Tech world less than charmed by BlackBerry’s new OS and app tools
Yesterday’s big BlackBerry announcements failed to shock and delight the world, despite Jim Balsillie’s grand promises earlier this week. The twin innovations touted at the San Francisco conference were BBX, a new operating system shared by all future BlackBerry devices, and an easy-to-use toolkit for app developers. According to RIM executive Alec Saunders in the Globe and Mail, “applications sell platforms,” and getting creators on board is critical to their success. But most industry sources quoted in the article are, shall we say, unimpressed. Check out some telling reactions from analysts and app makers after the jump.
• Even a free BlackBerry Playbook wasn’t enough to excite Robert Virkus of German app developer Enough Software. “It was missing a big ‘wow’ announcement,” he said. Colleague Andre Schmidt agreed: “If there were five new BlackBerry devices, and they were presented right here, that would be like, ‘Wow. The future is here’…This is just promises.”
• Kerry Morrison, CEO of Toronto app maker Endloop Mobile, was less than thrilled that the PlayBook’s lack of native email and calendar app went unmentioned. “As a developer, I’m extremely wary of a company that can’t even figure out how to add functionality to its own devices,” he said. “We’ve not even considered creating BlackBerry versions of anything we’ve done or currently have in development.”
• Developers who have already thrown in with the BlackBerry seemed more optimistic. Kunal Gupta, CEO of Toronto’s Polar Mobile, said the conference sent a clear message that apps on BlackBerry make money. Julio Roca, director of Buenos Aires–based iPhoideas, now feels more confident about the platform. “I think, if they move fast, they will still be the leader in Latin America,” he said. “I don’t know about here, though.”
• “RIM’s recurring theme is, unfortunately, ‘available later,’” said Kris Thompson, an analyst with National Bank Financial. “The vast majority of developers are, in our view, going to abandon RIM if the company doesn’t launch more competitive BBX-based handsets soon.”
• From an unnamed tech reporter: “I want to punch someone in the face.”
We feel like that last one speaks for all of us at this point.