I think RIM have hit the panic button. While I agree that they cannot compete with the likes of Apple, I still think that strategically they have made the wrong decision to pull out of the consumer market and have therefore signed their death warrant / put themselves up for sale.
Here are ten reasons why it was the wrong decision:
- There is no business market for smartphones
Oh yeah! RIM, didn’t you hear? The whole reason you’re struggling is because of something called ‘consumerisation’. This is when users want to take their personal phone and use it for work. Sadly their personal phone is usually an iPhone, so to say you’re not competing with Apple in the consumer space is worthless because it’s just space now not business or consumer.
- A large amount of their handset sales come from kids
I don’t know how it happened but kids love BlackBerrys. They BBM each other and they do not buy their handsets for anything to do with the enterprise.
- The Playbook is finally a good product
Don’t get me wrong, when it was first released it was a bit of a joke but since the 2.0 update I think it’s the best tablet after the iPad. Not only is the user interface great, it’s easy to use, it’s the perfect size, has great apps including Android apps now, cheap, rugged and great battery life. RIM should’ve redesigned it slightly and relaunched while Android stutters.
- Times have changed
Whether RIM target the enterprise or consumer, they need to change their ways and respond quicker to trends. the reason they fell behind is because they don’t understand what people want anymore.
- They should’ve focused on budget handsets
BlackBerry can’t compete with high-end devices, so why try? They could own the low-end of the market with solid BB handsets.
- They will be bought on the cheap
Make no mistake, this announcement will send alarm bells throughout the industry and thee will be a few big-hitters that will look to take advantage of RIM’s demise. Namely SAP.
- Innovation is important
Yes we know that, but while innovation is crucial in the consumer market, it’s important in the enterprise too! Apple are encroaching on this market and while BlackBerry lead it they will have to take big strides in order to keep it that way.
- The enterprise is slipping away from them
To bank everything on the enterprise is a very risky strategy especially when you look at points 1, 4 and 7. Yes they have a foothold but things change so quickly in this industry that to completely, openly rule out the consumer market could be a shot in the foot.
- This announcement works against them
Announcing anything negative is a PR nightmare. It signals your demise which then adds to your demise. Stock prices will go down and suddenly you’re unpopular and on a slippery slope to oblivion.
- OS 10 might’ve worked
It has been delayed time and time again but from what we’ve seen of it, OS 10 actually looks kind of good. It might not have saved them but had they released it earlier, who knows! After spending so much money and time on it they should’ve at least waited to see.