How To Save Research In Motion – Single Superphone Device Or Licensing?

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RIM will license their Blackberry operating system and deliver a one model superphone:

We have recently touched on the problems that Research In Motion face and how they are trying to get shot of their first forays into the tablet arena with a mass of Blackberry Playbook offers.

The playbook range of tablets from RIM, that to all intents and purposes was built on great software, unfortunately lacked that added element of functionality over and above what the limited blackberry eco-system offered.

“The people, them want more!”

How to solve the RIM application problem?

In a report via Barrons, analyst Peter Misek claims that agreements are already in place to license Blackberry 10 to HTC and Samsung, and I personally believe this is absolutely critical for RIM to survive the next 24 months.

Only with the help of third party device manufacturers can RIM hope that their new operating system will benefit from the scaling of its user base which has dramatically dropped in recent months.

Research In Motion User Base
Source: techcrunch & comscore

You are only as good as the Apps in your market:

Arguably, Apple do so well in the mobile space because their application market is far superior than the Android offering, (despite Android growing dramatically) I am talking in pretty much every sense, and Apple sell this to you when they advertise their products.

Take a look at this music track done using only a few iPads, no other mobile operating system has applications that come close to this and there are countless other examples of other application niches other than music where Apple shine through over their competitors.

But as you can see, Android have benefited from allowing their operating system to be open and this would seem to be a good way for RIM to move, no one wants 99% of 1% so perhaps this method would make more sense.

Unless of course they super niche themselves into the most robust but fully functional O/S going with a device to match, and perhaps aim purely for the corporate and government sectors, which may actually work…but, they need the other device manufacturers to be on board that is for sure.

It is therefore paramount that these other mobile tech companies are involved in helping propagate the use of more new Blackberry 10 enabled devices, otherwise their will be no chance that any developer will start to create applications for a market that is dead.

It really is very simple.

Without a market you get no apps, without any apps no one wants your mobile operating system, or devices that run on it.

Blackberry has also lost its cool a long time ago, and RIM need to create some sort of attraction to win those iPhone loving, Samsung S2 digging people back, who once would have given the blackberry operating system a real close look, and are currently turning away in their droves.

Uncool and unreliable:

One thing RIM does do well is to keep data more secure than other mobile operating systems, and for this it got lots of government and corporate attention.

As a result, RIM focused their products on delivering services to these people, but failed to realise that these same people were also getting iPhones for their personal use and then started to look at the difference in overall design, user interface and functionality and ask pretty deep questions.

This was OK though, as it was still much “safer” to use your blackberry after all.

However the unfortunate state of play where RIM managed to have a total black out for days, was the cause of so much headache and concern, that this one last glimmer of hope has perhaps faded and people are now much more open to alternatives, as Governments and corporations now look at Android and others.

With the overall problems this last year their core business users, ever fearful over security concerns are now asking the question;

“Is this fear over security worth the risk of losing days of no communication. and is the functionality on offer enough to allow our organisations to utilise smoniel technology to its maximum capacity?”

Single-Device superphone strategy:

Like Apple before them, could RIM reinvent themselves with a brand new superphone and fantastic O/S, and save their company with a device that will genuinely be easy to understand the benefits of, work well for users who are used to Android and iOS phones, and also compete with them in terms of power and functionality?

Yes the Canadian firm are in troubled waters, but they CAN be saved.

So will their saviour come in the form of banking chief Barbara Symiest, or will the two CEO’s continue their current reign?

And how do you think RIM can claw back its user base and instil confidence that they have the operating system of choice, devices to match, and are worth taking another look at?

Anthony Munns