Amazon App Only Works on BlackBerry-s With a Trackball: Why the iPhone is Winning the App War

RIM and Nokia present an interesting problem for their app developers. They both had a wide variety (perhaps too wide) of smartphone models before they introduced their first touch screen devices. Touch screen devices only made their complex platform stories more complex. Take this news item from ZDNet for example…

Amazon launches BlackBerry app; Leaves Storm out

It turns out that the new Amazon app for BlackBerry only works on devices with a trackball. This leaves out the touch screen enabled Storm model that RIM positioned as an iPhone killer.

Nokia has demonstrated the opposite issue: Some of their new apps (most of which are concept prototype to be fair) only run on their touch screen enabled models.

Microsoft’s Windows Mobile also has touch screen and non-touch screen models. However, this dichotomy has existed long enough that the app story there is relatively simpler thank RIM’s and Nokia’s current story.

Meanwhile, Apple with basically one smartphone plus the iPod touch presents a much simpler hardware configuration story for app developers to deal with.