or the company’s even more popular corporate email service, could increase subscription income and keep clients using RIM services.

[Update: The article originally attributed Reuters for finding the ad, but now references AllThingsD as the proper source. The article also clarifies that RIM is bringing BlackBerry Mobile Fusion to iOS. - Editor]