The Idea Dude


Thursday, August 27, 2009

To Blackberry or not to Blackberry

We're at the crossroads this week. After 8 months of iPhone development, we're wondering whether we should diversify our market into other mobile platforms. The logical answer is yes, the practical answer is a little tougher. It means supporting a different application channel.

We're dabbled before with writing Blackberry apps. It's not a technology issue. It's whether we want to spend time learning a different environment. By that, I mean finding out the hard way the quirks of multiple Blackberry devices, a different App Store, approval process. Probably the marketing plan would change too.

So the first step is the opportunity. The market share of iPhone vs Blackberry is pretty even with Apple around 13% and RIM at about 18% (source: Business Insider

This would essentially double our reach.

Apple has approximately 70,000 applications in the App Store and Rim has 2,300. A breakdown of the RIM appstore as of today is shown below. As expected Games and Books take the lion's share, over 40%.

Barrier to purchase
Apple has made it dead easy to buy an app. For the Blackberry you need a PayPal account plus not as seamless as Apple. We have no clue whether Blackberry users are more likely or less to buy than an average iPhone user.

Approval Process
Less onerous and faster on the Blackberry Appstore from our understanding.

It looks tempting but I'm fully aware of spreading ourselves too thin and sacrificing the quality of our products and our service. But then as the saying goes if you continue to do what you've always done then you'll get what you always gotten.

I think I need an extra large latte and more downtime to make this decision.

Is this the next gold rush or are we going to be tumbleweed in the desert?


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