Developers: Maybe It’s Time to Drop Mobihand Entirely

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app pirate

Have you checked whether or not your app is being pirated? A development shop recently reached out to BBCool to say that they’ve noticed a particular Mobihand user that has been purchasing their software and then posting the JAD files on his website and Twitter. This software pirate is from Malaysia and sells a $10 VIP membership to offset the cost of buying the apps. According to the developer it’s getting really bad and the download rate for pirates apps is 2 to 1 compared to paid, and it’s all coming from this one guy. Obviously, we’re not going to write the pirate specifically because we don’t want to drive any traffic to him.

We’ve been on a tirade against Mobihand lately and this is just one more reason we don’t think developers should be giving them their intellectual property. When speaking with developers, the general consensus seems to be that only 10% or so of sales comes from Mobihand and the rest from App World. The reason why developers are staying with Mobihand these days seems to be because they want a closer relationship with the bloggers and giveways through Mobihand make it easy to reach out to the community. But if only 10% of your revenue is coming from Mobihand, you should consider simply finding other ways to reach out to the community. Sure, App World has its downsides, but if your software is being pirated then it’s worth losing that 10% revenue and finding a new way to market alongside bloggers. Gift cards are an easy giveaway as they can be sent remotely.

Also, if you just email us and tell us about the app, chances are we’ll write about it and don’t need your giveaways. While they’re always fun to have, it’s not essential. The blogging business is shifting these days as bloggers are making less from Mobihand and traffic for most BlackBerry sites seems to be somewhat on the decline. RIM is in a slump right now and while there are tons of BlackBerry sites out there, there are very few that are actually generating much traffic. The industry will have to shift away from Mobihand as they’re not paying enough to merit working with.

So developers, if bloggers are dropping Mobihand, your revenue from them is minimal, and they’re letting your software be compromised by pirates, what reasons do you have left to stay with them?

  • http://twitter.com/marquardt24 Matthias Marquardt

     With all respect – but IMHO Mobihand is not the root of the problem… The problem is

    1) That a portion of people around the world think that Software have no value.
    2) Websites can earn money (via adds) when they offer such Software (so it’s quite attractive to start such a site)
    3) No legal change to shut down such sites – and no way to be paid for the created damage

    As developer you have to find an appropriate way that your software can’t be shared easily – it would be great if RIM itself would build something into the OS (and make it available via an API) so that an app could check if the software have been purchased in a qualified shop – e.g. via the entered BlackBerryID… [and not something that is device dependent]…

  • http://about.me/kylemcinnes Kyle McInnes

    That’s a good point. It’s not necessarily Mobihand but having your JAD files hosted outside of RIM.

    Have you heard of piracy from App World?

  • http://twitter.com/marquardt24 Matthias Marquardt

    It makes no difference – if it’s AppWorld, MobiHand or any other distribution channel – as developer you have to do something actively in order to protect your application [and that's why I would really like to see RIM stepping in in order to help developers with this - since it's a serious issue]

  • http://twitter.com/marquardt24 Matthias Marquardt

    It makes no difference – if it’s AppWorld, MobiHand or any other distribution channel – as developer you have to do something actively in order to protect your application [and that's why I would really like to see RIM stepping in in order to help developers with this - since it's a serious issue]

  • http://twitter.com/dkonigs Derek Konigsberg

    Actually, I think OS7 has an API for BlackBerry ID, so that problem should be solvable down the road.  (In the mean time, most paid apps seem to use registration codes.)

  • http://twitter.com/marquardt24 Matthias Marquardt

    So if RIM would offer me the option to include BlackBerryID checking

    [if the app was purchased in AppWorld with the current ID] then I

    would for sure would sell my App ONLY via AppWold…

    … if this would be only possible with OS7 – well – then – *sigh*

    Actually since from my point of view the same technology which is currently used in the BBM-SDK could be used in order to archive this – and BBM-SDK is still available for OS5 – this would be a good compromize for me as developer.

    So to summarize: An option (API call) to check if the current BlackBerryID have purchased the App in the AppWorld ecosystem would be the solution – Yes this would mean AppWorld only – so what?! [there is no real discussion in the iOS world about this subject]… but IF this would become available, then please RIM -> we would need this API at least for OS5!

  • Dave

    As a user, I do not like dealing with mobihand and won’t go there anymore. Another reason for devs to flee…

  • Dave

    As a user, I do not like dealing with mobihand and won’t go there anymore. Another reason for devs to flee…

  • http://twitter.com/BerryGoodThemes BerryGoodThemes

    we still post to mobihand as still earn few hundred dollars a month on there but piracy by this one man is the problem and mobihand dont seem to care either  i have emailed them several times with details and nothing has happened