First and foremost let me start off this “rant” by saying that developers are wonderful people and I take my hat off to them all and thank them publicly for the work they do.
Developers take time out (often without thanks) to create the apps that many of us take for granted in our day to day lives and unintentionally we don’t really seem to give much thought about how many hours, days, weeks, months or even years has gone into providing us with any given app.
We are first to complain when an app doesn’t work the way it should even when its FREE and last to praise how well it works when it works just how it should.
Now with all that said, here is why I feel that those very same developers will cause the demise of BlackBerry.
For many platforms, the apps that they have are the success of it. Just look at Apple and Android, they have more apps than any known market and over half of them are free for users to download.
For BlackBerry however, even with 70,000 apps on BlackBerry World at the launch of BlackBerry 10, most of the apps that are worth having have a cost attached to them making it the case that a huge number of people will never get to sample those apps as they simply cannot afford to.
Yes admittedly some apps cost just £2 but who are we to judge people that cannot afford £2 for an app? And trust me folks, there are plenty out there that cannot.
Let’s take a look at a specific area on BlackBerry to show exactly how I come to my conclusion.
Twitter & Facebook are two of the most downloaded apps of any platform however for many people, the native apps that they produce for the platforms are pretty sucky and as users of them we tend to look to alternative apps to cover the gaps that the native apps fall short on. In relation to twitter specifically, on Android we look to apps like Tweetcaster or Plume on the iPhone we look to apps like Echofon or Tweetdeck and on Windows Phone it’s over to the likes of Rowi or MeTweets to give the solutions.
When it comes to BlackBerry there are very few apps that cover those gaps and just recently we were invited to try out one that looked like it could take that empty market space, namely Polarbear, which for the record, we still haven’t really tried.
So here is the issue, where other platforms have several if not too many free alternatives to specific apps, BlackBerry has very few and as has been the case for as long as I can remember, BlackBerry has the greediest app developers of any platform out there. You only have to look at the price of some of the apps available to realise that the developers are taking advantage of a poor app coverage by pricing their apps way higher than what they should be.
This is not a rant aimed at the developer of Polarbear, they are just one who caught my attention do to their new app being released on BlackBerry World today however that said, if you really want your app to be a success then offer a free version which is ad-driven and a paid version for those who wish not to have the adverts but either way, think of those using the apps before setting a price on the only version available.
So to summarise, greedy app developers = bad business.