RIM Developers Jump Sinking Ship for Apple: “Blackberry Isn’t Even An Option”

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Photo by ~ l i t t l e F I R E ~ - http://flic.kr/p/8RoCRM
Photo by ~ l i t t l e F I R E ~ - http://flic.kr/p/8RoCRM

All that’s left for BlackBerry-maker RIM is to rearrange the deck chairs. After losing its smartphone market, its smartphone subscribers, and Wall Street, the Waterloo, Ontario handset company now sees its developers manning the lifeboats headed for Apple’s iOS. Coders say they’re tired of inconsistent interfaces and applications that just won’t work.

“You have to put your resources where the growth is,” Seesmic CEO Loic Le Meur tells Bloomberg in an interview Monday.

Seesmic and other developers leaving RIM say they’re tired of jumping through hoops and dealing with expensive ‘gotchas.’

Where coders need to account for a touchscreen, thumbwheel and keyboard for RIM devices, Apple “scored big” by requiring developers support a touchscreen and a button, said political-oriented app developer Purple Forge Corporation.

Apple rates as the best app development platform while also having the least minefields that programmers must navigate, according to the report. With Apple, there are very few surprises, while with BlackBerry “there are immediately lots of gotchas across the board,” Purple Forge Corp. CEO Brian Hurley said.

For Seesmic’s Le Meur, RIM’s PlayBook tablet was the straw the broke the camel’s back. After his company’s application wouldn’t even load on the PlayBook, leaving RIM was a no-brainer. “To me it was like, ‘Whoa.’ BlackBerry isn’t even an option.”

Although the Bloomberg piece includes just three developer interviews, RIM has attracted only 35,000 apps to the BlackBerry, a fraction of the 425,000 available to Apple users.

The BlackBerry maker is quickly becoming hollowed-out. One wonders how long the skeleton can continue on.