BlackBerry App Store To Court Developers

BlackBerry App Store To Court Developers

When it comes to smartphone app stores, there are really two major players: the Apple iTunes App Store and the Google Android Market. But Research in Motion (RIM), developers of the BlackBerry, is planning to change that with an initiative to court developers back to their platform, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Here are some highlights and reaction.

The trouble, according to the WSJ, is that users are simply abandoning BlackBerry devices for smartphones like the Apple iPhone or Motorola Droid 2. And where the users go, the app developers go. And the coders who remain, the story says, are less than enamored with RIM’s payment options and how difficult it is to go from a free version of an app to a paid one.

To address the issues, RIM is apparently going to release over the next several weeks things that the iPhone has long had, like in-app purchases and monthly subscriptions -- along with other, unnamed “new services and development tools” -- designed to reinvigorate their base and attract new developers and bring back ones who jumped ship.

So here’s MSPmentor’s take: as an Apple iPhone user myself, I’m astonished that the BlackBerry never got the app store right, and frankly, being a day late and a dollar short on downloadable applications has hurt their image. The BlackBerry remains the de facto enterprise standard, and there are still hordes of users looking to make their devices more useful without having to jump through hoops.

If RIM can meet the needs of those users while continuing to refine their focus on business e-mail and messaging, they may be back in the smartphone game after all.

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