Welcome, new competitors, former champions and alumni, and readers on the 5th year of blogging idol. A shout-out goes out to Dave and the IT team of blogging idol for the re-design.
Research in Motion’s decline is not a new story. It is in fact an old one that was a point of discussion in the first year of blogging idol. When RIM released the Torch, it was clear that the company viewed itself as capable of coming back. RIM failed to recognize the rapid growth of Apple, mobile applications, and tablets.
Apple blind-sighted the traditional mobile device market by extending smart phones as being beyond emails, weakening RIM in the process. By the end of 2011, Apple’s iPad was the tablet market.
While it is believed that Apple decimated its competition, Android will prove to be the superior ecosystem. Google’s Android is lowering the price point across many channels. Once Android figures out how to get its updates to devices more quickly (“Ice Cream Sandwich” 4.0 is available but not widely installed), Apple will find it more difficult to dominate. As Android and Apple battle, where does this leave RIM?
RIM allowed its competition to entrench on its turf for three reasons:
1. Weak browser
2. Few applications
3. Weak tablet offering
BB Jam 2012 addresses RIM’s issues. Delivery for BB 10 remains the biggest risk for RIM, along with an iPhone 5 release concurrent to RIM’s release date.
The upside from the BB Jam event was:
1. Entrenching development around BBM – Blackberry Messenger – Integration
2. Allocating $100 million to attract developers
3. Building development tools that plagued past challenges of building on Blackberry
4. Ensuring hardware is on-par or ahead of consumer demands
With sufficient cash, stable tablet sales, and steady smart phone sales overseas, RIM’s transition to a more functional BB10 system means RIM can still prove why it was once a leader, and why it can become one again a year or two again in the future.