10 Reasons RIM Must Go Android
Filed under: News and Trends
Although many in the mobile market hate to admit it, Android is the go-to platform for millions of consumers around the globe. In fact, over the last year, the operating system has been adopted so rapidly that just about everyone is wondering if it might become the Windows of the mobile space—a totally dominant force. Research In Motion should be especially concerned about Android. The BlackBerry maker once stood atop the mobile enterprise space, easily outselling the competition. But since Apple's iPhone started shipping in 2007, and Android became a hot commodity with a 43% share of the smartphone market in the U.S., according to Nielsen, RIM's products have become as fashionable as paperweights. To get its groove back, the company needs to figure out what to do. Luckily for RIM co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis, we have a few ideas. Rather than try to make the BlackBerry operating system as popular, it's time RIM goes for Android. It might mean a major shift in strategy, but at this point, that's precisely what the mobile company needs.
It's the OS People Want
Android is the operating system that the vast majority of consumers and enterprise users are looking for today. BlackBerry OS, on the other hand, is losing ground. If RIM wants to succeed, shouldn't it give customers what they want?
BlackBerry OS Is Outdated
Although it's a solid operating system, RIM's BlackBerry OS falls short for the average person who wants the "next-generation" feel. However, Android delivers that feel, and it does so at no cost to RIM. BlackBerry OS has seen better days. And it's about time RIM acknowledges that.
By giving Android a try, RIM can finally provide its customers with more options. For the most part, RIM has stuck with physical keyboards and barely-useful touchscreens. With Android, however, it can start giving customers the kind of devices they want— and currently aren't getting from the company.
RIM Needs to Transition to Services
Although it might seem odd that RIM would want to go to Android, remember that the key aspect of its business is services. BlackBerry Enterprise Server is a cash cow for RIM, and the company would be smart to remember that.
Look at the Sales
RIM's decision to switch to Android must be governed by sales. RIM is falling short on sales. So, why not try something new? Android is selling extremely well and RIM needs a jolt to its financial statements. Android seems like the best way to achieve that goal.
Its Brand Means Something
RIM isn't going lose all brand value tomorrow. In fact, the company is still highly respected. So, even if it offers Android, it's the device that matters most. And most would agree RIM knows how to make a solid handset. It can still do that—it'll just be offering Android instead.
A Risk Is in Order
RIM's financial performance is on the decline and critics say the company could be in deep trouble if it doesn't make some changes. So, why not take a risk now? RIM needs to do something to jumpstart its business. And going with Android might just do it.
It Makes It More Attractive to Bidders
RIM's troubles have made it a far more affordable buyout target for companies. However, according to some analysts, potential suitors are balking at offering deals because of the inherent issues in RIM's current business model. What better way to attract would-be buyers than by changing up its business model with Android integration?
All this talk of Android seems to leave out one key point: RIM doesn't have to get rid of its BlackBerry operating system. In fact, if the company wanted to, it could offer both operating systems to customers.
It Can Still Appeal to Enterprise Users
Companies like Cisco and Motorola have modified Android to make it more appealing to corporate users. Considering RIM is heavily invested in the enterprise, there's no reason to suggest it can't do the same. By relying upon its software developers, RIM could go a long way in making Android more secure and enterprise-friendly than ever before.