Canadian-based Research In Motion (RIM) has made some odd choices over the past few years. Recently, the company made one of the strangest decisions of them all. RIM has created a blog post letting the world know that any jailbroken PlayBook will result in a major crackdown. RIM intends to investigate any tool that has been used, is currently used, or is rumored to be used to jailbreak RIM devices. As soon as the company hears about any of these tools, RIM will issue a new OS update that will prevent any of these tools from being used further.
The lesson that RIM wants people to know is that jailbreaking a RIM device won’t suffice and the company won’t put up with it. The question is: why? The PlayBook isn’t exactly the best selling tablet on the market, RIM isn’t the strongest company out there, and users aren’t flocking to RIM’s doors. So, why would a company in this undesirable position want to turn away potential consumers?
Is There a Method to RIM’s Madness?
Tech blog The Verge suggest that RIM might be trying to protect certain contracts that the company currently holds – namely, government contracts. It’s no secret that RIM has been desperately trying to hold onto any contracts that the company currently has and the government contracts that RIM has managed to hold onto are heavily reliant upon RIM’s top-notch security. By issuing a statement detailing the ways that the company will crack down on any jailbreak tool, RIM might be demonstrating how very secure the company truly is.
But, one has to wonder: are a few government contracts worth more than the (potentially) thousands of consumers RIM might attract were the company more consumer friendly? After all, few consumers will purchase a device that can’t be jailbroken, even if they have no intention of using a jailbreak tool. Why? Simply, people don’t like to be told what they can’t do and purchasing a device that can be jailbroken means having the option if the need arises – a notion that Sony understands rather well. As The Verge has pointed out, Sony has made some of its devices even easier to jailbreak in the hopes of attracting new consumers. So far, Sony’s gamble has paid off.
The Future of RIM
It’s easy to assume that RIM won’t be around much longer unless the company gets it together. Threatening potential consumers and taking way too long to put out updates sets RIM behind its competitors. Yet, RIM still manages to hang onto that business crowd that’s simply addicted to the BlackBerry. If RIM could survive on BlackBerry sales alone, the company might stay afloat for a bit longer. Then again, the BlackBerry is starting to look dated compared to other smartphones on the current market.
What does the future hold for RIM? Seemingly, not much if the company keeps posting semi-threatening blogs. Regardless, if you want a PlayBook, don’t expect to be able to go the jailbreak route for long.