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RIM's Blackberry smart phones helped revolutionize the industry.   (Source: The Baltimore Sun)

Now the company appears to be plodding slowly towards extinction as app developers and customers abandon it.  (Source: George Arthur Bush)
Developers are dropping support for RIM like a bad habit

Software developer Seesmic, maker of popular social media management smartphone apps, delivered stinging news to Canadian-based smartphone maker Research in Motion, Ltd. (TSE:RIM), commenting in a blog post:

Effective June 30th, Seesmic will discontinue support for Blackberry in order to focus development efforts on our most popular mobile platforms: Android, iOS and Windows Phone 7.

While normally it would be foolish to microanalyze app defections, this was merely the latest development in a broad trend of top developers abandoning RIM this year.  Bloomberg reports that Purple Forge Corp., a maker of political campaign an polling apps, will drop general support for the platform, offering it only if clients specially request it.  Likewise, Mobile Roadie LLC, which makes apps for fans of the Miami Dolphins and country singer Taylor Swift, says it is ditching support for Blackberries.

Reportedly one key factor is that developing for RIM handsets is complex, thanks to a large amount of hardware inputs and a less than modern API that fails to match the ease of Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Android, Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL) iOS, or Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) Windows Phone 7.

Purple Forge CEO Brian Hurley reflects this, commenting, "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. What Apple scored big on is having a touch screen and a button and that’s it. In deploying Apple applications, there are very few surprises. In Android, there are increasingly more surprises. But in BlackBerry, there are immediately lots of gotchas across the board.”

Like struggling Finnish phonemaker Nokia Oyj. (HEL:NOK1V), RIM is counting on an OS change to reverse its fortunes.  In early 2012, it will switch to using QNX's operating system in its new smartphones.  RIM's first QNX product was the PlayBook tablet, released in April -- a year after RIM acquired the small Canadian OS maker.



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RE: Judging by this video...
By BastiWebMaster on 6/27/2011 6:31:15 PM , Rating: 5
What about marketing? Microsoft had a better product(Zune) than Apple(iPod) but in the end it had embarassing sales and had to shelve it.


RE: Judging by this video...
By Pirks on 6/27/11, Rating: -1
RE: Judging by this video...
By kleinma on 6/27/2011 7:31:19 PM , Rating: 5
not quite a clone. I have an 8gb zune someone gave to me, and I love the thing. It does wifi sync (something apple is soon to be "cloning" in the iPod/iPhone). It has a screen I can actually still read in daylight when I use it outside for yard work. The people who design apple products must simply never see daylight. It does a host of other nice things that set it pretty far apart from an ipod. I mean what does an ipod do, it plays music, and certainly wasn't the first device to do so. So in what ways is the zune a clone? Your assertion that zune wasn't better than iPod is nothing more than the opinion of someone who probably owns an ipod, and probably never used a zune.


RE: Judging by this video...
By Pirks on 6/27/2011 7:35:42 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
I mean what does an ipod do, it plays music
iPod Touch does a host of other nice things besides just playing music


RE: Judging by this video...
By name99 on 6/28/2011 10:17:10 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It has a screen I can actually still read in daylight when I use it outside for yard work. The people who design apple products must simply never see daylight.


WTF are you talking about? I live in LA, a city with plenty of sun. I frequently walk on various errands, to the library etc, and I watch lectures on my iPod nano 3G while I walk. I've never had a problem with sunlight.

It's fair to criticize real Apple problems, for example their support for spoken word material is crappy (though far superior to that of MS), and they don't offer high speed video playback (of course neither does MS). But criticizing non-problems is just stupid.

And I'd say the same about your wifi sync snark. If you think iCloud is purely about syncing your music tracks, you're completely missing the larger ambition and vision of the technology.


RE: Judging by this video...
By jimbojimbo on 6/30/2011 2:13:46 PM , Rating: 2
Many people also think that the ipod was the very first mobile mp3 player as well so they say that anything that plays mp3s is an ipod clone. Truly ignorant people they are.


RE: Judging by this video...
By djdjohnson on 6/27/2011 8:21:20 PM , Rating: 3
The Zune was (and still is) absolutely a much better music player than any iPod (or iPhone) has ever been. More consistent interface, subscription and streaming options, better controls for managing playlists, artist bios and pictures, far better podcast support... Plus the desktop software is much faster, easier to use, has a better interface, and is much more reliable besides being much better looking. The iOS ecosystem has the Zune beat in terms of apps (the Zune doesn't even show up for that contest), but in terms of music playback, the Zune wins hands down.


RE: Judging by this video...
By Belard on 6/29/2011 10:50:29 AM , Rating: 2
to playback music.... only a few buttons controls are needed.

Play, FF, back, stop/pause.

My $30 Sandisk Clip does what I need. The display has 3 rows and is off most of the time.

Zune did improve with age... but the market has move on and MS has stopped making ZUNEs. Apple has created the MP3 standard and by using it same rather large interface connector - it *IS* a standard.


RE: Judging by this video...
By Belard on 6/29/2011 10:45:04 AM , Rating: 1
Back in the 80s, the Amiga was easily far more powerful (and cheaper) than any MS-DOS computer. MS didn't have a "modern" computer OS until Windows95 in late 95. (Windows3.x and below are not Operating Systems and were pure crap).

Amiga did video, gaming, audio and very useful and productive Multi-tasking. Mac didn't multi-tasking in the 80s, improved task-switching was added in the 90s... but not until OS-X, did they have real Multi-tasking.

Yet, Amiga pretty much died in 92~93 because of the stupid company that owned it and market forces that wanted compatibility with "MS-DOS", they they wanted something better.

Zune wasn't better... it had some added features, but thats it... and they were ugly brown clones of iPods.

The market supports 2, maybe 3 devices when it comes to electronics or technology. (IE: you can still build a NEW "Amiga" system with a recent OS... a few thousand people in the world own such systems. No development, should be ZERO viruses too).

For Cell Phones & tablets: Android, iOS and WinPhone7 are the top 3... Since MS actually did something DIFFERENT and good with WP7, I'd place them above RIM - 3rd place.

RIM failed the Playbook because they showed incompetence with releasing a half-baked product. Spending an extra 2-3 months to perhaps fix its bugs and put on an email & contact manager would have gone a long way.


RE: Judging by this video...
By Pirks on 6/29/2011 12:35:12 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
RIM failed the Playbook because they showed incompetence with releasing a half-baked product
I heard the same things about half-baked iPhone 2G when it was released in 2007.


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