We know Blackberry isn't the most popular name around here, but it is a name that continues to pop up at some interesting times. Developers, in particular, may remember when the company - then known as RIM - launched Playbook OS 2.0 with the ability to run specially packaged apps developed for Android 2.3.3. Since that time, events and promotions have been run to encourage developers to bring their apps to the platform, but the aging requirement to target Gingerbread has become a burden.
BlackBerry announced last month that its beloved BlackBerry Messenger service would be coming to Android. Although, the company didn't offer a date when BBM would be available. Don't tell T-Mobile UK any of your secrets, because it just let it slip on Twitter that the big day is June 27th.
The Developer Economics 2013 report—a sort of State of the Union on app development—is out and it's packed with helpful tidbits, both for armchair analysts and programmers trying to make some sense out of this crazy software world. One of the most interesting observations the survey showed is there is still demand for a third platform. And right now they're getting it in a surprising place: on Blackberries.
Above is the graph of OSes that developers list as their "main" platform.
IDC's report for the first quarter of 2012 indicates that Google's Android continues to grow its market share to 59%, while Apple's iOS lags in second at 23%. Unsurprisingly Samsung has given the biggest boost to Android, accounting for a whopping 45.4% of all Android smartphone shipments worldwide.
In total 152.3 million smartphones were shipped in the first quarter of 2012, of which 89.9 million were Android-based smartphones (59%), 35.1 million were iOS devices (23%), 10.4 million were Symbian-based phones (6.8)%, followed by BlackBerry, Linux, and Windows Phone 7/Windows Mobile devices.
Oh, RIM. You're hemorrhaging customers, executives, and share value. It's painfully obvious you're on track for a disaster of Palm-proportions. And still, your upper-level management fling zingers at the competition that would make anyone but the die-hardest of BlackBerry fans skip the facepalm and go straight to a facedesk. It's almost like watching a Shakespearean tragedy unfold.
If you've not been keeping up with the cutting edge of all things RIM, allow me to give you a quick run-down.
RIM, in the official BlackBerry developer's blog, announced today that Blackberry Playbook's OS update to version 2.0 will bring compatibility with Android applications. RIM's post has several helpful tips for developers looking to bring their creations to the Playbook, offering some recommendations for ensuring your approval into BlackBerry App World:
Let's be frank: RIM's BlackBerry products are unilaterally, shall we say, unexciting. And RIM's new theme song should probably be this. And by "unexciting," I mean ugly, hopelessly dated, and so boring that a story about them spontaneously bursting into flames might actually give the company some much-needed edginess in their marketing campaigns. Maybe that's a bridge too far.
Anyway, when I read this morning that RIM's new CEO Thorsten Heins, speaking to CrackBerry, said Android devices are "all the same," I couldn't help but go slack-jawed in a combination of muted laughter and near disbelief at the irony.
Now, we're an Android blog and all, but we aren't exactly deaf to the seemingly never-ending corporate death-curdle that is Research in Motion. As we speak, the tech world is watching (halfway out of actual interest, half for sheer entertainment value) as the once seemingly immovable enterprise titan rolls, like a god on high fallen from Olympus, to the bottom of a mountain called Relevancy.
The story of that tumble can be told, foot by foot, from the day of the iPhone launch.
Update: This was just an unsubstantiated rumor according to a Samsung spokesman: "We haven't considered acquiring the firm and are not interested in (buying RIM)" - Reuters.
It's no secret that RIM (Research in Motion) has seen better days; in fact, its stock dropped a whopping 75 percent last year alone. Considering the downward spiral, the company's CEOs are looking for a way out, be it a sale or licensing its Blackberry software.
A few days ago, redditor fernandizzel posted a hypothetical poll: "If MS & Apple had their way and Android ceased to exist one year from today, what OS would you use?" The choices were fairly obvious: Blackberry, Windows Phone, iOS, or Other.