Was RIM’s decision to stick with keyboard ethical? Ask to any RIM’s fanatics, they will tell you the importance of keyboard on the BlackBerry devices. It was the reason why RIM’s former co-CEOs–Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis–had so much of affections for the keyboard.
Until 2006, RIM and Nokia were considered as the princes of Smartphone, but now, both have staked a lot on its last battle, on BlackBerry 10 and Windows 8 based 10-inch Tablet respectively. Once, there was Palm, but it has been extinct now. Windows Mobile is gone and Windows Phone 7 is new replacement. The scenarios have been changed within six years of duration, kings are now beggar.
There was a time, when the co-CEO of RIM were considered as one of the most impressive executives, but now, they have been forced to sit in the queue. Is it true that RIM could not understand what users were actually demanding, a pocket computer device or a simple pocket phone? A modified version of pocket computer (modern Smartphone) possessed all the features of the Smartphone (such as email, messaging, calling and more) along with the features of computing devices as well. Apple introduced its iPhone in 2007 with full-fledged touchscreen interface, and later, this touchscreen interface became an industrial standard. The scenario has completely been changed, users are now more relying on touchscreen interface than physical keyboard.
First time, a difference between phone and PC companies was seen in 2007. Apple, Google and Microsoft were PC companies, whereas Nokia, Palm and RIM were Phone companies. RIM believed users were more likely to own a phone device for email, messaging and calling, but it was its big mistake. Pocket Smartphone had shifted to pocket computers. Google was second player after Apple noticed the change and created a superb alternative option for users and it has proven itself in the market.
Microsoft wasn’t interested to take a big risk on its Windows Mobile OS and saddled its all afford to revamp its OS and created full-fledged Windows Phone 7. Until last year, Nokia was world leading mobile handset manufacturers, but after Stephen Elop as CEO, it dropped off Symbian and Meego platforms and started to rely on Windows Phone.
Recently, RIM’s CEO–Thorsten Heins–said in an interview, “Research in Motion is the middle of a transition. We’re building a whole new mobile computing platform. And that is a huge program we are going through. We’re doing in 18-20 months what others have used 24-36 months for. The whole company is focused around it. While we do this, we are still very focused on selling BlackBerry 7…in the U.S. and also in the rest of the world. This whole company is going through an orientation of new focuses around corporate customers, around consumers, around a whole new software platform, and that is quite a significant challenge to the company.”
In the interview, RIM’s CEO also announced, ‘there’s nothing wrong in the company’, but everyone is knowing that the company has reached to its worst stage. I can understand, why the CEO has stated such words, because he’s relying on BlackBerry 10, could be a turning point for the company. But, the launch has been scheduled for Q1 of the next year, it’s too late.
It’s true, there’s something wrong with RIM, that’s why it has decided to layoff 5,000 workforces. A fierce competition from Apple and Google has shaken up the company. I believe, RIM was quite slow to change itself and opted some wrong alternatives. Its BBM’s instant message services and RIM’s security are still outstanding. Businesses and government agencies are also relying on RIM. Despite of three days outage in the last year, real phone lover are still more likely to work on RIM’s blackberry.
Apple, Google and Microsoft are computer companies having huge experiences in creating application software and OS. But, RIM has limitation, they have little experiences in this field. However, due to market instability, it’s hard to believe that BlackBerry could wonder in the next year.