Mobile-software developers make money either by selling apps, add-ons, or ads. In at least one of these areas -- ads -- Research In Motion's
New data from researcher Millennial Media found that 84% of third-quarter mobile ad impressions came from Android (56%) and iOS (28%) devices. Handsets based on the BlackBerry OS accounted for just 13% of impressions, with everyone else fighting over the remaining scraps.
Maybe it shouldn't. Given its corporate thrust, there's a good chance Research In Motion's 70 million or so users aren't interested in receiving ads or downloading ad-supported apps. Not yet, anyway.
But even if the users aren't interested in ads, developers are. Free apps on the iPhone and on Android handsets aren't charity -- sponsors fund them. Giving up the fight to be a great platform for mobile ads would mean alienating a whole class of app developers who need to make a living somehow.
I'll understand if this whole story feels like piling on for a company that cried uncle when it offered users $100 worth of apps as recompense for a multi-day outage that inconvenienced and angered tens of millions. At some point, enough really has to be enough.
When will we reach that tipping point? I've no idea. But if there is still time to keep BlackBerry growing amid the long assault by Apple, Nokia
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Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team. He owned shares of Apple and Google at the time of publication. Check out Tim's portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Google+ or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.
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