10 Things Competitors Have Done to Kill RIM
Filed under: News and Trends
Research In Motion is officially in free-fall. The mobile company's market share is on the decline, and its latest financial filing shows just how badly that drop is affecting its business. What's more, the company's co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie have stuck to their guns, and in the process, ensured that going forward, RIM will be a loser. But to simply blame RIM and its management would be a disservice to the companies that have worked tirelessly over the last several years to slowly but surely dismantle the handset maker. Companies such as Apple, Google, Samsung, and others, have ushered in a new era of the mobile market. And in the process, they've made RIM look like the also-ran, and a company that simply doesn't know what to do to appeal to customers. Who would have thought as little as five years ago that RIM would be in the position it's in now? The mobile company that once ruled is now hoping to survive. And so far, it hasn't been offered a life line. Here's a look at how competitors have single-handedly taken the fight to RIM and all but killed its chances of staying strong in the mobile market.
1. Touchscreens, Galore
RIM has always believed physical QWERTY keyboards are best. But after Apple launched the iPhone, all that changed. Consumers have made touchscreens a near-requirement in the products they buy. RIM now offers touchscreens in some of its products, but they're not on the same level as the iPhone's.
2. More Choices
RIM is a single company trying to take on Google, Apple, Samsung, Motorola Mobility, HTC, LG, and countless other companies. What's worse, RIM's strategy is outdated compared to those other firms'. Consumers have more choices today, and in many cases, the alternatives are superior.
3. Win On Design
RIM doesn't quite understand the value of a solid design. For years now, the company has been delivering products that just can't match those found from Apple, Samsung, and others. Design matters in the mobile market. And it's about time RIM realizes that.
4. An Us vs. Them Strategy
The mobile market has quickly turned into an "us vs. them" environment whereby just about every RIM competitor is trying to distance itself from the BlackBerry maker. Consumers have started to look down on BlackBerry devices.
5. Let RIM Be RIM
There has been some speculation over the years that RIM might be bought out by a bigger competitor. But now it seems those competitors would rather watch RIM die. By letting RIM be RIM, the company's competitors are lining it up to fail, and eventually be acquired.
6. Ignore Services
RIM has the mobile-services market wrapped up. BlackBerry Enterprise Server and RIM's messaging services are top-notch. And they're helping keep the company afloat. So, rather than compete with RIM on those services, and potentially hurt their own operations, the company's competitors are instead focusing on devices. Will services come eventually? Possibly. But not until RIM is officially dead.
7. Target Employees -- Not IT
RIM has always felt that the best way to be successful is to attract IT executives to its platform. However, companies such as Apple and Motorola have instead targeted consumers as a way to break into the enterprise. So far, the tactic is working. And RIM is losing its grip on the enterprise because of it.
8. Use Their Brands
RIM's problem right now is that its brand isn't as popular as it once was. Consumers are starting to question whether the company can actually deliver on its promise of offering top-notch products. RIM's competitors, including Apple and Google, are leveraging their own brands and using them to their advantage. Too bad RIM can't do that any longer.
9. Innovate On Software
RIM's BlackBerry operating system hasn't changed much over the years. iOS and Android, on other hand, continue to get better and deliver new functions that customers like. When will RIM finally discover that innovative operating systems are extremely important to its future success?
10. Apps, Apps, Apps
When both Apple and Google launched their respective application stores in 2008, it became clear quite quickly that mobile software would become central to their future success. RIM, also seeing the value of mobile apps, has its own marketplace. However, that store lacks the sheer number of programs found in the App Store and the Android Market. And developers don't seem all that willing to change that. It's a real problem for RIM.