1. blkangl's Avatar
    just came across this, what do you guys think?

    Dear RIM:
    As a Blackberry user, I cannot help but notice that your business is going the way of the Dodo bird. Heres why:

    That's not the direction you'd want to go in

    The Problem: BlackBerry: Third Place in a Two-Horse Race

    The fact of the matter is, over time, markets tend to settle down and become duopolies. Here are just a few examples:

    Coke and Pepsi (RIP RC-Cola)

    Ford and GM (Chrysler never really had a chance)

    Windows PC and Mac (rival operating systems never quite caught on)

    And now, in the Smartphone market, are Apple iOS and Googles Android. Despite the amount of users on the Blackberry network, and despite all of RIMs efforts to beef up its mobile OS, increase the size of its app store and opening up its architecture, its strategy is fundamentally flawed.

    The Blackberry will never beat Apple in terms of user-friendliness and style. Steve Jobs Cult of Personality both his intuitive sense of what looks good, and his anal-retentive perfectionism, made every single consumer on this planet automatically ASSUME that every Apple product, in the recent past and in the near future, will be an artistic masterpiece. RIM can come up with the sleekest, most beautiful phone to grace the Earth, and it would be chalked up to luck. The general public just does not hold the same assumption about the Blackberry. And after ill-advised designs such as the ironically-named BB Style, who can blame them?

    Conversely, Blackberry will never beat Androids sheer availability and cheapness. With mobile carriers literally giving Samsung and HTC handsets for free, how can you compete without commoditizing your product? You cant. And you shouldnt, because only the lowest-cost producer can win in a commodity market and thats not RIM.

    Light on the wallet

    Not that RIM hasnt tried. Blackberry Curve prices were slashed this year to compete with the influx of prepaid and free-with-contract smartphones. Result: Angry Londoners chose BBM as their weapon of choice during the epic firebomb riots a few months ago. Giving encrypted messaging capabilities to the angry masses: not the best PR op ever. (Sidebar: BBMs secure messaging did play a big part in the uprisings of the Arab Spring, it cannot be denied, but clearly, the negative press associated with these sorts of incidents far outweighs any positive coverage journalist are usually far more afraid to seem biased toward a corporation, than to point fingers at it)

    How can BB stay relevant in the consumer smartphone market if it is losing ground against its 2 chief rivals? It cant

    The handwriting is on the wall: Blackberry is getting crushed by iOS and Android. Either RIM is going to willingly leave the consumer handheld market, or bankruptcy is going to force them to (which will be inevitable if current trends persist). The biggest selling points for BB handsets right now are 1) the QWERTY keyboard, 2) secure email, and 3) BBM service. If your products biggest selling points are 1) something archaic, 2) something you cant see or feel (and which breaks occasionally), and 3) essentially a 2MB app with dozens of free substitutes, your product line is in serious ****. Consumers get bored. They WILL desert you for a product with better games and a lower pricetag.

    Solution: Go back to your roots

    What then? Lets focus instead on what RIM is really, really good at: providing mobile solutions to enterprises and large organizations. What did IBM do when things got rough a few years ago? They sold their PC division to Lenovo and went back to their roots: working with large companies to sort out their IT challenges. RIM should do the same.

    Who cares that a Blackberry doesnt do the same things that an iPhone does? A Blackberry is a work tool, something you dont mess around with. It should be a phone for the consummate professional who cant give a crap about which apps are hot this week.

    A BB user should be like a US Marine - he doesnt care that its not the latest technology, or that its not the prettiest, most intuitive work tool out there. His Blackberry is like his M-4 Carbine simple, rugged, and there to get the job done no matter what. Its a soldiers best friend, his lifeline, his ticket home not a status symbol or a conspicuous display of wealth.

    Most consumers dont think this way, so RIM should ditch them, before they ditch RIM.

    Things I would do next week

    With all that being said, here is my to-do list, were I in Jim Balisillie and Mike Lazardis shoes

    1) Drastically cut the product line: No more tablets, no more all-touchscreen phones, no more BB Curve nothing that doesnt support the image of a no-nonsense brand committed to getting the job done 24/7, anywhere in the world.

    2) Focus on corporate and institutional clients: Instead about thinking how you can get more game developers to post in the app store, dig deep and find the Next Big Handheld Solution for enterprises (a game-changer like push email and secure instant messaging)

    3) Stop appeasing the consumer: Dont bother trying to be lovey-dovey to the average BB user (most likely a 20 year-old girl in university). Forget it, she will not save you. Focus your attention on the 1%. The others are Apple fans anyway (those who cant afford it will go for an Android)


    I will make a not-so-bold statement right now: RIM will not be a large player in the consumer handheld segment in 4 years time. Whats in doubt is whether it is because it would be thriving focusing on something else, or because it wouldve disappeared altogether.

    As a Blackberry Torch owner, what I see every 10 minutes (when I reach for my phone) is a great product thats not being pushed toward the right crowd. With all the back-end technical abilities of RIM, and its multi-billion dollar patent collection, RIM would be well served to take a step back, refocus on who brought them to this dance, give them new features, and go from there. A couple of years from now, heres what Id love to be able to say:

    If you want to tell me about your weekend, send me a Facebook message or find me on MSN. But if you have serious business to take care of, write me a BBM.
    12-07-11 09:07 PM
  2. Chrisy's Avatar
    Don't care. It's not my company and I have more important things to be concerned about.
    12-07-11 09:09 PM
  3. kbz1960's Avatar
    Don't care. It's not my company and I have more important things to be concerned about.
    LOL now there is the right attitude. I need to adapt that one. WTG chrisy.
    12-07-11 09:19 PM
  4. John Yester's Avatar
    Another news article, just like others. This thread will go no place but start arguments, etc.

    12-07-11 09:19 PM