You've heard me rail on and on about the death of RIM. It seems like the new CEO, Thorstein Heins, is doing everything he can to keep the ship afloat in a sea of fierce competition. RIM just released the new Blackberry OS 10, a completely revised operating system that's so different from the previous version that none of the apps from OS 7 run on it. As if RIM didn't have a hard enough time attracting developers, now they've gotta start from ground zero. Oh yeah, they've also gotta compete with the Samsung Galaxy S3… and the value of their stock has reached an 8 year low.
So things don't look good. Where to start, really? I feel the need to say something on behalf of all the developers out there because it strikes closest to my heart. When you introduce a radically different operating system, one that's so new nothing is compatible with it anymore, you're basically giving all of your developers the middle finger. You're saying, thanks for all the hard work building OS 7 apps. Now how about doing all that work over again?
RIM isn't the first to do this, and they won't be the last. In a certain sense, Android itself is one big middle finger to app developers. The need to build your app for umpty-billion different screen sizes just plain sucks. How can any developer focus on adding cool new features when the big concern is getting the app to look okay on all those screens? I'm so happy my team and I have nothing to do with either of these platforms.
Because developing for Blackberry is such an abominably laborious process, RIM is willing to pay developers $10,000 if they can somehow manage to sell $1,000 worth of apps (no easy task with so few Blackberry app enthusiasts). You heard that correctly. It's just like the state of Alaska paying people to move out there.
You can imagine there's only one reason anyone would pay you to live somewhere…
RIM has failed time and time again to deliver a decent IDE for its developers, and their recent OS 10 release is no different. Most developers end up using a text editor or some other jury rigged setup for building apps. No $10,000 guarantee will ever persuade me, or my colleagues for that matter, to return to such a neanderthal programming style. Seriously RIM, get with it and do something substantial for your developers.
Of course, nobody is paying a great deal of attention to any of this. The big news is the Samsung Galaxy S3, the next Android device to go neck in neck with the iPhone. RIM once held a dominant position in this market, and now they're barely worth mentioning. The S3 is clearly better than the new line of Blackberry devices.
Good luck Samsung. You've got a nice phone, but it's not always about the tech specs. Android is weak and fragmented. Your customers are saying your phone feels cheap in their hands. The new iPhone will blow you out of the water because it's got a solid operating system that's focused on user experience. It will destroy you because Apple prioritizes the psychological aspects of owning a phone over the speed of the CPU.
And while the world watches, RIM will slowly fade from our collective memory.
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