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RIM closing the Android market “cesspool” on the PlayBook

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“[P]iracy is a huge problem for Android devs, and we don’t want to duplicate the chaotic cesspool of Android market.”

Research In Motion(s rimm) is planning to drop the ability to sideload Android applications on its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, citing that 53 percent of surveyed Android(s goog) developers believe app piracy is either somewhat of a problem or a huge problem. Alec Saunders, RIM’s VP of Developer Relations, tweeted the citation; a small survey of 75 Android app programmers from last year.

Saunders has a point, although I also see this as a way to deflect flagging sales and a limited application market for the PlayBook. The company has reportedly shipped 1.35 million PlayBooks since the device launched a year ago. Even with the newest software update, which brings added features and functions missing from the initial launch, I haven’t seen any reason to believe RIM is suddenly selling more PlayBooks and doing well. Instead, one of the former CEOs has left, revenue is down, and the new CEO says “substantial change” is needed.

Regardless, what may look as a cheap shot from Saunders about Google’s Android Market — recently renamed Google Play — is actually a fair observation from the standpoint of app quality. The Market is flooded with low-quality apps, but that alone doesn’t concern me as an Android user.

More important to me is wading through the “cesspool” to find the higher-quality apps that fill specific needs. And ironically — given that Google’s expertise is in search — I couldn’t find the new Instagram app when searching Google Play last week. Instead, I had to hit Instagram’s webpage to get the direct Market link.

5 Responses to “RIM closing the Android market “cesspool” on the PlayBook”

  1. Andre Goulet

    I think this is the only move they could make. They have acknowledged that they lost the living room and are going to focus on the corporate world, so any other strategy would be silly at best. The corporate world uses BB’s because of security first and foremost and device management second, so RIM has no choice but to emphasize these qualities.

    A “Wild West” app store simply wouldn’t cut it.

  2. John Nemesh

    Boy, it really seems like they werent content to let their coffin get nailed shut, they had to glue it in place from the inside! Great move RIM! You just gave 1 Million + users a GREAT reason to remove your software completely from their tablets!

    P.S. Good luck with your new “corporate sales strategy”…I am sure you will be able to con some businesses into continuing to use your worthless platform!

    • Get a clue. This is good for App developers and users. Devs can still convert their Android apps and place them on App World and users can be more confident that the apps they install are legit and free from malware. Whats the point of having tens of thousands of apps if you cant find any GOOD ones.

      • Alex K.

        Hi @PBfan,

        Alex from RIM here. Thanks for chiming in and you’re right about security – we want to make sure that apps can only be run by the users who bought them. With that said, the ability to side-load is not being removed; developers will still be able to load their apps onto their own devices to test and review with their testing community.

        If you’re looking for more info on the matter, RIM’s Alec Saunders delved into the topic in more detail on our Inside BlackBerry Developer Blog:


        Alex, RIM Social Media Team