As we’ve previously reported here at Android Authority, Research In Motion is currently suffering a sharp decline in sale numbers, with slim (if any) chances of recovery. As if their current offerings weren't already bested by almost any manufacturer out there, it is in this context that the Canadian company has announced that a future OS update will remove the user ability to sideload Android apps on the Blackberry PlayBook. On a slight upside though, the feature will continue to be available to app developers.
According to a recent tweet by RIM’s VP of developer relations Alec Saunders, the Canadian manufacturer was forced to take this measure in an attempt to fight the increasing Android piracy problem: “Piracy is a huge problem for Android devs, and we don’t want to duplicate the chaotic cesspool of Android Market” he said.
Given the fact that the sideloading feature is a major factor in the general developer dissatisfaction towards the RIM App World, many believe that removing the user ability to sideload apps is only an obvious move, given RIM’s ambitions to tend to developer needs. Indeed, if the App World should stand any chance against its major competitors (Apple’s App Market, Google Play, and the Windows Marketplace), RIM’s platform needs to be in increasingly better relations with app developers.
On the other hand, as RIM officials have declared that the company will pay more attention in the future to the enterprise market, it only makes sense for RIM to make their platform even more secure than it already is, thus increasing their advantage in this sector.
Although removing the sideloading ability is obviously a positive step towards making the platform more appealing to developers, it is definitely also something that no PlayBook owners is going to enjoy. For many, the PlayBook’s ability to also run Android apps was a strong selling point for the RIM tablet. With this move, RIM might have won a few developers to their side, but they’ve also pushed a lot of prospective buyers away.
What do you guys think? Is this a good move from RIM? Or will it bury the company even deeper? Let us know what you think in the comment section below!