RIM previewed the Blackberry 10 yesterday. I won’t talk about the specifics of the phone, but a couple of things struck me.
1. Even RIM doesn’t seem convinced that they’ve figured things out. The executives just don’t sound all that convinced. Also, look at the body language in the image below. Does Thorsten Heins (the CEO of RIM) seem excited for this launch? Compare that to Steve Jobs when he launched iPhones.
2. I think RIM had two choices recently when deciding how to fight back against iPhone/Android. One was to continue to release phones with physical keyboards and emphasize that they were the best mobile device for creating content. Build the best e-mail clients/service that one could imagine, recruit developers to build document creation apps, blogging apps, etc. In addition, continue to develop security solutions that appeal to businesses. While these wouldn’t have enabled them to beat Apple or Android, IMHO it could have enabled them to maintain a solid player in specific niches.
A second choice would have been to embrace either Android or Windows Phone as an OS. This wouldn’t have been an easy road, but at least they wouldn’t have had such a hard job to convince developers to build apps for their platform.
A third option would have been some combination of those two. As it stands, RIM’s strategy will make for a major uphill battle. I think the path that they have chosen (eliminate physical keyboards and stick with their own OS) virtually ensures their failure.
I sometimes have nostalgia for my old blackberries but mostly I pity the folks that still have to carry them or [perhaps even more] the people that choose to. The modern business environment means that no matter how well-established your business is, if you stop innovating/competing, you can be disrupted in 5 years or less.
BlackBerry’s executives seem to have no idea what the future holds, one of it’s cofounders completely severs ties, and the strategic retreat they have in mind may be too late. Read More RIM President and CEO Thorsten Heins at the BlackBerry World 2012 General Session. Image: Research In Motion Today is the launch of BlackBerry World .