Research In Motion wants you to believe that there is a good reason developers should write apps for the BlackBerry platform. RIM touts that sales are up 44% in the last year from 50 million to 70 million and that the BBX with the BlackBerry Messenger Connect provides an easy to develop for platform that can help developers get paid.
Developers and the purchasing public are not quite buying it yet. The approach to RIM right now is a “let’s wait and see” approach, especially with the release of BBX coming sometime in early 2012. RIM’s developer strategy is tied directly to HTML5, perhaps to the detriment of native BlackBerry applications. RIM needs to get its story straight for developers moving forward is the BBX ecosystem is to flourish.
RIM is more or less resigned to the fact that it is in third place in the mobile market right now. And BlackBerry is falling. That is why it is hitching its engine to HTML5, which it believes will actually supersede other mobile platforms to be the third place developer platform behind iOS and Android. Developers can work in WebWorks or C/C++ and integrate BBM Connect and Cascades.
It is curious that RIM would connect its future to HTML5 as opposed to its own native platform. The idea is to create HTML5 apps that can be bundled into the BlackBerry platform and function just like native. With the evolution of HTML5 and the advent of device access capabilities of the standard in recent months and PhoneGap integration, the strategy may work.
“There is tremendous power in the ability to send and app to someone [through BBM],” Meouchy said.
Saunders thinks there is potential for RIM apps to differentiate themselves from Android and iOS through its UI engine Cascades and providing superior graphics through WebWorks and WebGL with hardware acceleration.
“The iPhone is the Model T of the smartphone world,” Saunders said. “It is time to turn it up a notch.”
That is where it comes back down to “wait and see.” RIM has been trending downward and nothing the company has done in the last several years has “kicked it up a notch.” Perhaps BBX is the answer. It better be or the goodwill that RIM has developed with developers like Meouchy is going to evaporate.
Devs – Do you think you can make more money through BlackBerry than iOS, Android or even Windows Phone? Does BBX excite you? Let us know in the comments.