RIM: Reality vs. “The Urban Myths”

Alec Saunders, RIM’s new VP of Developer Relations & Ecosystem Development

According to Alec Saunders, RIM’s new VP of Developer Relations & Ecosystem Development, the company has “a lot of storytelling to do,” because, “nobody is telling our story.” Well, what exactly is Mr. Saunders trying to imply? That Research in Motion is really not a “has-been” story. If you thought maybe, the Blackberries had gone sour, think again. The company boasted 70 million users this year, up from 50 million a year ago. And yes…developers are making money from Blackberry. Albeit, problems still seem to wrap themselves around the company’s initiatives into the tablet and smartphone segments. How does it all add up?

Now or Never

Mr Saunder, the gentleman who recently replaced Tyler Lessard as RIM’s go-to man in terms of developer relations seems to think that Blackberry has a “compelling go-forward story.” And, the recently launched Blackberry 7 devices seem to be a phenomenon that the firm summarizes as its “largest and most successful global launch of BlackBerry smartphones in our history.” The essential question is, why then, is RIM’s smartphone market share on the decline? Why does comScore reveal that RIM’s share has fallen to 20% from 40% in a mere 12 months? The problem lies with the company not being able find an opening in the face of smartphone juggernaut-onslaught from Android & iOS platforms.

What of the solution? RIM’s Cascades…anyone?

So…how exactly do you sell yourself in a changing, very competitive world? So far, the company seems to be putting forth the BBX platform as the solution. How? Pretty simple. The guys over at RIM seem to be realizing that it’s not just the flagship reliable email that will get them the results that investors want to see. Are they thinking along the lines of “intuitive” and “interactive?” Take Apple’s Siri or Google’s NFC-powered Wallet as starting points. Will the company take strides in that direction with Cascades, a new application development function RIM is making available to developers that supports 3D interface animations? When BBX hits the market next year, only then can we witness real impact. Are we about to see the resurgence of brand-equity from the original Blackberry era? Fingers crossed.

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