RIM to exit the consumer phone market
Push to be pulled from the High Street
Having persuaded many a teenager to adopt the BlackBerry, RIM last night gave them the finger - metaphorically - and announced it was focusing on big businesses instead, an action spurred by its lousy quarterly results.
Some say RIM did poorly in the consumer market, but it certainly built up a strong customer base among younger customers, more keen on messaging than talking.
Where RIM failed, it was in the top-end of the consumer market. Here, yes, it was unable to compete with the brightly lit, well-marketed iPhone and the many Android touchscreen devices being promoted by network operators.
Winning over teens is all very well, but they're far less lucrative than the kind of folk adopting Apple and Android phones, a generally much better off lot.
Tightening RIM's focus on corporates shows that the company accepts its failure to take on Apple and co., but as more big firms allow employees to use their own handsets these days - they're the very folk who've adopted iPhones and Android smartphones in their personal lives - there's less opportunity there than there once was.
Hardware, then, is RIM's weak spot. It can't compete in the segments of consumer market where the money is, and enterprise users are no less keen on consumer smartphone technology. They don't want to carry two phones around: a BlackBerry for email, and an iPhone to call family and friends.
Ten years ago, RIM was debating its own removal from handset manufacturing, the notion being that it would focus on server software and client code other phone makers could bundle.
But its hardware margins were too high to resist, and the scheme was knocked on the head. That was an understandable move when it seemed that RIM's keyboard phones were exactly what an email-hungry adult world wanted. But that's no longer the case. It's clearly time to dust off that old strategy. ®
Forget the hardware
From a Corporate security perspective BB blows away using iphones or Androids, but lets face it their phones are about as sexy as Anne Widdecombe in a thong.
They have the secure infrastructure in place, what they should do is create a Blackberry/RIM client for ios and android and concentrate on providing secure remote working environments which enduser can use on the device of their choosing.
Surely if you give up on them now, and lose teens to the Apple/Android side, they're even more likely to change to or stick with Apple and Android when they become wealthy corporates or wealthy benefit/dolescum? Who will be left using RIM then?
I give it 2 out of 5 Nokias on the Fail Scale
They're just not trying, sure they've got their C* jumping ship, and retreating to their traditional market, but if they want to score higher they really should be calling their customers muppets, or saying their entire SW stack is obsolete and hurting them, and are switching wholesale to a poorly regarded and largely untested and unpopular alternative.
Re: Security banned!
It's not so much companies allowing you to use your own phones on the corporate network as them refusing to provide you with a cell phone for business use. About 30% of the firms I've worked at provided one at no cost, others at a discount rate and the rest left you on your own. They ALL wanted your mobile phone number listed in the corporate directory however.
RIM is and has always been the corporate standard in mobile although I am seeing some IOS creep.
Personally I carry 2 cell phones, not because I am a gadget freak or want to look important. It's called sanity maintenance. I used to be overcome with dread when the cell phone rang - there was always that "please don't let it be work, please don't let it be work" feeling.
That's why I have a business and personal cell. The business number gets posted on corporate directory, is handed out freely to business contacts, is on the footer of all outgoing emails, etc. When this phone rings I KNOW it's work related. The personal phone is given to girlfriends, friends, family, etc. When this phone rings I KNOW it's someone I want to talk to. Personal cell I carry 24/7. Business cell during business hours and off-hours when I am expecting calls. Somehow the business cell often gets left behind when I am with my girl, having lots of brews with my friends or just don't want to be bothered by work. I wonder why that keeps happening.
Since all employers demand you broadcast your mobile to all business contacts I highly recommend this corporate survival strategy to all who work in IT. Mobile plans with unlimited minutes, at least here in the US are about $50 USD/month. Data plans will set you back an additional ~$25/Mo if you need to access corporate email. Even if it's $100/month it's worth every penny to be able to tune out work when you need to.
My cable TV operater provides my home phone service and I pay an additional $15 for an extra phone line for work. Of course work wants to bother you at home too!
Re: Blackberry vs toy phones
You have to admit, though, that the market for people who need to do this is very small compared to the market for people who just want to text their mates, update Faecebook, play Angry Birds, etc. So small, in fact, that it seems unlikely there will be any sniff of profit in it.