In defence of its decision to prevent side-loading of apps to the BlackBerry PlayBook in a future update, RIM has dubbed the Android app market a "chaotic cesspool".
RIM's VIP of developer relations Alex Saunders slighted the Android app market on Twitter, when explaining the company's decision to disable side-loading of apps in the BlackBerry tablet. It wants to keep a tighter hold on what PlayBook users can dump onto their tablets, much as Apple does with iPads and iPhones. Once updated, you'll have to visit the BlackBerry App World for all your gaming and app'ing needs.
There are two main reasons for this, according to Saunders. It will cut down significantly on piracy, ruling-out being able to download pirated apps from the net and simply install them in seconds. He says, "Piracy is a huge problem for Android devs, and we don't want to duplicate the chaotic cesspool of Android Market ."
In spite of citing the Android Market directly (now known as Google Play), his argument appears to be wider - a criticism of the open nature of Android, which lets you install third-party app stores and apps willy nilly.
A closed approach also gives RIM more potential for quality control. Given a sufficient level of developer interest, it's a good way to create a profitable and vibrant app ecosystem, as demonstrated by the Apple App Store.
Is Android a cesspool in failure, or perfectly functional? Maybe this diagram will help
However, RIM's problem is - does it have enough developer interest? Following initial poor sales, with less than a million sold in its first three quarters, the price of the PlayBook tablet was dropped a near-fire sale level. And yet, even at £169, it has failed to gain sales momentum - being outsold at present by both budget tabs and better-known, more-expensive models on top online retailers like Amazon and Play.com.
Is a chaotic cesspool really better than a bone-dry desert? What do you think of RIM's latest move?