The real 800 pound gorilla in mobile competition: Apps

The new Blackberry Q10, Z10 and Windows Phones might, argumentatively, have as many hardware features as new Android handsets and the iPhone 5.  Personally I would argue that some Nokia Lumia handsets running Windows Phone might be superior to many Android handsets and any iPhone ever designed.   Yet equal or superior hardware will not help Blackberry or Microsoft wedge their way into the hand held market dominated by Samsung and Apple today.  There is only one real deciding factor that will push consumers to an Android or iPhone.  Very simply: Apps.

On Oct. 30, 2012 Google Play set a milestone.  They reached the same number of apps that Apple had in iTunes on that day: over 700,000.  As of that date Google reported just over 25 million app downloads to Apples 35 million.  Windows Phone is making slow progress in the number of mobile apps available.  To date Instagram, NetFlix, Pandora, and Spotify are still not available for Blackberry.  For many people, including myself, the absence of at least one of those is a show stopper.

As solid as the platform might be, as dependable as the hardware might be, if I can’t run IpBike to track my rides I will be missing an important part of why I carry a smart phone.   Such niche apps will be a long time coming for Windows and BB.  Many major apps have no plan in place to develop for Blackberry, despite several development platform choices, including Java Android Runtime.  Why would they?  The handsets do not have enough market saturation to warrant the expense.  Sure, it’s a chicken/egg thing but why spend money speculating that the new Blackberry handsets might begin to emerge in numbers they’ve not seen since 2004?  The Windows Phone development environment is quite a bit more limited requiring knowledge of Visual Studio, Silverlight and XNA.  Not at all suited for many developers who are used to working with mobile code supported by Android and Apple, including rapid development solutions like AppsBar and iBuildApps among others.



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  1. ifor June 10th, 2013 7:26 am

    I did go and read up on the Blackberry Android environment to see if it was worth my effort trying to get IpBike to work. Short answer is it’s a very restricted variation with a number of critical features not there for IpBike. A none starter really for me.

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