Sure, we're hard on the BlackBerry here at TiPb, what with its aging operating system (it still has legs, sure, but one suspects they're coming up on the limits of the OS's capabilities), its tic-tac keyboard (although, honestly, I still prefer physical keyboard myself), and its sad little browser. One thing we haven't touched on yet, though, is how RIM (like every other Smartphone company out there) has utterly missed the boat when it comes to 3rd party application developers. You probably know where this is going, but Apple's App Store may just be the biggest deal of all the big deals that have come out in the past two weeks. Lest you think we're totally biased, let us point you to this excellent essay by a (former?) BlackBerry developer: "Galileo and Apples."
What Apple has done is for the first time ever successfully given a finger to carriers and torn down walls. And the net result? Users are loving it. And so are developers. Who would’ve thought…Oh yeah, that’s right we all did! It was patently obvious to every single mobile developer that if everybody just got out of our way and let us do our thing we’d be able to drive activations (device handset sales), device stickiness, and all around there would be rejoicing and everyone would profit. But nobody would listen.
They’re listening now though.
The App Store isn't doing to grab developers just because the iPhone is going to become the #1 smartphone on the face of the planet and destroy all others in enterprise and the consumer space alike -- because let's face it, it won't. No, what the App Store does it offer developers gobs of money simply because it's the first way to purchase and download smartphone apps that doesn't stink. As Neil Sainsbury writes, most folks with even a passing familiarity with the smartphone world have long thought that the faustian pact between carriers and smartphone makers has stifled innovation, progress, and profit. Apple's App Store has proven us right.