The New York Times announced this week that it is no longer offering support for its BlackBerry app – because it doesn’t have enough users.
Research In Motion executives will no doubt be concerned over the desertion of one of the world’s most renowned newspaper titles, hoping it doesn’t bash the confidence of other developers looking at the possibility of creating apps for the BlackBerry platform.
In a message to BlackBerry users issued on Monday, the newspaper said that it was no longer offering support for the app on BlackBerry and DealBook BlackBerry Reader devices. Users who open it will be unable to update news stories and will instead be directed to the newspaper’s mobile site, which the paper said offers ”a more complete New York Times experience than the NYTimes app native to your device.”
Speaking to Reuters about the decision, NYTimes spokesperson Eileen Murphy said, “It’s a matter of usage of our apps, and we dedicate our resources where we think there’s the highest level of usage,” before adding, “We’ve seen a drop-off.”
Murphy also said that the newspaper hadn’t ruled out the possibility of developing a similar app for the BlackBerry 10 platform following its release next year. Obviously, it all depends on the success of RIM’s next-generation mobile operating system.
A well-stocked app store is one of the key components to a successful mobile platform. Few consumers are interested in buying a smartphone if the shelves of the platform’s app store are covered in dust.
The Ontario-based company, which has been struggling badly in recent years in the face of tough competition from rivals Apple with its iPhone and makers of Android-powered devices, recently attempted to grab the attention of new developers by offering a $10,000 payout for each app submitted to its BlackBerry App World store – strings are, of course, firmly attached.