These days, most major mobile apps launch on the iPhone first. If a developer has time and money left over, or if the app is successful enough on iOS, then they will likely launch an Android version sometime later. And often, that’s it.
Even though it was only a few years ago that Research In Motion’s BlackBerry devices were the only mainstream mobile handsets sporting apps—back then called applications!—in seems that in today’s world, developing for RIM is no longer necessary. Companies will say, “Here’s an iPhone app, an Android version is coming in a couple months,” and no one will step in to wonder, “what about a BlackBerry version?” Some developers are even starting to consider Microsoft’s Windows Mobile development before RIM.
Now, companies, of course, have every right to decide which platforms to develop apps for. They go where the money is, where the customers are. But the problem is that there’s a deadly cycle triggered by this: when a popular developer abandons BlackBerry, and that developer is behind a cool app or two, consumers notice this and ask, “why am I using a device that isn’t getting any of the newest or coolest stuff?” So they switch to a different platform that gets developer priority, in this case Android or iOS. Then a different developer notices this and says, “why would I develop for a platform that’s losing subscribers?” And they shift focus to Android or iOS. Then another consumer notices this… and so on and so forth. This is why RIM’s troubles just seem to keep accelerating—or one of a few reasons, anyway.
But at least, for now, BlackBerry’s eroded marketshare is still enough to convince most of the major staple apps to remain alive on its platform. Today, for example, the Globe and Mail released a BlackBerry version of its Globe Investor app that tracks stocks, currencies, commodities, etc. So you’ve got a new app, BlackBerry users. Awesome.
You got it way after everyone else, naturally. But you still got it.
Photo: Silicon Angle