platforms

Yesterday the Seesmic team blindsided RIM with news that they would no longer develop Seesmic for Blackberry.  They were very public about it, and the only explanation offered was they would “discontinue support for Blackberry in order to focus development efforts on our most popular mobile platforms: Android, iOS, and Windows 7.”  The press seized on this statement as evidence that developers are abandoning the Blackberry platform.

Frankly, it’s lazy reporting.  Here’s why:

  1. RIM devices ship with a Twitter client built in already.  And it’s actually a pretty good client.  Personally, I wasn’t even aware that Seesmic was available for Blackberry, as I have never even bothered to search for another Twitter client for my Torch.
  2. On the basis of reviews written in Blackberry App World, Seesmic is a distant third in the universe of Blackberry Twitter clients.  RIM’s own client has over 14,000 reviews.  UberSocial, which is a feature rich location aware Twitter client, has over 4,000 reviews.  And Seesmic?  A whopping 518 reviews.

In other words, perhaps 3% of Blackberry Twitter users preferred Seesmic over other Twitter solutions for Blackberry.

It’s pretty clear that Seesmic is having their ass handed to them by their competitors. As Blackberry Cool points out, there are millions of Blackberry’s in use around the world.  The fact that Seesmic cannot build a business on this platform is a reflection on Seesmic’s business model, and Seesmic’s application, not the viability of Blackberry as a development platform.

Seesmic CEO Loic le Meur owes the RIM team an apology, in my opinion.  Seesmic is a failure on Blackberry, but he has chosen to let RIM take the blame.  That’s just cowardly.

And my friends in the press?  You put your own spin on Seesmic’s statements, and became a virtual lynch mob.  You were either stupid, or willing dupes – neither is pretty.  Shame on you.

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I like Qualcomm’s latest move, bringing their augmented reality developers toolkit to iPhone, even though the iPhone doesn’t use any Qualcomm chips.  It’s smart business, for three reasons:

  1. Qualcomm understands that software tools and platforms that work with a single hardware platform have a limited market.  On Windows, would you write for the Direct X API or the native graphics chipset API?  Answer: DirectX.  Qualcomm is trying to control the future AR consumer experience by controlling the tool set used to create that experience.  In doing so, they can advantage their own chipsets.
  2. Qualcomm is making it easier for developers to make a living using their tool set.  By enlarging the market for the developers products, they’re making the use of the Qualcomm tool set more attractive.
  3. Qualcomm is also creating a future potential customer in Apple. Apple may not buy Qualcomm’s chips today, but hopefully they will if Qualcomm can become a dominant graphics software supplier on the iPhone handset.

Someone’s thinking in San Diego.

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Apple’s naked self interest

April 12, 2010

Any vendor in the platform business knows that their primary product is programming interfaces – the so-called APIs that developers depend upon in order to deliver applications.  The API exposes features of the platform, and differentiate applications running on that platform from all others.  Lose control of the API, and you will lose control of […]

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BlackBerry Doomed?

October 29, 2009

Toktumi’s Peter Sisson asks Is the BlackBerry Doomed? and goes on to compare his recent experience of developing for BlackBerry with his experience as an iPhone developer.  Many of his complaints – non-standard hardware and OS versions in particular – are the same issues we ran into two years ago when we developed and delivered […]

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QNX CAR showcased at Adobe MAX

October 5, 2009

Adobe’s on a roll, putting flash into all kinds of devices.  Expect lots of announcements this week as the Adobe MAX Conference gets underway.  For example, over the weekend, news reports said that Adobe would extend flash to just about every phone in the market – except iPhone.  The message is that with Flash 10.1, […]

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Mobivox gobbled up by Sabse Tech

September 24, 2009

Montreal based Mobivox announced this afternoon that it had been acquired by Indian / MountainView California startup SabSe Technologies.  The brainchild of Hotmail co-founder Sabeer Bhatia, and serial entrepreneur Yogesh Patel, Sabse first launched the Sabsebolo.com conferencing service in India, then acquired Jaxtr in June of this past year, and has now acquired Mobivox. Terms […]

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Mobivox gobbled up by Sabse Tech

September 24, 2009

Montreal based Mobivox announced this afternoon that it had been acquired by Indian / MountainView California startup SabSe Technologies.  The brainchild of Hotmail co-founder Sabeer Bhatia, and serial entrepreneur Yogesh Patel, Sabse first launched the Sabsebolo.com conferencing service in India, then acquired Jaxtr in June of this past year, and has now acquired Mobivox. Terms […]

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Why WebKit make sense for MSFT

November 7, 2008

Speculation that Microsoft might replace the IE rendering with WebKit is running high this morning after remarks made by Steve Ballmer in Australia.  Although hardly a ringing endorsement of WebKit, here’s why Steve (and Steve Sinofsky, Mr. Windows) should consider this: The battle to own the presentation layer of the Web was lost long ago.  […]

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Squawk Box Oct 1: Skype 4.0 Beta 2

October 1, 2008

Guest Mike Bartlett talks with us about Skype 4.0 Beta 2, released today. What’s different, why, and what Skype’s goals are for the beta.

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Phoneboy dumps on EQO’s new strategy

September 15, 2008

Phoneboy dishes on EQO this morning in a piece titled Why I Think EQO is Doomed.  I agree with him that the hardest mobile strategy of all involves convincing carriers to put your software on their deck.  Carriers move slowly, and view the deck as a distribution platform that the software developer should be paying […]

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