Poor RIM. The media is bashing the company over and over again with no restrain. Common criticisms include the PlayBook’s utter failure and RIM’s incapability to keep up with advances in the mobile industry. I agree wholeheartedly. In fact, I was making these types of complaints a year ago while everyone else remained fairly confident that RIM could pull through. Fast forward to today, and it is not looking too good for them.
If anything, their own poor decisions are what is bringing the company down. They launched the BlackBerry Torch last August into a market heavily populated with Android phones and the brand new iPhone 4. It has a comparably sluggish 624 MHz processor, a sub-par operating system, and an antiquated display resolution. At the time of its release, Android phones were already twice as fast in many cases and the iPhone 4 had the industry leading retina display. While hardware specs are not the only important factor, RIM was a flight of stairs behind in every category.
This year, the company released the PlayBook, its first attempt at a tablet. It lacks native email, contacts, and calendar apps. Need I say more?
But believe it or not, in the midst of all these downfalls, RIM is still hanging by a single thread. The “BlackBerry” name is the only thing keeping the fractured company from falling into a dark pit of failure and despair. Before I mock people who buy a BlackBerry mercilessly, I first ask why. “We are in a world in which the capabilities of these tiny smart phones seem endless,” I say. “You bought a BlackBerry. Why?” I get varying answers, but all of them have a central theme. It is a BlackBerry.
RIM has something special that other companies dream about having: a brand that is so well-known. Even as it now represents incredibly mediocre products, consumers still want to buy a BlackBerry. The average Joe really does not know what is going on with RIM. They do not know about specifications or software. All they know is the “BlackBerry” name is mainstream, so they dive right into the purchase.
You might think RIM would take advantage of this immense privilege by actually releasing competitive products to give the name a boost. Finally, they are. A few BlackBerry devices are in the works for the end of this year and early 2012 with some nice specifications, which could be the silver lining. Unfortunately, by then it might be too late. RIM’s profit is already plummeting. During first quarter, it fell 9.6% to $695 million, down from $769 million for the same quarter last year. PlayBook shipments were poor too at just 500,000. To compare, Apple sold 4.69 million iPads within the aforementioned time frame. And that is sold iPads, not shipped.
All the evidence is very clear. RIM is not doing well at all. They can try to pretty up the statistics however they want, but the company faces some huge problems. People are already starting to realize the benefits of leaving their once capable BlackBerry in favor of an Android powerhouse or a slick iPhone. RIM is still hanging by that single thread, but it is weakening with each day that goes by.
I don’t have a blackberry because of the name, I have one because it still does e-mail better than anything out there, best keyboards on the market, BBM and an underrated OS. If I want to play games, I have an iPod touch for that!
BBM is very soon going to be outshined by iMessage. And have you ever used a touch screen keyboard extensively? You’ll find it’s not as bad as it seems. In fact, I find it easier than a BlackBerry keyboard.
i….. !!!! oh wow how Steve Jobs makes people believe that i…. products are the best even before they are released, I admit that iphone redefined the mobile internet and mobile gaming, but also you have to admit that blackberries created mobile email and mobile messaging and they are still the best in that.
BBM being outshined by iMessage has nothing to do with iMessage being better. I said that because there are far more iOS users than BlackBerry users.
I disagree. I always feel limited when using a touch screen device. With a hardware keyboard, I’m limited to the speed at which my fingers can move and accurately touch the letters I’ve selected. With software keyboards, I’m limited to the accuracy of the combination of the software and the screen working together. If I typed out a paragraph on an iPhone, I could type the same exact paragraph at least twice as fast on a BlackBerry keypad. And that’s coming from a person who uses an iPhone as their daily driver.
I can type faster on iPhone than a cramped up bb keyboard….
I’m a full time Swype user for the past 8 months or so. Correct me if i’m wrong, but doesn’t the world record for the fastest typing on a mobile device go to a Swype user?
Yeah I agree. And Sahas is right about the world record.
The thing that bothers me about Swype, personally, is that it’s never seemed like a practical solution to me. Maybe I’m just a dummy, but I can’t get used to it.
I don’t think George or Sahas can see past the Android/iOS market. What you guys fail to realize is that BB is a BUSINESS phone. They will always be around because people don’t want a portable computer all the time. A blackberry is durable, unlike the iPhone which cracks from everything. BlackBerries also have much better battery life and have a physical keyboard, which is quickly becoming a niche market.
There are markets that an iPhone or an Android don’t fit. While iPhones can do what BlackBerries can, the BlackBerry is designed to be a business phone while iOS is a totally different market.
What you say WAS entirely true for many years, but it is no longer the case. Before companies dictated what types of handsets their employees needed to use. These days, the tables are turning. I was up in Microsoft’s campus last year in Seattle. Just about every one of their employees had an iPhone.
As you stated BlackBerry devices still have many great qualities, but people are looking for other interesting features these days: larger screens, video chat, 4G connectivity, and better apps.
Moving forward, the leading devices will be what consumers want. And with the current trends, it is likely going to be Android or iOS for the foreseeable future.
I don’t think RIM is going away anytime soon, they still have a huge market share. But I would not be surprised to see them “hanging by a single thread” as George said in a matter of time.
Palm was once the most popular and there was Windows Mobile too. BlackBerry had its time. The market continues to evolve as it always does.
Blackberry devices are goin down…they have only one option, make phone that is capable of running android icecream with all their emails n messenger apps preinstalled over…
Also bbm is a threat to national security…. Terrorist used bbm to communicate in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks… And when CEO of rim was asked will u be setting up server in India so that nothing like this will happen again…. He said “they are just jeleous of rim’s success” in a BBC interview…
A threat to national security? Really? Because no other phones have messaging capabilities.
Still i feel if the more and more apps get added to PlayBooks kitty the BlackBerry PlayBook might still come out as a good performer. Its has all the hard ware, UI interface, build, camera in top quality only the lack of apps is bothering its consumers. Once the apps list increase i think it will give good competition to IPad.
Some of you have made some very valid points about blackberry indeed. I’m a small business owner and found myself paying a small fourtune on bb data and not being satisfied with the capabilities. But let’s be real here it lacks so many great features that the other OS have. I’m not familiar with the Android OS but I have been using the iOS for about a year now, it’s far more effient than bb 6.0 which I think is a joke and to be honest, how can bb still be leading in email when most large email messages get “trunicated” ? My wife often helps he and we usually have to review files on our laptops to overcome this matter.
When using the bb torch I feel like I’m being ripped off having to pay for data. But since moving to iPhone 4 and having a plethora of apps and other capabilities it something far more justifiable, and in regards to “physical keyboards” yeah they’re alright but I’m far more efficient on the touch screen, I hardly typed on the pk when I had the Torch anyway.
Sure it works well for ema