1. outoftheice's Avatar
    I've been following the thread on the BB10 Apps Ecosystem being the #1 reason BB sales are low (http://forums.crackberry.com/armchai...es-low-839689/) Some of the comments got me thinking... has the time come to repeat decisions from the past that paid off and roll the financial dice on building key apps in house for Blackberry?

    Here's my line of thinking.... In the critical North American market there have been 2 missing apps that are always mentioned as critical "Must Haves" for the success of Blackberry 10... Instagram and Netflix. Now I'll admit that I have never felt any need or desire to use either one of these apps but every single one of my friends that have iPhones and Android phones are all heavy users of Instagram. I also have one friend who is looking to drop his Windows 8 phone and was leaning towards getting a z10 until he found out that there was no Netflix app. That was a deal breaker for him and he is now considering an Android device. Now I realise that these stories are anecdotal and my group of friends in no way represents the broader North American marketplace but the millions and millions of users both of these apps are reported to have tends to back up their viewpoint.

    Now here's the thing... at some point, Blackberry made the decision that there were certain "Must Have" apps that were critical to the success of their phones... regardless of whether or not they could convince the original app developers to come onboard. Every Blackberry 10 smartphone comes with Facebook, Twitter, Four Square and Linked-In baked in. These apps were developed by Blackberry because they realized that in order for any smart phone to have a chance in the marketplace, it needed to have these 4 apps. Now again, this is anecdotal but I don't know a single person in my group of friends who uses Four Square and very few use Linked-In. Compare this to the large number of people who use Instagram and Netflix and it begs the question... Why are these 4 apps the only ones deemed critical enough to be worthy of being baked in to the BB10 OS? And if Blackberry sees fit to finance, develop and support 4 critical apps for their phones... why not 6?

    I realize that conserving cash is critical for Blackberry right now but the way I see it is that they've got $3 Billion in the bank at the moment and they are now very publically talking about various sales options for the company which essentially means that the current range of Blackberry 10 phones is the final roll of the dice for the survival of the company in its present form. So if you're going to roll the dice and bet the company why not go all in? Acknowledge the fact that the "must have apps" at the time BB10 started being developed may not still be the "must have apps" in today's marketplace. Spend the money now and create an Instagram and Netflix app baked in to the Blackberry 10 OS phones. Will there be other apps that will then float to the top that become the critical missing apps in the Blackberry 10 ecosystem?? Of course. But will it solve the problem of the 2 missing apps with the biggest demand and remove one of the biggest sticks reviewers love to beat Blackberry with? You bet!!

    So come on Blackberry. Repeat the past... Spend the money and make the decision to develop baked in versions of the most popular and in demand apps that your users are asking for... Netflix and Instagram. Imagine just how much of a disaster things would be if they had decided back in the day that baked in versions of Facebook and Twitter weren't worth the investment... or that they would discourage independent developers from spending the money to create their own apps. Sure the fact that money is tighter now means that the risk greater but the reward is greater as well. It's time for Blackberry to take some control back in the app game and just do it!!

    Thoughts?
    08-17-13 02:37 PM
  2. Troy Tiscareno's Avatar
    You said you read the thread, but you clearly didn't read my post, which answers your question.

    http://forums.crackberry.com/armchai...ml#post9016010

    The relevant part is:

    Most companies (with a few notable exceptions) keep their APIs private, and aren't going to give away the keys to their kingdom.
    Neither Instagram and Netflix have full APIs that are publicly available, which means that it isn't possible for third-party devs to write fully-functional apps for those services. You'll find that companies with large cloud-based services that have open APIs are the exception, rather than the rule.

    The rest of my post talks about why just "throwing money at devs" or "offering dev support" isn't enough to get these companies to build and support an app for a platform with <10% marketshare.
    08-17-13 04:00 PM
  3. howarmat's Avatar
    You have some good points in there that i agree with. Just not sure if BB is thinking anywhere on the same page
    08-17-13 04:04 PM
  4. KermEd's Avatar
    They need a bigger in house app team for sure.

    Posted via CB from my LE
    08-17-13 04:08 PM
  5. ljfong's Avatar
    Palm tried to similar approach by making Palm Pre "fully compatible" with iTunes by manipulating the device's USB identifier to mimic that of an Apple iPod. The approach started a cat and mouse game between Apple and Palm up to the open dispute at USB forum. It was very bad publicity for Palm. With that said, nobody can write third-party app for Netflix movie service ever, unless Netflix opens up their private and closely guarded API for encrypted streaming of movies. There are many third-party apps for managing movie queues, but that's about it. Some very enthusiastic developers do write third-party app for Instagram on Windows Phone but through tedious reverse engineering of the protocol, and the effort was a labor of love for the platform. Even one very tiny tweak to the API by Instagram is enough to throw all third-party apps off. Could BlackBerry do the same through their in-house developers or by hiring 3rd party ones? Sure, but I don't think they will, BlackBerry does things for profit, not as labor of love.
    08-17-13 04:48 PM
  6. ranzabar's Avatar
    BB pays $$$ to Netflix and Instagram et. al. to either license the APIs or have them develop the apps for it. If they're unwilling, BB has a serious problem and better start rethinking their business plan. If BB can't get what it really needs to market desirable smartphones, they have no business selling them.
    08-18-13 12:33 AM
  7. KermEd's Avatar
    If they had enough money or spare, I could get netflix built. It's just a hand holding exercise.

    Posted via CB from my LE
    08-18-13 02:10 AM
  8. kylef5993's Avatar
    They need an Instagram app BAD! They need a Vine app too. And honestly.. For Instagram.. whats a better selling point than the fact that the Q10 can take square pictures that require no cropping to fit into Instagram? I mean it's not huge but I do think it feels like it's "made" for instagram given the square pictures.

    Posted via CB10
    08-18-13 08:30 AM

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