Tuesday, May 14, 2013

What Berry? Is RIM Dead?

RIM used to be the market leader in smart phones. Everyone who wanted a smart phone with a keyboard went with Blackberry. But that was then, now RIM is barely clinging on to a small fraction of their former customer base. Now Apple and Android pretty much own the smartphone market. But can RIM make a comeback?

RIM seems to think so. They seem to be doing everything they can to keep current users and attract new customers or old customers who have since switched to a competitor. At the beginning of the year they released a new phone to the market and just recently announced another model to be released soon.

But today RIM did something that every single pundit and analyst said was a horrible idea. RIM took one of their last proprietary features that people actually want, and made it public. That's right, RIM announced that they will be making their messaging service, BBM, public and available for use to other platforms and developers. BBM was once one of the main selling points for some Blackberry users. If all your friends and coworkers had Blackberry phones and were communicating on BBM you were missing out. With BBM you can message friends, join chat rooms with multiple friends, send pictures and other media, and do lots of other fun and helpful things.

So do you think that RIM can make a come back? Can they even stay away from bankruptcy? I think they can't. I am predicting right now that in about 1 1/2 - 2 years Blackberry will be bankrupt, or very close to it. Unless they have a great new invention that everybody can't live without, and they somehow get tens of thousands of new apps released on their platform in the next few months. If they don't do something very dramatic then Blackberry will go the way of the dinosaurs and the Betamax.