If you work at RIM or were an investor then chances are you are feeling some heat at the moment. The company recently revealed a pitiful recent quarter in which sales were down 43% and to help cover losses, RIM is letting go of 5000 employees. Not only did their stock price slide, but the social perception of the company also plummeted. But is anyone really surprised? RIM’s downfall has had a long time coming.
Blackberry has always had a shtick as a business phone. When the iPhone came out RIM didn’t really panic because they viewed the iPhone as more of a college student device and not for the general businessman. And RIM was right. The iPhone never launched as a business device, but now over the years with updates to the hardware and software more and more businesses began shifting over to iPhones. BBM was matched by iMessage, iOS put together a solid notification system, and with things like Passbook coming this fall iPhones have never been more optimized for business. Blackberry just hasn’t kept up.
Then look at tablets. In order to challenge the iPad, RIM introduced the Playbook. Its crowning feature was flash and not much else. RIM dropped the ball on this by focusing too much on flash and not enough on other important things like good apps or a better OS. These all led to very poor sales in the Playbook and effectively kicked RIM out of the tablet market.
Even RIM’s supposed saving grace in the form of Blackberry OS 10 won’t be arriving until 2013. If it has any chance of doing well then it needs to surpass the current offerings of iOS and Android. And should it even do that, it will be releasing right around when iOS7 and the newest Android update will be coming out.
The blunders of RIM’s past have brought it to this point and it is very unlikely they’ll ever fully recover. Expect RIM to restructure itself these next couple of quarters, all while treading very thin ice.