RIM courts developers and app-hungry consumers

RIM courts developers and app-hungry consumers
RIM's BlackBerry line is continuing to lose market share. They are now in the midst of their biggest push to improve their appeal to developers, and their app-hungry consumers. RIM figures that if they can improve the array of available apps, they can reclaim some of their waning fans.

RIM will launch new developer tools to improve the diversity and profitability of BlackBerry app development. Developers like Widality complain that the current purchasing process undermines the sale. Widality market development chief Terry Hughes says that they "couldn't make enough money to grow organically."

Most users of Widality download the free trial version of the app. Should they want the full version, they then have to uninstall the demo, and then install the new paid version, after going through the PayPal process as well. This process seems to be a strong deterrent from app sales, and a nuisance for BlackBerry developers.

One of RIM's changes will allow in-app purchasing, rather than having to go back and buy it separately in the App World. It will also allow for more flexible and focused pricing on apps.

RIM will also add valuable analytic feedback to their platform, letting developers better understand their demographic, and how their apps are being utilized.

At the moment, competitors like Apple and Google are keeping an iron grip on developer and consumer interest. Andrew Stein of PopCap Games Inc. went so far as to say that "RIM today is not really on our radar." Hopefully RIM's new developments can restore BlackBerry to its former glory.

source: The Wall Street Journal

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