It’s hard to talk about technology or smartphones these days without mentioning Canadian-based Research In Motion (RIM). RIM is the creator of the Blackberry smartphone, and was once the business phone forerunner. With the release of Android-based devices and Apple products, RIM has largely been left behind by consumers and critics alike.
Recently, Research In Motion announced that it would eliminate 2,000 employees. This is a move that the company hopes will help financially. Seemingly, RIM has no choice in the matter. Recently Research In Motion device launches fell flat while sales are stagnant.
The Blackberry Playbook Flop
Research In Motion recently released its tablet contender, the Blackberry Playbook. The Playbook was surrounded by a lot of hype, though the launch got off to a bad start. Critics quickly pointed out that the Playbook was launched before the product was complete. Consumers disliked the lack of email integration and the need to own a Blackberry in order to use the Playbook.
RIM made another fatal flaw when the Playbook was released. The company priced the Playbook to match Apple’s iPad, even though the Playbook didn’t match up to the iPad. When the Playbook was made available to consumers, stores had a hard time selling the devices.
Recently Blackberry Releases
Following the Playbook catastrophe, RIM released a series of new Blackberry devices. Unfortunately, most of these devices were simply upgrades of earlier Blackberry smartphones that were already outdated. When the new smartphones hit the market, consumers weren’t fooled by the “new” phones.
Instead, RIM looked unprepared to compete with Apple and Android once again. Disappointed, many Blackberry fans began to look at iPhones and Android phones. This is where RIM lost many of its dedicated consumers.
The Future of Research In Motion
Research In Motion still has an audience. There are still plenty of consumers out there who prefer to use a Blackberry device over all other devices. The Blackberry smartphone is different from the other phones on the market, and this difference has carved a clear niche for RIM. However, it’s important that RIM show consumers something innovate and new sooner rather than later.
Apple’s iPhone 5 launch is on the horizon and the tablet market keeps moving forward. It has been rumored that RIM is suffering from management troubles, and this may keep the company from creating something that consumers want to see. In the opinion of this reviewer, RIM would do well to stop looking at the competition, and create something truly original. After all, originality is what Apple thrives on and what RIM was so great at doing in the first place.
Research In Motion stock is shaky, the rumor mill is bustling with news of RIM’s certain demise, and saddened Blackberry fans everywhere are trying to get used to some version of the iPhone. But, all may not be said and done for RIM just yet – the company’s new staff shift and inevitable internal restructuring may be what Research In Motion needs to survive the competition.