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Halliburton latest biz to dump BlackBerry for iPhone

But our developers are raking it in, screams RIM

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Citing better application support, oilfield services giant Halliburton will be handing out iPhones in future - despite RIM's claims that its app developers have never had it so good.

Halliburton is the latest in a long line of companies shifting away from the former default choice of RIM's BlackBerry infrastructure. For Halliburton it's only 4,500 devices, compared to the 8,000 or so devices at Credit Suisse, which Reuters reports is dumping its corporate-issue BlackBerrys for its workers' own Android and/or iOS devices.

But Halliburton is claiming that the switch is motivated "in order to better support our mobile application initiatives", rather than employee demand, and Halliburton will be providing the iPhones, so it's a top-down decision based on iOS application support, emphasising just how far RIM has to go.

Not that RIM is standing still: the company is offering free tablet computers to developers who port an application in the next five days, and has been busy telling anyone who'll listen that BlackBerry developers have things much better than their contemporaries.

That claim came out at BlackBerry DevCon, where RIM's VP for developer relations told the assembled crowd that BlackBerry users are downloading 30 apps a year, and that App World (from whence those apps come) has more paid apps than the Android Marketplace and that apps there get more downloads than those in iTunes.

That latter figure is almost certainly down to the lack of choice on RIM's platform: revenue from users wanting to play a Pac-Man clone will be much less divided on RIM than on iOS, as there are fewer Pac-Man clones in App World, though ironically if RIM succeeds in attracting developers that will change.

It's hard to see what more RIM could do to promote its development platform, and interest from developers is on the rise, but despite that we'll probably see a few more companies following Halliburton before (and if) things turn around. ®

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