Blackberry is rumored to be cutting 2,000 at its Waterloo headquarters. The entire Developer Relations team (including Marty Mallick) will be let go, and parts of engineering.
One of the main downsides of the elimination of the Developer Relations Team will be the noticeable drop in establishing new relationships with app studios to have them make apps for Blackberry World. Existing developers will also experience decreased support levels. The end result of this move will dramatically reduce the quality of new apps being made available for anyone who has a Blackberry 10 phone. It will also hinder the development of Native Apps that Blackberry developers for their own platform and is perhaps an indication the company is embracing Android to a large degree.
The Blackberry Developers Team deserves to be fired. In the last six months they have not signed any big apps to be listed in their store. The team is out of touch on the most popular new apps being developed and are fully compatible with Blackberry. Alec Saunders was one of the more vocal members of this team, but since he changed position to be the VP of QNX, things have been very quiet.
New Blackberry CEO John Chen will be leading a quarterly investors call on June 19th. The company has been in “quiet” mode the last few weeks, encouraging employees to not publicly divulge any information. Former employees are not speaking out either, due to the NDA associated with their severance package. If the sacking of the staff does occur, it will likely happen after the investors call.
Good e-Reader is in a position to speak of the lack of quality in the new apps being added to Blackberry World because we maintain our own Blackberry 10 and Blackberry Playbook App Store. We spend countless hours every single day monitoring all of the most compelling new apps and testing them on a wide array of BB devices. This is why you can find Instagram, Snapchat, FIFA, LINE, Netflix, Adobe Photoshop on our app store and not Blackberry. Blackberry also has a super complicated system for developers to port their apps over to the BAR format. You have to install a bunch of SDK files, Java and a ton of other small aspects. This provided a barrier for your average developer. Do you know what we did? We made a ridiculously easy (and free) APK to BAR convertor that over 144,000 people use every single day.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.