BlackBerry Bold 9900

It’s really not looking good for BlackBerry, their anticipated touch based operating system BlackBerry 10 was a flop (in my eyes anyway), their BlackBerry Z10 didn’t pack the punch they may have liked, and the recent delay of BlackBerry Messenger for Android and iOS failed worse than half of the home video’s on “You’ve Been Framed”. It’s no surprise really that Elance.com, the leading online work platform, has reported that the demand for BlackBerry developers has hit rock bottom.

According to a report from the company between the first half of 2012 and the first half of 2013, the number of jobs posted on Elance.com by UK companies seeking freelancers with Blackberry skills fell 19%. This is surprising considering this time frame falls directly into the launch window of BlackBerry 10 as well as the launch of BlackBerry’s new Z10 and Q10 handsets.

To compare the results Elance.com reported that over the same period, the number of companies seeking online freelancers with Android app developer skills has rocketed by 40%.

Kjetil Olsen, Vice President Europe from Elance.com said

The picture couldn’t be more different for Blackberry and Android and it remains to be seen if Blackberry’s recent takeover announcement will instigate a turn around. UK companies know they need to develop apps on the platform consumers love and trust, and increasingly, that no longer includes Blackberry.

Olsen continues “The contrasting fortunes of Android and Blackberry highlights how important it is for freelancers to maintain the right skills for the job market. This is particularly true for the app market as most technical skills have a short life span and freelancers must  keep renewing their skills to be on the cusp of the latest innovations. Our data shows that the mobile app market is growing rapidly. Freelancers with the right skills will see unprecedented demand from businesses for their talent skills.”

It’s not a great time for BlackBerry who changed their name from RIM earlier this year. They’ve recently filed a letter of intent with Canadian holding company Fairfax Financial which could return the company back to private ownership. According to a press release, the deal is valued at around $4.7 billion, with stockholders receiving $9 a share in cash. The deal, as far as I’m aware, isn’t set in stone, but it’s clear BlackBerry are jumping ship and are in need of serious help.

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