With the final version of the phones, which RIM said would not be sold to consumers until late this year, the company will attempt to regain market share lost to Apple’s iPhone and phones that use Google’s Android operating system. The company is handing out about 2,000 of what it calls “alpha” versions of the phone to developers attending a company-sponsored conference in Orlando, Fla.
Alec Saunders, the company’s vice president of developer relations, said it was necessary to get a “very, very stripped down” version out to developers now to avoid a more serious problem later. “The reason why we’re doing this — which is unprecedented for us and it’s quite uncommon in the industry — is because we want to create a wave of application support behind the new BlackBerrys before we bring them to market,”
RIM seems to believe that the best way to excite (the remaining) BB developers and to get them to develop new cool SuperApps on their new Blackberry 10 is to give them a “pokey alpha” version of a possible future RIM phone which does not even run the OS they want the developers to get excited about. Am I missing something?
Since my post in June last year Sony Ericsson and Motorola were acquired making the victims list total 14 companies, with Nokia, LG and RIM having joined the “endangered species list”. If the pattern repeats, then RIM and Nokia are in early phases of what promises to be an extended period of pain followed by an exit.
Regardless of their actual financial performance, all these companies have been, to a varying degree, struggling to keep up with the innovation pace and business performance of Apple for over three years. As of today though, I find it difficult to imagine that Nokia will get acquired anytime soon. On the other hand, I can totally see that happening to RIM. Provided that there’s someone who would actually want to buy it. Remember what eventually happened to Palm?
Only a few years ago the concept of a mobile app store did not exist. Or at least not in a sense as we know it today. Yes, it was possible to get third party apps for your smartphone (mainly Symbian or Java), but the experience was quite lame — no integrated environment, no common policy, no app reviews or ratings, very difficult traceability, no updates, complicated installation. The list goes on and on.
Today, on the other hand, every smartphone platform has its own app store — be it Apple’s App Store, Google’s Market, RIM’s App World, Nokia’s (now almost dead) Ovi, Microsoft’s Marketplace or Amazon’s Appstore. With varying degrees of success and major differences in user experience and app selection, all these app stores* aim to provide a seamless and integrated user experience for discovery, purchase, installation and updates of applications for a range of mobile devices. App stores truly revolutionised the way we perceive value of our mobile devices and the mobile ecosystem as such. And a completely new domain of the SW industry evolved from it.