Why Appesque is investing in BlackBerry 10 October 30, 2012
Appesque is a mobile development agency building native apps on iOS, Android and BlackBerry 7 and we’re currently adopting new platforms. Despite our small size and distributed workplace, we work with clients around the world, mostly in the US and Europe. Most of our clients we can’t name, but we can say our clients are global top 5 companies in luxury fashion, pharma, banking and travel. We got started working with young startups pushing the boundaries of innovation and continue to do so today. Our uniqueness is that we build top quality native apps across all these platforms, meaning one contact point for your mobile development efforts rather than working with different suppliers for each platform.
Cost of adopting a new platform?
Learning a new platform for us is a time consuming project, plus it doesn’t add to our revenues in the short-term. It requires a solid business case to adopt a new platform. For other agencies it’s also about the skill-set. That’s never been a problem for us, we’re an experienced team of mobile engineers with an aptitude for new technologies and if we weren’t building apps on the platforms we’d be building the platforms. But we’re small, we work in different locations (Belgium, Ireland, UK, US) and dramatically growing the team is not our goal. So why take people off revenue generating projects to learn a new platform when there is enough work to stick with one platform?
It’s my belief that we’re so early in the mobile platform wars that it’s impossible to predict market dominance 5 years out. For us its not about picking winners! We strive to be the one-stop shop for building your mobile apps in the best way possible. The best way to implement apps is using native technologies. The best platforms are future proof from the ground up (kernel). To be the go-to agency for building the best apps on the best platforms, so it’s important we invest in learning the future-proof platforms at the right time. Too early and we’ve wasted time (lost revenues) and too late we’re competitively lacking.
So why did we wait until now for Windows Phone development?
Honestly, market demand was low. Despite the Nokia bump last year, demand from customers didn’t materialize. However the biggest problem we had investing time in Windows Phone 7 was the platform could not be considered modern. Windows phone 7.x used a very dated kernel and lacked fundamental features like multi-core support. WP 8 has NT inside, a completely different beast. Despite the frosting of Windows Phone 8 looking the same, it’s a monumental shift forward as a technology.
Why BlackBerry 10 native?
We waited until windows Phone was in the market for over two years before investing a dime, so why are we actively working on BlackBerry 10 now given that it’s not released, and seen by many as DOA (dead on arrival).
One thing I want to mention, no offense to the folks at RIM who came up with the $10k developer commitment but it’s not geared for agencies. So we don’t benefit, our clients, the product owners do.
Here’s why we’re investing time and money now in an unproven platform: the 10 year rule!
Somebody smarter, surely famous and probably with more hair than me said platforms have a lifespan of about 10 years. I couldn’t agree more when it comes to mobile. It’s not just the pace of innovation on mobile seen today that’s killing platforms, it’s the underlying kernel and SDKs that are putting a bullet in the heads of aching platforms. A platform worth investing in must be future proof, have a solid reliable core and powerful robust SDK to support an ecosystem of developers. WP 7.x does not have that. BB 7.x does not have that. Symbian does not have that. WebOS did not have that. OK, I need to explain WebOS a little more, it had a new platform with an SDK built on HTML5 technologies. However HTML5 = no thanks. It just doesn’t cut it on mobile as the only option to build an app ecosystem. That leaves us with Windows Phone 8 and BlackBerry 10, both new platforms with kernels and SDKs worth investing in. So it was an easy decision.
We’re actively investing brainpower in both WP8 & BB 10 today. We’re already scoping native BB10 apps for clients in Europe, in fact at this point BlackBerry 10 is ahead of Windows Phone in terms of the demand for apps we’re getting.
Our business model is based on the philosophy that it’s not our job to pick platform winners, our strategy doesn’t require it. So I don’t come from an emotional place on this topic, which helps.