RIM’s BlackBerry 10 is well on its way to store shelves, but its chances of succeeding are much lower than the company might like to admit.
Research In Motion is in some trouble in the mobile market. The company’s BlackBerry operating system, while popular years ago, has been largely ignored by customers who see it as an outdated alternative to new technologies in Android and iOS. The issues have been so bad for RIM that the company has watched its stock price tank and its market share plummet. Worst of all, RIM has no solution in place right now to stop the bleeding and turn things around.
That said, RIM executives think they have a solution. That solution, dubbed BlackBerry 10, will be a new operating system launching in January. According to RIM, the operating system will be running on a host of touch screen-equipped handsets, and will mark a dramatic shift for the company as it transitions away from its older software design and physical keys.
But any claim that BlackBerry 10 will be a success is pure nonsense. The operating system might be better than its predecessors and it might come with some neat features, but not even new software can address RIM’s many woes.
Read on to find out why BlackBerry 10 will have significant trouble getting off the ground:
1. The iPhone juggernaut
Apple’s iPhone is simply too popular and too powerful for RIM to even have a chance of gaining significant market share with BlackBerry 10. Apple’s iPhone is the top smartphone on the market, followed by Samsung's Galaxy S III. All other products from any other vendor have been ignored. What makes RIM officials think their devices will be any different?
2. Android is a huge threat
Android could prove to be RIM's biggest issue when it comes to BlackBerry 10. Thanks to Android's popularity, more and more devices are entering the mobile market. In turn, it's getting harder for any one company's devices to be seen. RIM, which will be late to the touch-screen game, will be hit hard by having to share the spotlight with so many other products.
3. BlackBerry customers don't want touch-screens
The odd thing about RIM is that its customers really don't want touch-screens. In fact, the only customers who are sticking with its products are those who are content with physical keyboards. And yet, RIM is releasing a product in BlackBerry 10 that is attempting to bring back those who want a BlackBerry experience and a touch-screen. The question is, do those folks even exist?
4. Most consumers don't leave
Following that, it's important for RIM to understand that most consumers just don't leave Android or iOS. In fact, about three-quarters of those who bought an iPhone 5 already owned one of Apple's handsets. And if customers already own a Samsung Galaxy, they're not looking to switch. Those customers, however, are the people that RIM needs to woo. Good luck.
5. The enterprise is happier than ever with Android, iOS
According to one research firm, for the first time ever, new purchases of BlackBerry handsets in the enterprise will be outstripped by Android and iOS in 2012. Neither platform was able to individually beat out the BlackBerry, but together, they have. That's shocking. And it underscores the significant erosion RIM is facing in the enterprise.
6. RIM is not known for design
RIM has never been known for its design ideas. In fact, the company has been delivering products for years that in no way match the iPhone or Samsung products. Unless something miraculously changes, that poor design sense will be a major problem for BlackBerry 10 adoption.
7. Apps are an issue
Apps are extremely important in today's mobile space. And yet, RIM's BlackBerry App World is far behind Apple's App Store and Google Play marketplace in terms of total available programs. RIM officials say that they have shown BlackBerry 10 to developers, and they are working to add more apps, but the App World is so far behind, it might never be able to catch up.
8. The delay was a major problem
Although BlackBerry 10 is launching in early 2013, RIM's software was supposed to be available in 2012. In fact, RIM CEO Thorsten Heins announced a delay that pushed back the operating system to next year. Obviously displeased, Heins said his staff wouldn't take vacation until the operating system was released. But the delay was an issue—it pushed RIM even further back in the mobile space and all but ensured that it won’t catch up to iOS or Android.
9. The market wants something new and fresh
RIM’s BlackBerry 10 operating system is a catch-up product. The software comes with full touch functionality, app store integration, and programs that help users access everything from music to games. In other words, it's doing nothing that's new and fresh. But new and fresh are all that would set BlackBerry 10 apart. Unfortunately, RIM doesn’t realize that.
10. There won't be enough devices
Quantity matters greatly in the mobile market. Unless your company name is Apple, you need to deliver as many products as possible to store shelves to gain market share. RIM, unfortunately, will only be selling a handful (at most) of BlackBerry 10 products. Considering that hundreds of Android-based handsets are available, it could be extremely difficult for RIM and its few products to nab significant market share when it's up against so many other devices.