Google is ending support for its BlackBerry email app, effective immediately, Google reps said in a statement today. Current users will not be blocked from accessing the app, although Google is also ending downloads, and you can pretty much wave goodbye to any kind of customer service.
So what gives? Why is Google cutting loose the Gmail for Blackberry app?
Well, over at Bloomberg News, Roger Entner, founder of market research firm Recon Analytics, speculated that the move could have something to do with a little company called Motorola Mobility. Horizons readers will remember that earlier this year, Google announced it would acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion in cash, in an effort to make further inroads into the mobile market. (The deal has not yet been finalized.)
"Google is sticking it to RIM because RIM has become more and more of a competitor, from an ecosystem perspective and, pending the Motorola acquisition, from a device perspective," Entner told Bloomberg. Which makes some sense. Although it's worth noting that RIM is ailing these days − market share is slipping, jobs are vanishing, and that much-vaunted PlayBook has pretty much been a bust.
It's also worth noting that Google recently launched a Gmail app for iOS devices, even though Apple is also a competitor. Not that the launch went particularly well: the iOS Gmail app was error-prone and full of bugs, and not long after it hit the Web, Google was forced to issue a new version, and an apology.
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