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Bill Bennett


Blackberry 10: RIM’s last chance

RIM says it will launch its Blackberry 10 on January 30 in New York. That’s nice – there are still Blackberry fans out there in the wild hoping for their favourite phone maker to bounce back. Some still pine for a phone with a physical QWERTY keyboard.

Last month the company’s boss Thorsten Heins told reporters RIM has “just this one shot”. He is an optimist. One analyst gives Blackberry 10 a 30 percent chance of success. Even that sounds generous.

RIM plans to announce touch-phones and QWERTY models along with a new operating system. The goal is to go after corporate customers  – Blackberry dominated this sector until three years ago.

The smartphone market is saturated. With Apple and Android sharing 90% of unit sales and Windows Phone 8 making a determined bid for the rest, RIM has its work cut out.

It has been such a long time between drinks for RIM that most previous Blackberry owners have already moved to other smartphones. Wooing them back will be hard.

RIM must deliver faultless hardware and rock-solid software. It needs to offer something new and unique.

Even a perfect phone isn’t enough. RIM also needs a credible slew of apps ready at the launch. That doesn’t mean Angry Birds, although having games will help.

And the price has to be right. Blackberry can no longer command a premium.

The company’s last launch was the disastrous Playbook. While it had some good reviews, RIM held a humiliating fire sale to shift stock. That’s not an option this time.



3 thoughts on “Blackberry 10: RIM’s last chance

  1. If RIM can do enterprise expertly from the get-go they have a chance. They, more than any other phone maker know what that entails imo. I think this is more important than apps. If they have a device that they can guarantee to businesses that they can control the data flow on the device and consistently and accurately track it and it’s goings-on then they can sell a lot, especially if it can get certified at the highest levels of security.

    1. Agree. I think that’s the likely game plan. And I suspect security will be crucial.

      The problem is many enterprises have been using other stuff successfully for a couple of years and the sky hasn’t fallen. They may be less willing than RIM anticipates when it comes to unraveling exisiting systems.

  2. I suspect their last chance was a couple of years ago. Microsoft has them in their sights and imho is more than likely to take over the corporate ad government mobile market where CIO’s like to play safe and maintain control. Microsoft has learned a great deal since Windows Mobile and appear to have their ducks in a row and I kind of like it.

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