Are Blackberry let down badly by Third Party app developers?

With the recent news that Seesmic are ending their support for the Blackberry platform at the end of the month this lead me to think; are Blackberry being let down by third party app developers?

iPhone and Android are both well supported by third party app developers, that’s no secret but Windows phone and even Nokia’s OVI platform are being more and more catered for now and it seems at the expense of Blackberry.

Take Twitter for example. Seesmic and Tweetdeck, the two most popular desktop clients both have very smart apps available for Android and iPhone including Twitter, Facebook and more. Tweetdeck have never supported Blackberry and the Seesmic Blackberry app is to say the least primitive, without even auto completion of friends when @ mentioning them. Now however Seesmic have announced they will be leaving Blackberry app development altogether.

That’s just one social networking platform but…..

What about mobile banking? How many discussion have appeared over time regarding a lack of mobile banking apps, where again Blackberry is the least favoured of the major smartphones.

What about supermarkets? In my local supermarket Asda (Walmart) I see download our iPhone app now from the app store and the same with Tesco. In fact with Tesco you can even scan the bar codes of things while you’re not in the store and generate your own shopping list of things you want on the iPhone.

There are so many times I’ve wanted to download what I would call a productive app (not a game) to find it supported on iPhone, Android and Nokia but not Blackberry.

Now I know that Blackberry isn’t intended as a gadget phone and its core strengths lie in its integrated messaging and security systems. However as Blackberry develop phones that look to incorporate more and more consumer features, such as the touch screens and the better cameras and the better media capabilities isn’t it a shame that the impressive well developed device is let down by a lack of app availability.

For a business solution with a BES set up then the Blackberry is fantastic with the full email sync and calendar, contacts and tasks etc. However as a consumer with BIS the email is limited to inbox only and the calendar and contact sync is only supported with certain email providers.

Other platforms can and do offer email and push email now. They don’t as yet have the Blackberry security but their email solutions are rapidly catching up.

As Blackberry pushes to be a multi-purpose business and consumer phone provider it is in my opinion essential that app developers support the cause. Apps might not be the deal breaker for business phones but for consumer phones they play a far more important roll I believe.

I personally couldn’t care for having games on my phone, I would however like a decent Twitter and Facebook combined client like Tweetdeck is for the iPhone. I’d perhaps like to be able to access my on-line banking on the go and there are other apps too.

However I’d like the keyboard and not forced to use a touch screen which cannot be as fast as a physical keyboard. I’d like the push notifications and the integrated notifications.

In short, I’d like my Blackberry phone to be better supported by app developers.

The question is why is it not? Sure Blackberry has played a role in this by making it a more difficult platform to develop for. So many different screen resolutions touch screen and non touch screen, and so many different OS versions across so many devices all add to a developer’s work load. iPhone runs iOS version?, Android runs Android version?, the basic concept of both platforms is the same in that they are touch screen phones, however Blackberry devices have different ratified official OS versions for the same device across carriers.

The Blackberry device is a good solid, reliable device. It has decent battery life, the ability to carry and use a spare battery if you are a heavy user and away from charging for a while, it’s multi media capabilities are good. Each device, Blackberry, iPhone and Android all have their own plus points and their own negative points. What may be a plus for someone could turn out to be a negative for some-one else and that’s where choice comes in. However if Blackberry is to continue in today’s tough market, with iMessage on it’s way to challenge BBM then it surely needs the support of app developers so that all three phones can compete on even ground. The choice of the consumer should then be between the hardware platforms, not dictated by the whims of third party app developers.