Google says it will stop offering its Gmail application on Research In Motion’s BlackBerry smartphones from November 22. The development comes as RIM deals with product launch delays, a plunging stock price and a decreasing share of the key smartphone market.
Google will no longer offer or support a Gmail app for new Blackberry users, it said, although users who already have the application installed on their phones can continue to use it.
Instead Google will focus on “building a great Gmail experience in the mobile browser,” the company said.
In response, RIM shrugged. “Since 2009, RIM has incorporated native support for Gmail in BlackBerry 5.0 and above, which means that a separate Gmail app is not required,” it said. “The large majority of users who access Gmail on their BlackBerry smartphone already rely on the native support (provided through BlackBerry Internet Service) rather than the separate Gmail app.”
RIM’s share of the US smartphone market had fallen to 11.6 percent at the end of June, according to research firm IDC, behind Android-powered phones and the Apple iPhone. Five years ago, RIM had 48pc of the U.S. market.