As RIM’s (Research In Motion) stocks plunges to a 9-year low last Friday, we canâ€™t help but wonder what went wrong for the once glorified company and what the future holds for them and their users.
RIM has been well-known around the world for their BlackBerry devices which were once a staple for both Enterprise and Consumer markets. These devices were popular in corporate ecosystem for being a Secure and Reliable device thanks to its ability to integrate company emails via BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES).
In the consumer market, BBs were once a must-have smartphone especially for youths, mainly because of its BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) through the consumer counterpart of BES BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS) and its QWERTY keyboard.
In short, for almost a decade, the Canadian device manufacturer has solely relied on their devicesâ€™ ability to handle their users need to communicate through typed words (Email and/or IMs) and this seemed to have worked for the company quite well in their earlier years. That is until the arrival of the iPhone and the introduction of Android OS which marks the start of a new era of smartphones and the beginning of the end for BlackBerry.
But credit RIM for weathering the early storm brought by Android and iPhone by managing to still increase their profits and be name â€œthe fastest growing company in the world despite of the recessionâ€ by Fortune Magazine in 2009. But that victory was short-lived as the succeeding year proved to be too much to handle for RIM with the arrival of the iPhone 4 and Google-Samsung Nexus S which is first handset to run on the most popular and still widely-used Android Gingerbread.
In an effort to revive the company from its 2 years slump, RIM announced October of last year that theyâ€™ll be releasing the BlackBerry OS 10 this year. In line with this, they also mentioned that they will be releasing a handful of BBs that will come preinstalled with their new OS.
This would have been a sign of hope for the struggling company but due to unfortunate series of events, the released was delayed until recently the company said that the BB OS 10 will not be available until next year. This announcement has led to their stocks to fall by 19%. And unless they can pull a rabbit out of their hat, theyâ€™ve got to prepare for worse things to come.
In our humble opinion, RIM just werenâ€™t able to keep up with the competition. As technology becomes better and better, the expectations from the consumer also increases. We think that we can all agree that it will take much more than an addictive messenger app and small enhancements to satisfy those demands.
It’s not that there werenâ€™t any efforts on their part; it’s just that those efforts have proven to be insufficient to pull themselves in the hole that theyâ€™re in and compete against mobile OS giants. Even for a non-user standpoint, like me, it’s saddening to see RIM being chewed up alive by Google and Apple. But how ever unfortunate that may be, it’s the dark side of business and technology that we all have live by.