What RIM needs to do for QNX: Focus on one Phone and open up retail stores!
I honestly think that Blackberry needs to focus on one single touchscreen phone, like the iPhone, not several phones. Too many phones = lost in translation as to what RIM is trying to get at. People nowadays don't want a phone that fits their personality, they want a phone that is the "it" phone. Minus the ad hype Apple created, it make sense anyway that one phone is efficient rather than several phones that you have to choose from.
If RIM's execs feel that they can go with a keyboard and a touch screen, I'd say leave the keyboards to the 3rd party designers or a team at RIM to come up with some suave accessories to compensate for the lack of keyboards- iPhone users now have the option to buy a Bluetooth wireless keyboard, and that is smart because it generates some more money for Apple.
Apple has already shifted the paradigm of the consumer to touch, and the keyboard now seems too overwhelming to look at if designed as part of the phone. Unfortunately, I believe this is the time to look at reality. At least in where I live in, people love simplicity and clean design.
All together: Simple, clean and liked by all is what design should be. Apple got that one right. Let's hope that RIM will get theirs right as well.
Secondly: If RIM needs some advice, I believe that it seriously needs to consider opening up retail stores, like a "Blackberry Store". As RIM's VP Don Lindsay has said, it's all about the UX (User Experience). Also opening up retail stores = spreading free advertising.
The consumer and business markets as RIM has so often categorised is no longer separate, but rather inter-linked and unified markets. Business people are consumers, and consumers are also business people in some ways. Heck even consumers may want security grade messenging, etc.
Word of mouth and "silent" advertising is the most powerful form of advertising, not commercials or print advertising. People going "oohs and ahhs" through their friends' phones is what drives sales. Do you see Apple or Google investing the majority of their marketing in print or in TV ads for their phones? Not really.
Lastly, I'd say don't rush the pace and keep teasing on the side, but learn from Apple to be secretive and don't reveal or say anything until you have the final "pow" factor. RIM really needs that "one more thing....." moment
Just my 2 cents as a patriotic Canadian.
But Apple and RIM are in parallel situations financially, RIM still has a cash crop enough to open up some stores, and consider its origins as a hardware company, so it makes sense that I believe retail stores would be a hit with consumers. At least where I live, Apple Stores are often the rage in malls and beats even department stores in terms of per minute traffic.
- 10-11-11, 08:14 PM #4
They would also have the opportunity to create the BlackBerry Brand, Make BBM exciting, BBM shirts, Pins, bumper stickers, hats, BlackBerry shirts, ties, pins, belts etc, Peripherals for the BlackBerry could be launched and tested in retail channels before pushing them through distribution being able to better control MSRP with higher margin clothing, and accessories they theoretically will offset the cost of the Retail location ensuring they are not a liability
Consumers want the bells and whistles, the SMB market also wants them, the Large enterprise market needs control, and control comes from limiting bells and whistles, sorry but that is just the case. an App based phone not permitted to use apps isn't as useful as a phone made to be used without apps.
RIM needs to lead with developer tools, and follow with the hardware, that is a change they will have a hard time to wrap their heads around.
- 10-11-11, 08:17 PM #5
Having 1 phone won't work. A real keyboard is a must for a lot of users especially in the enterprise market. Using a separate external bluetooth keyboard is just cumbersome and just wastes time. Blackberry isn't about that at all, its about getting things done very quickly, thats why theres so many damn shortcuts.
I would love them to concentrate on just a couple phones. Id say 1 touchscreen only, 1 9900 like, and 1 torch like. And these things have to be future proof. No more skimping on hardware and then in 6 months release a better version. They need to make it so it'll be good for a couple years, but in 12 months release something better that will make people want to upgrade. Exactly what Apple does. And yes even though a lot of tech sites are complaining about the 4s, its sold out. People want it.
They also need to get s*** out the door. No more showing stuff off and then 8 months later releasing it. The excitement is completely lost by the time its actually available. This goes for everything RIM does basically. They need to release stuff quicker. The playbook is a great example.
As for a store. It won't work. Apple sells more than just phones.
At the end of the day RIM needs to make some changes.
10-11-11, 08:26 PM #6
- 2,573 Posts
As for stores being a "hit with consumers," you failed to address how RIM could avoid the fate of Gateway, Sony and Pioneer, not to mention Nokia, in the retail business. Especially Nokia. Your argument seems to be "open stores and people will just show up," but that's not really the case. Apple stores are hugely popular now, but it's because the products are successful. An Apple store with products that people don't want to buy wouldn't have the traffic. Remember that the first Apple stores opened just a couple months before the iPod was announced; the timing wasn't a coincidence.
- 10-11-11, 08:35 PM #7
I'd like to see the RIM Retail Store have
BlackBerry Bold Display - 2 Models
BlackBerry Curve Display - 3 models
BlackBerry Torch Display - 2 models
BlackBerry Pearl Display - 2 model
BlackBerry Style Display - 2 models
BlackBerry PlayBook Display - 3 sizes
BlackBerry BlueTooth Ear piece Display
BlackBerry Peripherals Display ( Presenter2.0(w/HDMI), Mobile receipt printer, docking stations, Batteries, Battery doors, Charging stations.
BlackBerry casual clothing Display
BlackBerry Business clothing Display
BlackBerry App world kiosk allowing you to pay and have apps side loaded saving a data connection, also Music, and Movies
- 10-11-11, 08:39 PM #8
See my other post as HOW RIM could make Retail channels work better than Sony (which still has quite a few stores), Gateway, and Pioneer.
RIM has a Brandname, they need to make Hip, and they could do that better through retail merchandising, and allow them more margin in their coffers.
But this is how I feel about the the future of selling for smartphone makers. Don't depend on others to do your work, because you may not have the controls you need for a successful product. RIM may not have exactly as much as products in its line ups as Apple, but hey neither did Apple have the iPhone or iPad, or the Macbooks (well the only laptop from Apple was the iBook), or the iPod touch when it opened its first stores in 2001. Start small, and ye shall grow.
Last edited by gng11; 10-11-11 at 08:50 PM. Reason: Addendums
- 10-11-11, 09:08 PM #10
The problem with opening a retail channel up is that you risk damaging your distribution network, it is a careful balance to make sure you can provide the margins your distribution channels will require, and balance that with the retail revenue, if you are using your retail channels as support for the distribution networks, as well as offering services from it, and new products that don't over lap with your network you run a lower risk
What COULD happen to RIM if they opened retail channels is they could get push back from their main distributors asking for lower purchase prices for the product as they will argue lower volume sales due to direct sales. thus harming RIM's bottom line bringing their already low ASP lower. Apple didn't have the carrier relationship to deal with when they launched the iPod's and their PC business was crap anyway so distribution channels wouldn't fight.
VERY VERY different models being dictated here. Manufacturing and retail are complicated
I much prefer manufacturing
This is Steve Jobs introducing the first Apple Store in 2001. Notice there were only a few products then, the iMac and the iBook. If Apple accomplished it, then RIM can do it. And in 2001, RIM was ahead of the pack. Apple was only about to enter the mobile devices market.
Last edited by gng11; 10-11-11 at 11:30 PM.
- 10-12-11, 12:08 AM #12
The only difference being that the exclusive stores are opened and run by the RIM India distributor, Redington.
They have opened a huge number of RIM stores in Delhi. Some in popular market and many in malls. The display is divided on the lines you have mentioned in your post.
The distributor alson handles the retail channels for RIM. So maybe RIM can take a lesson from them on how to manage margins so that their retails channels are not pis*ed with the exclusive stores.
The distributor has also opened repair and service centers. These are directly managed by the distributor, but the branding and display is all Blackberry, so most people think they are interacting with RIM directly. The service center is pretty fancy I might add. Lots of Blackberry branding all over and good interior design.
Maybe RIM doesn't need to get into retail stores directly, but just appoint country distributors and let them manage that side of the business.
There's always a risk when a manufacturer tries to enter the retail space directly. Apple is an exception not the rule.
- 10-12-11, 06:35 AM #16
A store with one phone in it? Good luck with that. Would you at least put the Playbook in it?
At least you wouldn't need much space. 9 square feet and one employee should do. You could give the employee an iPhone to do payment processing so you wouldn't need to take up space for a point of sale (register).
The problem is when you order signs for said 9 SF of space they must be very small, thus your "free advertising" would be need to be read with a magnifying glass.
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- 10-12-11, 08:17 AM #17
What people are failing to realize is that RIM is in no position to do this. There are so many different groups of people that would get pissed off at RIM spending money on Retail stores instead of other ways.
All PlayBook owners
At this point, who knows when 2.0 and android player are actually coming. Can you imagine if before they got this update RIM opened all these retail stores? Everyone who was already doubting RIM would sell their PlayBooks for pennies on the dollar.
Current Retail Distribution Channels
Try telling the stores that you've given an unsuccesful product to that you'll be opening your own stores and prepare for the can of worms that will come shortly after.
Don't even know where to start with this one.
1.) You've already burned through so much of your cash in R & D, now you want to burn through the rest with retail stores?
2.) How long until these retail stores catch on, if ever? Shareholders have waited long enough already for a bounce back, prepare to see a floor price. At this point, the last thing Shareholders want is a long-term investment.
3.) The reaction of Wall Street, exactly.."RIM, stop trying to be something your not."
- 10-12-11, 08:46 AM #18
What RIM would have to do by Opening a retail channel is ensure their current distribution maintains their margins, and ensures that their margins are safe as RIM will not be undercutting or even matching Advertised prices.
YES there are lots of cans of worms that could be open, but RIM easily could offer product buy backs for Retail locations within a specific square mileage of the direct locations, and this would appease most large distribution channels, having the option to return unsold inventory without restocking fee's is a great bargaining tool for manufacturers.
Retail would increase RIM's ASP, if it were to take off, which is a real IF, but with the inclusion of other product offerings branded by RIM it could mean greater margins, localized support tools, and a better marketing/sales strategy, all things Shareholders would like to see.
Having excess liquid cash does nothing for shareholders, Shareholders want reinvestment into the company with potentials for Growth, those looking for long term investment and not short term growth would see a retail channel as RIM's attempt to take back control of it's North American market as it has clearly seen a loss of favour from the current channels, those looking for short terms sales actually want to break RIM up, sell off the chunks and maximize profits for their portfolio in the short term.
- 10-12-11, 08:48 AM #19
The problem in North America is the established channels that already exist, in India those channels did not exist, and the Distributors here would risk seeing other distributors getting competing products from their customer base because they created a direct channel, once you start with 1 product line what will stop you from making another?
IT is awesome that what I mentioned already exists, I would love to see some footage of a larger BlackBerry Store, to see if my vision in my mind is what they actually have done.
- 10-12-11, 08:53 AM #20
Apple had less than 4% market share in the global Personal computer market
When Apple Launched it's first retail store, they didn't have mass distribution, they didn't have any market dominance to speak of, AND the product mix they sold had an average price of a little over $1500
in a RIM based Store where they have heavy distribution in place, (read competition) a RIM store Average product price would be under $400
their revenue would be drastically lower than the first Apple Store and would then be doomed to fail.
- 10-12-11, 09:10 AM #22
[QUOTE=deRusett;6754661]I disagree! PlayBook Owners who are selfish would think the ONLY Thing RIM is working on is their PlayBook OS, things are slower, but the staff required to start a new project are not the same staff working on the OS, ESPECAIALLY if that new Project is opening a retail channel, I assure you no Software Engineers, or CompSci people would be used for this project
You failed to understand my point. I am talking about perception, not facts. It is fairly obvious that the people working on QNX aren't the people that would be involved in the planning of retail stores.
You need to look at this from a public perspective. How will it look to disgruntled owners for RIM to open up retail stores and not fixed the problems that have plagued their product line?
- 10-12-11, 09:15 AM #23
All I am saying is RIM needs to improve their timetables and product lines. Fix the problems that have plagued devices. Without doing this first, I don't see Wall Street being positive on any other moves. Maybe acquisitions, but certainly not retail chains.
- 10-12-11, 09:22 AM #24
Question: If RIM can't manage a simple tablet launch properly, nor release upgrades to either phones nor tablets on anything even resembling a proper schedule...
How on EARTH do you imagine that they're able to launch AND manage something as complicated as a whole retail chain, especially without any prior experience?
I mean, jeez... Imagine their stores... Some of them would probably open with no inventory, while another store would open with nothing but BB Torch in stock. Some of them would have one guy to man all the registers, while they'd have two or three people for each register in other stores. Heck, some of them would probably have the whole roof collapse on the store within a couple of weeks of opening. Nope, it wouldn't be pretty...
- 10-12-11, 09:40 AM #25
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