Research in Motion (RIM) headquartered in Ottawa, Canadia (as my son calls it), is playing catch-up. I don’t want to say it is floundering because it had good sales last quarter overseas, but if I were to ask you to close your eyes and said the word “Blackberry,” the picture that would come to mind behind those eyelids would be a black, short qwerty keyboard below a screen filled with email headers.
The Blackberry is a great device that does one thing well but it’s awful for web surfing. Slow, slow, slower, slow. And who can read .025 size type…so you know where to zoom. The Playbook is a me-too tablet and the company just seems rudderless. If I read articles about RIM’s business strategy that sounded focused I’d feel better, but I don’t. Today there was an article saying the company is relying on carriers and IT depts. to keep growth alive.
I don’t want to go all RIP RIM, but there needs to be some leadership and focus on the future here. Motorola did it. HP is doing it. Nokia is juggling, cutting, partnering with Microsoft and may have a neat bottom-feeding strategy. RIM, even with its strong user base, seems to be playing the harvest rather than the growth game. It is spending too much time looking in the rear and side view mirrors and forgetting to look beyond the dashboard. The last 18 months have been a bitch. The next 18 months will tell the complete story. Peace.