11-06-09 07:06 PM
53 123
tools
  1. cenloe's Avatar
    Here is an interesting article about RIM's future. Much of this has been discussed to no end here in the Crackberry forums. It's an interesting read, I really hope RIM get's it's act together




    Has Research In Motion’s BlackBerry Lost Its Edge? | Gadget Lab | Wired.com
    11-04-09 07:16 PM
  2. dynot's Avatar
    Brilliant article. Spot on with most of what it says.

    No wonder some investors downgraded RIM stock this week.
    11-04-09 08:16 PM
  3. jlsparks's Avatar
    I saw C_X twitter that article earlier. Powerful stuff coming from Wired. Now let's hope RIM can do what's needed.
    11-04-09 08:29 PM
  4. digital_cataclysm's Avatar
    Typical - people in these forums have been complaining about these very same issues and more, for the past couple years... but now it's RIM's time to "step-up and take action" because of the Android Invasion.

    Yeah. Reactive instead of Proactive, complacent attitude in the market, churning out the same 'ol thing in a different package and expecting people to luv it...
    Sure - why listen to your customers, when you can have a guy sum it all up for you in an article when it's too late.

    Another reason why I'm abandoning RIM for the Droid.
    11-04-09 09:00 PM
  5. RushTheBus's Avatar
    I also saw CX tweet this...sadly, i'm not sure anyone can really argue with Wired about their comments. Definitely an accurate account of RIM/BlackBerry as it stands today.

    However, i think they are beginning to straighten things out a bit. We know they are actively moving forward on improving the web browser (wether this will be available on current devices is unknown..but at least it's being addressed..). Likewise, it seems that they have begun to streamline their handset lines.

    Bold/Tour: Business/Enterprise

    Curve/Storm/Peral: More consumer oriented devices
    11-04-09 09:02 PM
  6. rizzzzoooo's Avatar
    See, IMO, I think this is the best time to stick with RIM. Hey I am sure they read all the articles and publicity that the new android platform is receiving and I am certain that they are not just sitting down and without taking notice. It is kind of exciting to see what they are going to pull out of their hats with all these new attacks from other devices. I am sure this will def force RIM to be more creative with future products/OS platforms they put out. I really mean it when I say I can't wait to see how RIM responds to all of this in the near future.
    11-04-09 09:27 PM
  7. fabuloso's Avatar
    I hate it when OP's can't quote an article. Browser on my BB can't load fast enough!

    Over the past decade, Research In Motion’s BlackBerry phone has become a cultural phenomenon. But can it stay one?

    With a confusing mix of new products, poor developer support, lack of innovation and an unwillingness to take risks, RIM is in danger of being outsmarted and overshadowed by aggressive new rivals, such as HTC and Motorola.

    RIM is a victim of its own success, says Michael Mace, principal at Rubicon Consulting, a strategy consulting firm for technology companies, struggling with problems around execution and distracted the pace at which the smartphone market is changing.

    “Does RIM have a lot of problems? Yes, they do,” says Michael Mace, principal at Rubicon Consulting. “Can they fix it? Sure. But the question is do they want to?”

    RIM did not respond to Wired.com’s request for comment.

    Since RIM released the first BlackBerry smartphone in 2002, it has gathered about 56 percent share of the U.S smartphone market and sold more than 65 million phones, landing the company in Fortune magazine’s recent list of fastest growing firms.

    But its future may not be as promising. Its market share among smartphones could shrink from a 20 percent overall market share today — which includes both smartphones and feature phones — to 12.8 percent at the end of 2012, says research firm Gartner. Google’s newly introduced Android operating system could move ahead of the BlackBerry and bag the No. 2 position, after Symbian.

    Unless RIM acts fast, it may soon find itself facing treading the same path as Nokia. Despite its position as the largest handset maker and a huge presence in emerging markets, Nokia’s profits have eroded and its share in the smartphone market shrunk significantly.

    So what’s ailing RIM?

    Too many smartphones

    Apple’s one-size-fits-all approach may be too spartan for most handset makers, who like to give consumers a choice of different devices. But RIM may have gone a little too far in its approach. Any at time, RIM offers more than 20 handsets, most of which are minor variations of each other. Take the Storm and its updated version Storm 2. The two are near identical in terms of features. The difference? Storm 2 offers Wi-Fi capability, a feature missing in its predecessor. Now try spotting the difference between the BlackBerry Curve 8900 and the Tour. Again, almost similar features except for that fact that Curve has Wi-Fi capability and the Tour doesn’t. The Curve 8900 is a GSM phone, while the Tour is a CDMA version.

    Having too many handsets, with each named differently, confuses consumers, says Mace.

    “RIM is doing all these different configurations because it is what the operators want,” he says. “But it is better to give up some growth than become a mediocre product in your current market, which is what they are in danger of right now.”

    It will be bitter medicine for RIM. With its $34 billion market capitalization, RIM can’t afford to offend Wall Street. But Mace says the company needs to step back and streamline its product portfolio.

    Not knowing which handsets to focus on also takes a toll on BlackBerry developers. It drives up development costs for programmers who want to create software for the device. Developers have to test their programs for multiple handsets and that is difficult and expensive, says Peter Sisson, founder and CEO of Toktumi, a company that created the Line2 app for the iPhone. Sisson is a seasoned entrepreneur who sold his last startup, Teleo, to Microsoft.

    “Once we got into it developing for the BlackBerry, I realized, ‘Oh my God, this is an absolute nightmare.’ There are all these phones out there and the hardware is not abstracted,” he says. “By the time you get your app out of QA and into production, a new model comes along that is not quite compatible with the others, requiring further coding changes or even a whole new build.”


    Innovation in handsets

    When RIM first introduced the BlackBerry, the device’s push e-mail capability set it apart from its peers and created a legion of BlackBerry addicts.

    But now a smartphone is no longer a device that just makes calls and checks e-mail. The rise of social networking tools such as Facebook and Twitter means users want a device that can help them stay connected beyond e-mail. Sophisticated consumers also want integrated contact management that can pull in contacts from different buckets. Add to that list a good web browser that lets them surf on the go and maps that can offer accurate turn-by-turn directions. Almost all these features have increasingly become de rigueur in smartphones. Except in the BlackBerry.

    The BlackBerry has gained notoriety for having a browser that seems stuck in the last decade. RIM is reportedly working to fix that. In September, the company bought Torch Mobile, which makes*the Webkit-based Iris browser. Webkit is the layout engine that is also used by the iPhone, Android and Symbian mobile operating systems.

    While rivals such as Motorola and HTC are experimenting with new interfaces for their devices, RIM has stuck to a formula that works for now — but makes its devices look boring.

    If the Storm, RIM’s first touchscreen phone, is any indicator, creating a radically new product isn’t easy for RIM. The Storm was BlackBerry’s first attempt to create a device that wasn’t a variation of its earlier handsets. The Storm was widely panned by reviewers, although it sold more than a million units in just two months of its launch.

    “They shipped a product that wasn’t completely tested and debugged,” says Mace. “It is something that the old RIM wouldn’t have done. The first Storm is the sign that they lost control over their handset development process.”

    Despite some recent mis-steps, discounting the BlackBerry is a mistake, says Dulaney. “The Bold and Curve are very well-done designs for those who like a keyboard,” he says. “And for business users they tend to work very well since they want to use their devices in portrait rather than landscape mode.”

    Support for developers

    Meanwhile, Apple’s success with its App store forced every handset manufacturer to attach an app store with their device. RIM is no exception. In April it introduced the BlackBerry App world.

    But the BlackBerry platform was never created with the intention of allowing a swarm of independent developers to write software for it.

    “RIM needs to clean up the platform and make sure the technology is more flexible,” says Mace. “These are things that take time and do not yield revenue immediately. You have to take a bunch of engineers and clean up all the garbage in the background.”

    The complexities of the platform also mean that fewer developers know how to code for the BlackBerry, says Sisson. A few weeks ago, Sisson posted an ad on Craigslist looking for developers for the iPhone and the BlackBerry platforms.

    Within hours, he says, he received more than 100 resumes from iPhone developers, while just a few responded to the BlackBerry posting. “There’s a shortage of talented developers who are both interested and capable of writing code for Blackberry apps,” says Sisson. “This spells major trouble for the future of the BlackBerry.”

    A quick look at the BlackBerry App world bears this out. The App World store has just about 2,000 apps available for download, compared to the iPhone App Store’s 90,000 apps or Android’s 12,000.

    Sisson suggests RIM come up with a new device that can take on the Droid, iPhone, the Palm Pre and the host of new smartphones cropping up. It could be a device targeted at consumers, that would integrate with the company’s app store and put the BlackBerry on equal footing with its rivals.

    “They will still have their existing loyal customer base that wants e-mail and the typical BlackBerry experience,” says Sisson. “But they can also cut free from the older models and create a frictionless experience for consumers and developers.”

    RIM is trying to solve some of these problems. The company recently restructured its Alliance program, its resource for independent developers to offer better access to support and a faster cycle to get application developers up and running.

    But that is not enough, says Sisson. “Unless RIM makes major changes to its platform — standardizing the hardware and OS, offering a QA test lab for engineers and streamlining the Alliance program still further — the BlackBerry will never have the quantity and quality of Apps that iPhone or Android phones will have.”

    Telecom carrier challenges

    A major catalyst in RIM’s growth and success is the company’s ability to work with a wide range of telecom carriers. But the cozy relationship with carriers also means that the company may be kowtowing to wireless service providers a little too much.

    Even though Wi-Fi has become a must-have feature for most smartphones, some reports suggest BlackBerry reportedly left it out of the Storm at Verizon’s insistence. RIM’s relationship with Storm paid off. Despite extremely tepid reviews and user complaints about the difficult touchscreen and buggy software, Verizon’s position as the biggest U.S. carrier helped sell more than 1 million units of the Storm in just two months of the device’s launch.

    Meanwhile, AT&T’s exclusive partnership with iPhone changed the dynamics for RIM in the United States. Three years ago, AT&T and Verizon Wireless represented about 20 percent each of RIM’s sales, estimates an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein. Today AT&T is down to 15 percent of RIM’s sales, while Verizon is up to 28 percent.

    But the dependence on Verizon is now starting to backfire. Last month, RIM introduced an updated version of its touchscreen phone the Storm 2. The phone is expected to be exclusively available on Verizon. But Verizon is putting its marketing muscle behind Motorola’s newly released Droid phone. Droid has gathered much better reviews than the Storm 2 and is being backed by an aggressive advertising campaign from Verizon. Together that could eat into Storm 2’s sales, says Ken Dulaney, vice-president of mobile computing with Gartner.

    “You will have to watch Verizon’s result in the next quarter for signs of weakness at RIM,” he says. “The Droid will compete against the Storm and the Curve. If we see degradation of sales for RIM, then we can say RIM is under attack in the soft underbelly segments that they have.”
    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    11-04-09 09:30 PM
  8. cenloe's Avatar
    I hate it when OP's can't quote an article. Browser on my BB can't load fast enough!



    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    I hate it when people expect you to quote an entire article, get a better browser already!
    11-04-09 10:55 PM
  9. cenloe's Avatar
    Typical - people in these forums have been complaining about these very same issues and more, for the past couple years... but now it's RIM's time to "step-up and take action" because of the Android Invasion.

    Yeah. Reactive instead of Proactive, complacent attitude in the market, churning out the same 'ol thing in a different package and expecting people to luv it...
    Sure - why listen to your customers, when you can have a guy sum it all up for you in an article when it's too late.

    Another reason why I'm abandoning RIM for the Droid.
    Thats usually how its done! Most companies wont do a darn thing until they absolutely have to.
    11-04-09 10:57 PM
  10. rizzzzoooo's Avatar
    That is why I am soo intrigued to see what RIM does next. It is no longer if they do something, but what will it be! Its put up or shut up time for RIM!
    11-04-09 11:12 PM
  11. jhamilton3#CB's Avatar
    RIM will respond.. they still have the lead - it just so happens others are catching up dramatically.
    11-05-09 12:50 AM
  12. Cyrilmak's Avatar
    RIM will respond.. they still have the lead - it just so happens others are catching up dramatically.
    The only lead RIM still has is BES and the push email in BIS. That's it. It's slowly becoming evident that isn't enough to keep the non business consumer at bay.

    It's sad I loved RIM, loved my Berry, still don't mind my Storm, but with a device like the Droid I'm bailing. And I know there will be a lot that do.
    11-05-09 01:04 AM
  13. fabuloso's Avatar
    Droid seems like my type of device. I'm no longer even considering uping my contract with ATT after December.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    11-05-09 02:15 AM
  14. ALpHa.Q.RoUgH's Avatar
    If RIM continues (which I hope not) their going to be like PALM. Not as bad as PALM, but they will be looked upon like PALM in needing an overhaul.
    11-05-09 02:19 AM
  15. fabuloso's Avatar
    Palm did good with WebOS, just not a good enough looking phone to use it on.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    11-05-09 02:21 AM
  16. o0stryxs0o's Avatar
    Agreed with the Palm statement! Also, because BB is in the lead they still have the time to change things. I think they are going to have to pump out that web browser quicker than next summer for one! Also they are going to have to start streamlining their devices I agree. I still think the Droid isn't something I would want. I'm really interested in how people take to it once it releases. I'm sticking with my berry for a while though because it honestly gets work done for me. Its my work horse opposed to what my iphone and G1 were. Also the phone that I'm interested in looking at is the HTC Touch HD 2. That thing looks beastly. Other than that its blackberry for me lol!

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    11-05-09 03:13 AM
  17. BzB's Avatar
    this article had so much truth in it. with businesses their size, and with the success they've had, it's common for the leadership to be stale and change averse.

    rim will evolve to try and stay relevant, but they'll be catching up to everyone else. might be too little too late aka the palm analogy.

    simply put, blackberry users are being wooed away to other phones by features that don't keep them boxed in. think the flexibility, freshness, and openness of android. even the iphone and winmo are doing things that are more attractive to consumers and business users.

    i'm giving the motorola droid a shot and setting my storm 2 aside for a while. might come back, but we'll see.
    11-05-09 09:41 AM
  18. OskahOfDisastah's Avatar
    I think the article is correct! RIM has done no big major improvements on their phone. This is the main reason I'm not upgrading from my 8900 until the dakota is out. I have said this before in the 8900 forums but I do think RIM is falling behind in the smartphone race! Main reason is the apps, the only reason i think they're falling behind is that their apps arent as 'pretty' as other phones' apps, like the iphone, andoids and pre's apps, but they dont have to be pretty they just have to get the job done right, and blackberries do that, just not in a pretty way. But i love blackberries! But droid is a good example of what RIM has to do to get stuff right and pretty. With the examples of the maps, navigation, and smoother apps. But from what i know they're already working on widgets (which im not a fan of) and a better browser. The just need a faster processor that'll keep up with all the stuff blackberries do to make it run smoother, that's just my opinion.
    Last edited by OskahOfDisastah; 11-05-09 at 09:55 AM.
    11-05-09 09:50 AM
  19. cenloe's Avatar
    The real mark of an OS that has a future is it's apps. I can't believe Android already has 12,000 and RIM only has 2,000. If developers don't want to develop for the platform, then you can kiss it's future goodbye.
    11-05-09 10:08 AM
  20. armedtank's Avatar
    The article is spot on although many of us have been saying the exact same things on this forum for quite some time now. Unfortunately, until RIM takes a hit on Wall street, nothing will probably be done about it. I'm looking at the Droid to replace my Storm 1 as early as next month.
    11-05-09 10:15 AM
  21. mciriello's Avatar
    RIM doesn't need the consumer market to survive. They aren't going anywhere with the share of the corporate market that they rightfully command. The consumer market is RIM's growth strategy and not their survival strategy.
    11-05-09 10:55 AM
  22. petersisson's Avatar
    I was interviewed for that article and there's more specific information about the issues we faced in this blog post. Bottom line, we are frustrated because we've encountered lots of interest in our app (our app is called Line2, and lets you add a second line to your bbry), but getting it to work properly on all models has been a real challenge. I think RIM should come out with an entirely separate phone designed for third party apps, and abandon trying to support apps on older models. This would make it a million times easier for developers, and lead to alot more apps.
    11-05-09 10:56 AM
  23. fabuloso's Avatar
    The real mark of an OS that has a future is it's apps. I can't believe Android already has 12,000 and RIM only has 2,000. If developers don't want to develop for the platform, then you can kiss it's future goodbye.
    We have no fart apps, so in essence, it makes sense why we don't have as many as Apple numbers.
    11-05-09 11:00 AM
  24. cenloe's Avatar
    We have no fart apps, so in essence, it makes sense why we don't have as many as Apple numbers.
    True, but Apple now has over 100,000 apps. Surely there arent 98,000 useless apps in Apples App Store.

    It's a fact that BB isn't easy to develop for. Even this article states that developers hate BB, way to many devices to worry about. RIM needs to streamline their product portfolio and just go with two-three devices. That would be a great start.
    11-05-09 11:37 AM
  25. Arson627's Avatar
    I was interviewed for that article and there's more specific information about the issues we faced in this blog post. Bottom line, we are frustrated because we've encountered lots of interest in our app (our app is called Line2, and lets you add a second line to your bbry), but getting it to work properly on all models has been a real challenge. I think RIM should come out with an entirely separate phone designed for third party apps, and abandon trying to support apps on older models. This would make it a million times easier for developers, and lead to alot more apps.
    I'm going to promote this. RIM just has to come out with a single device that will allow developers to get their stuff together and create it and support it for one device; not 20. I'm even getting confused over all the blackberry models that are getting released. I just want them to come out with one solid device and call it a day. Will RIM listen to these requests from their consumers? I'm willing to bet no. If blackberry hasn't been my comfort level for the last 5 years, I would be gone by now.
    11-05-09 12:20 PM
53 123
LINK TO POST COPIED TO CLIPBOARD