For the IE sister site of Enterprise Efficiency, I wrote a blog about RIM's ineptness during a recent earnings call. I've also recorded a video about the BlackBerry Torch, which I didn't shower with praise, and I've mentioned in several blogs problems with RIM's products.
RIM has a shot: Early next year it must deliver great QNX-based BlackBerrys, with plenty of applications. I like QNX on the PlayBook, but the OS needs more tweaking and there are almost no QNX PlayBook apps.
If RIM's QNX BlackBerrys have a great new design, state of the art capabilities, seamless QNX integration and a boatload of apps, then RIM might indeed have a shot at regaining some of its former glory.
But no one is developing apps for the PlayBook, so RIM will have to pull a rabbit out of its hat to get apps for its QNX BlackBerrys. And since so many consumers have already switched to the iPhone and Android, RIM will have a very difficult time getting anyone to switch back.
This week RIM is holding its DevCon conference for application developers, and many people are waiting eagerly -- or anxiously -- to see what RIM says and demonstrates.
Actually, even if you think just in terms of brand, it's confusing. The "same" brand could be different at different cellular operators.
A Samsung Galaxy S II, for example, could come with different radios, a slightly different design, a different sized screen and a different microprocessor, depending on the operator selling it. Also, a phone with the same specifications could be sold under a different name at different operators.
I guess that's why so many people like Apple. They don't have to tax their poor gray matter with thinking because choices are limited!
Seriously (not that I'm ever not serious), sticking with a single ecosystem, such as iOS or Android, has advantages in addition to the limitations, for consumers and businesses.
Definitely confusing, unless you're a consumer who thinks in terms of brand and not specifications. There are strictly iPhone people, strictly Droid people. Actually I wonder whether this wide variety of options will help people to think broadly when choosing a smartphone or if it will make them more likely to stick with what they know due to confusion.
For users it's good and bad news, but mostly good.
The good news is there are lots of great choices for a wide variety of needs. The bad news is sort of the same -- there are so many choices that I'm sure it's extremely confusing for many people.
Also, decision-making is getting more challenging for enterprises because of the numerous choices available.
Alas, RIM hasn't had a flagship BlackBerry that competes against the best smartphones for years. My hope for RIM is that next year its QNX handsets offer excellent hardware specifications, a great QNX OS experience and lots of applications. It's not easy to accomplish, especially convincing developers to produce apps for a new platform. Just look at the dearth of apps for the PlayBook, which does have excellent hardware specs.
Hi Alan. Thanks for this great analysis. This is a really great guide for anyone trying to make a decision about smartphones. I think things in the smartphone realm are finally getting interesting thanks to diversity and an array of choices and specifications. Unfortunately it's not surprising to hear your disappointment with RIM's offerings.
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