June 27, 2011, 12:57 PM — Starting on Thursday, social media management application maker Seesmic will cease support for Research in Motion's Blackberry.
When the company made the announcement last Monday in a blog post titled "Important update for BlackBerry users," Seesmic explained it was making the move "in order to focus development efforts on our most popular mobile platforms: Android, iOS and Windows Phone 7."
Let's face it, that last one is brutal.
Now other developers -- along with a high-ranking marketing executive, not to mention analysts and investors -- are walking away from RIM, which continues to lose smartphone market share in the U.S. and earlier this month sharply downgraded its full-year forecast.
According to Bloomberg, in addition to Seesmic:
Mobile Roadie LLC, which makes apps for fans of the Miami Dolphins and country singer Taylor Swift, have decided to stop making products for RIM. Purple Forge Corp., which makes programs for political campaigns and polling, will stop building BlackBerry versions of its apps unless customers request it.
Granted, some of this may sound slightly trivial, especially if you're not a Dolphins fan or can't tell the difference between Taylor Swift and Taylor Hicks. (In case you aren't aware, Taylor Swift is hugely popular; Taylor Hicks, not so much.)
The issue isn't these particular apps. It's the trend. And the trend is that developers no longer consider the BlackBerry platform worth developing for.
But that's not necessarily because they see RIM on a slide toward oblivion, though that's certainly part of it. According to Purple Forge CEO Brian Hurley, it's really all about the development hassle. He tells Bloomberg:
"As soon as RIM brought in a touchscreen and mixed it with a thumbwheel, a keyboard and shortcut keys, it made it really difficult and expensive to develop across devices. What Apple scored big on is having a touch screen and a button and that’s it. In deploying Apple applications, there are very few surprises. In Android, there are increasingly more surprises. But in BlackBerry, there are immediately lots of gotchas across the board."