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
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.”
Finnish phonemaker Nokia Oyj. (HEL:NOK1V), RIM
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.