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RIM's various hardware, OS options make app development expensive

According to an article on Bloomberg Businessweek today, a growing number of mobile developers are focusing their attention on the iOS and Android platforms and abandoning product development for Research In Motion's BlackBerry smartphones and PlayBook tablet. The reason? Too many hardware and software options make developing for the RIM platforms expensive in what is turning out to be a shrinking market.

Seesmic, Inc. CEO Loic Le Meur summed it up perfectly when he noted that "you have to put your resources where the growth is." The company, which created the Seesmic social networking aggregation app for iPhone, has decided to stop development of products on RIM platforms. Le Meur also commented that when RIM's PlayBook tablet hit the market, the first thing the developers tried was to run their existing BlackBerry app on the device. The app wouldn't run on the PlayBook, which uses the QNX OS -- totally incompatible with any previous BlackBerry device.

Another development firm, Mobile Roadie, was frustrated by a variation in screen sizes across the BlackBerry product line. Mobile Roadie CEO Michael Schneider reported to Bloomberg Businessweek that users blamed his firm for issues like images that were distorted on the various screens. "I even felt like developing for BlackBerry could be hurting our reputation," said Schneider.

All of this spells good news for iOS and Android users, since more developers are dropping their support of RIM products to focus on the two hottest platforms in the mobile space.

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