The decline in third party support for BlackBerry is just one of the signs that RIM is in trouble. However is news of job cuts and rumors of a takover a turn for the worse or an opportunity for a bounce back?
Seesmic is to end support for its BlackBerry Twitter app at the end of June. The reason Seesmic has given in its blog announcement is that it wants to put all its effort into developing apps for the mobile platforms where it has better sales - iOS, Android and Windows Phone.
Part of the reason for its poor performance on Blackberry comes from the fact that the ‘official’ Twitter app for Blackberry is a collaboration between RIM and Twitter, so the Seesmic offering was never particularly popular, even though it had more features than the RIM/Twitter alternative. However, the move by Seesmic away from Blackberry is a sign that developers are looking to the other platforms.
RIM reported disappointing financial results last week, with revenue in the three months up till the end of May falling by 12 percent compared to the same quarter last year, from $5.6 billion to $4.9 billion.
The Canadian company has also announced job cuts and up to 200 employees have already received layoff notices, according to the Waterloo Record, a newspaper local to RIM’s Waterloo Canada HQ.
RIM shares fell by nearly 20 percent last Friday but jumped back yesterday by about 10 percent as news of the job cuts and rumors of a takeover surfaced.
The problem is that no matter how good a development platform, is you have no choice but to follow the numbers. At the moment it seems that the most lucrative opportunity is the iPhone and iOS in general, followed closely by Android. There is also some small reason to develop for speculative platforms such as Windows Phone 7 - it may not be a big market now but with Microsoft's weight behind it could just take off.
RIM has the problem that they are seen as reliable but slightly boring purveyors of business tools - good business tools perhaps but still not exciting.
Is this a juvenile attitude?
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