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Come On, Seriously, How Long Is Twitter Going To Continue To Support Blackberry?

As Lauren reported this morning, Seesmic have announced that they’ll be discontinuing support for their Blackberry app, effective June 30th, citing that they want to focus their efforts on their ‘most popular platforms’ – Android, iOS and even (gasp) Windows 7.

(Talk about a slap in the face.)

So here’s the question of the day: if Seesmic think the Blackberry isn’t worth their time, does that mean that pretty soon everybody will? Even Twitter themselves?

Here’s the announcement from Seesmic:

Blackberry users, we have important news we would like to share:

Effective June 30th, Seesmic will discontinue support for Blackberry in order to focus development efforts on our most popular mobile platforms: Android, iOS and Windows Phone 7.

We encourage those effected by this change to try out Seesmic for Android, iOS and Windows Phone 7, as well as Seesmic Desktop and Web.

In other words, change your handset. And perhaps with good reason, as Research In Motion are going through a bit of a bad patch to say the least. And while Twitter continues to support the Blackberry for now, with the network soon to be deeply integrated into the iPhone and iPad with Apple’s upcoming iOS5 software upgrade, you have to wonder if they will continue to do this indefinitely. And if Twitter shows even a glimmer of lost interest, then RIM are toast.

I used to own a Blackberry Bold. The original. Loved it. Thought it was, as they say, the business. Then I got an iPhone and I wondered how I had ever coped with such a clunky, sluggish and unintuitive piece of crap for so long. It was like moving from a tractor to a Porsche.

This isn’t Apple fanboyism. The iPhone is simply a better product. But, even if I could be accused of being trapped in Steve Jobs’ reality distortion field, the cult of Blackberry is also well documented. At least, historically. My question is: who buys Blackberrys anymore? I mean, who is buying them today. Right now. Tomorrow. Next week. And more importantly: why?

I know lots of people don’t have much of a choice and are forced to use a Blackberry because that’s what they’ve been given by their office – hey, better that than one of the Nokia or Vodafone derivatives, right? – but why do people choose to buy one in these heady days of 2011? I know many luddites people who for whatever reason don’t care about owning a smartphone, and that’s fine. But for those that do, what specifically makes them hand over their credit card to buy a Blackberry? I mean, over iPhones and Android smartphones? Serious question. Is it all about price? Are there enough people out there who still prefer a ‘real’ keyboard? Is it just because they basically give a Blackberry away with every single plan? Are sales people in phone shops more aggressively pushing the Blackberry? Do people go with what they know? Is it all business sales? Hand me downs? Bueller? Bueller?

This could be the start of a domino collapse for RIM – after all, as Erick Schonfeld writes at TechCrunch, things must be pretty bad if Seesmic, who have Twitter clients for everything, are bailing on Blackberry. You have to wonder who’s next. I imagine Twitter themselves will hold out for a little while, but does anybody really think that RIM products will be a dominant force in the smartphone and touchpad business in ten, five, or even two years from now?

Really? Then perhaps you should give Seesmic a call.

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