So, it’s true that RIM is basically on life support as a company. Denial is not just a river in Egypt.
It doesn’t matter what Blackberry dedicated faithful promise or believe. It’s a safe bet that by 2014 the company will either serve as just a third-party software entity (building on the strength of it’s security superiority), or will be meddling slower in the smartphone race than a Tumblr.com account.
For the Blackberry faithful, the most disappointing aspect of RIM’s fall from technology grace isn’t the loss of a dominant phone that felt like royalty, it’s the abysmal and desperate 11th-hour attempts by the Waterloo warriors to persuade the consumer to buy the same exact “stuff” that it’s been putting out for roughly 4 years now (with really no major changes, even in the hardware department).
In the case of Blackberry phones, it’s not about sexy hardware, top-notch security or the one-stop shop style of operations. It’s about OS (operating system) functionality and style and how many apps and features can be provided for that phone upon taking it out of the purchase box. Blackberry’s hard-edged email servers complements the corporate world’s “now now now” desire, but it was always viewed by the tech industry as an albatross aging twice as fast as it’s actual lifespan.
Emotionally, the loss of the Blackberry brand is no great shakes. The casual consumer never embraced the device that has produced an extraordinary amount of clout, even with our current sitting US President.
But RIM executives long ago needed to give their consumer spenders reasons to stay instead of reasons to leave. They just struck out with Blackberry, and they’re facing an 0-2 count in their efforts to keep the company afloat.
Does this mean you could possibly be sitting with a bricklayer for a device by the time next Easter rolls around? Of course not. RIM will always remain in the market, even if just via third-party development for other devices, and it’s security servers are viewed as the crown jewel within the company portfolio.
But with users fleeing the device for other options at an alarming rate, that once-bragging Blackberry Messenger list has all of a sudden turned into a shopping district on a Sunday night at 1am.
Will some company like Microsoft or Facebook just buy RIM out and fold it into it’s own objectives/software/intentions? In the case of the former, not likely, since it requires regulation approval that would probably not get the okay — similar to AT&T’s recent attempt to buy out T-Mobile USA — stiffs competition and competitive balance. In the case of the latter, it’s possible, but not an attractive purchase outside of it’s patents (and even those wouldn’t justify a potential 11-digit price tag).
For now, it should be business as usual for Blackberry users despite the sloppy mess going on in Waterloo.
But business as usual is also without it’s usual crowd, as they have all moved onto more ‘touchy’ pastures.