Friday, March 30, 2012

Can RIM And Blackberry Survive?

In the playground game, top of the hill, once you reach the pinnacle you are alone to face others trying to replace you at the top.  For kids, the results tend to not have lasting effects but in the world of big business, once you fall, it is hard to get back to the top.  For those that do, it takes renewed vigor, risk taking, and even some luck.  

RIM and its notable smartphone product line, the Blackberry, were once at the top; today, they have fallen off that perch and may not have the talent or the skills to climb back up.  "BlackBerry's best advantages -- excellent security on its phones and the popular BlackBerry Messenger service -- are no longer enough, he said. Rivals have developed competitive tools."  The Apple iPhone and Google's Android phones have become more preferable by many for both business and personal use.  

I currently possess both an Apple iPhone and a Blackberry Bold 9900.  The iPhone is my personal one; the Blackberry, given by my employer for business.  Where once I preferred the Blackberry, now I find them harder to enjoy.  Too many buttons, both physical and on the screen, and icons that I don't recognize their use till I touch them.  And frankly, once I've embraced the simplicity of Apple products, the harder time I have going back to non Apple products, phones and computers alike.

Will consumers embrace Blackberry again: I personally don't think so.  With the direction that their financials are taking, a massive change would be necessary, but with leadership jumping off, it will only be harder for RIM to get up the mountain on its own. Is RIM a likely target for acquisition?  Perhaps Google may want to consider them but with their pending acquisition of Motorola, the timing may not be right.  Another likely choice could be Microsoft who could use another entry into the smartphone and tablet space.  And of course their is other smartphone makers like LG and Samsung. 

As the Apple and Google fight continues on, and Blackberry sitting on the sidelines, the best course of action may just be an outright sale of the company.

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