BlackBerry, iPhone App Stores Worlds Apart - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Mobile // Mobile Devices

BlackBerry, iPhone App Stores Worlds Apart

Apple's and RIM's divergent approaches to their online software stores are consistent with their overall business-market strategies.

It's been almost a week since Research In Motion opened up its BlackBerry App World, and a clear distinction has emerged between it and the iPhone online store: Apple offers more enterprise software apps for the iPhone than RIM does for the BlackBerry.

In fact, don't be surprised to see more mobile versions of corporate software applications pop up on the iPhone App Store that won't ever appear on BlackBerry App World.

How can that be, since the BlackBerry is traditionally a corporate device and the iPhone comes from the consumer world? The answer is that RIM and Apple have taken very different approaches to the distribution of enterprise software for their smartphones.

Apple requires that enterprise software companies comply closely with its iPhone developers' kit, and if it approves of the finished mobile app, it puts it up on the App Store. This is the only distribution channel Apple allows for iPhone native apps. (Other companies, such as Information Builders, NetSuite, and SAP have avoided the SDK kit requirement and distribution limitation by building Web-based apps that work on the iPhone. But they aren't allowed to sell them on the App Store.)

Enterprise software companies that have posted apps on the iPhone App Store include ActiveStrategy, Excitor, Omniture, Oracle,, and Workday. Those with iPhone apps in the works include SAS Institute and QlikTech.

But some of those App Store offerings won't work unless iPhone users get their companies' IT departments involved. Oracle, for example, offers an app that lets managers view business-performance data on iPhone that's in their companies' Oracle BI systems, but getting access to those systems requires IT to install a connector at a cost of several thousand dollars or more.

On the new BlackBerry App World, however, you won't find any applications that require a BlackBerry user's IT department to get involved, said Tyler Lessard, RIM's director of ISV alliances.

"Our applications that fall into the business productivity area are more focused on the ability for users to download and just start using them, rather than have to 'back-end' into a system," Lessard explained.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
1 of 2
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
IT Careers: 10 Industries with Job Openings Right Now
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  5/27/2020
How 5G Rollout May Benefit Businesses More than Consumers
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  5/21/2020
IT Leadership in Education: Getting Online School Right
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  5/20/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
Key to Cloud Success: The Right Management
This IT Trend highlights some of the steps IT teams can take to keep their cloud environments running in a safe, efficient manner.
Flash Poll