Earlier today Joint-CEO’s Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis stepped down from their positions after 20 years in charge of Research In Motion (RIM), the producers of BlackBerry phones.
I’m a harsh critic of RIM, their phones are appalling in almost every regard comparative to their…
I disagree with the author’s 1, 2, 3, and 4 (of 5) points on the following basis:
- the Playbook is actually pretty good;
- while streamlining some of the phone models might be a good idea, becoming a prestige brand like Apple will threaten RIM’s expansion in less wealthy foreign markets;
- moving to an entirely new OS (again) isn’t as simple as it sounds when you’re a security-minded company. WebOS would likely need to be re-written from the ground up. Hopefully BB 10 is enough to compete with the current line of OSes (really, the competition at this point is Windows Phone OS; beating iPhone would be targeting an aged OS that is itself in desperate need of UI updates);
- I like screen-based phones, but can appreciate physical keyboards. This can be a space where RIM differentiates itself from Apple. Moreover, I see an awful lot of people typing on keyboards on buses, in classes, in coffee shops, and so forth: there is an attachment to tactility that many are unwilling to give up.
I agree that more developers need to be brought on board (point 5). Not sure what can be done, specifically, other than create a welcome development environment, really work on outreach, and provide a good set of default API hooks that are robust and varied enough to create compelling applications. Ideally, RIM would do what they could to integrate core functionality into their devices in such a manner that they could extend that functionality with a minimum of effort. Apps are important, but a flexible and organic OS (that doesn’t get bloated) is as, if not more, important than apps themselves.
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