I have mad love for BlackBerry. In a world of beige, it is black. Much as I want the company to succeed, like you, I’ve been watching the slow motion car crash that is RIM.
Thorsten Heins has his work cut out for him, and I want nothing more than to see the company make a Lazarus-esque comeback. Until that happens, developers will continue to have little confidence in the platform. There’s a lot of trash talking about this topic, but it’s a fact that BlackBerry is one of the least desirable platforms for developers.
Developer interest is such an important indication of a platform’s health. Over 75 million people in the world own a BlackBerry, so it’s not that developers have a small audience. RIM is suffering because its development platform has been notoriously difficult to develop for.
With the introduction of new SDKs and the QNX operating system, BlackBerry App World doubled its catalogue from 25 000+ to 50 000+ last year, with OS 7 apps growing the fastest. If anything, it’s a glimmer of hope for BlackBerry 10, but to give you an idea of just how bad things are, take a look at these Distimo stats. The app store analysis company recently published a list of apps for 2011 that generated the most downloads, world-wide, across all stores. It matched apps together across all platforms, and also matched the free and paid versions of one app together.
Do you own a BlackBerry? You missed out. BlackBerry only has two of the top apps for 2011. To be fair, “Angry Birds” is now available for the PlayBook. Also, iBooks is proprietary and although there is a Google Maps app available for BlackBerry, it doesn’t have the same features as the Android version.
In summary, Apple and Android share first place with a score of 9/10. Nokia came in second with a score of 6/10. Windows Phone 7 took third place with 4/10. BlackBerry only managed 2/10.