This might have been it. This might have been Blackberry’s last dance as a prime time player of the Smartphone center stage.
Before we go any further, let’s go back and emphasize the word might. Having covered former RIM honcho Jim Balsillie and his RIM empire up close and personal for as long as we have, we have learned one universal truth: If it involves RIM and the current business landscape, err on the side of caution and choose illogic over logic.
So with that specific caveat dispensed, we’ll go back to our original thought and explain just why we grew inclined to believe over the course of a strange, illogical Quarter — even by RIM’s standards — why the end seems to be at hand for the architect and head coach of one of the smartphone industry’s most glamorous mobile devices.
Reason No. 1: Blackberry 10 and it’s issue before a device is even put on the market, is that it’s not backwards compatible with any previous Blackberry OS. Doesn’t seem like much, but that’s huge, especially for the dedicated consumer, who just plunked out above average market price for the Blackberry 7 OS smartphones. Backwards compatibility is what has ideally kept Apple’s iOS as the premiere player, and why Microsoft has damn near been paying people to use its Windows Phone devices.
Reason No. 2: The duopoly situation. With Google now entrenched with it’s Motorola Mobility acquisition, and Microsoft all but denying showing the wedding ring with it’s relationship with Nokia, the manufacturing musical chairs has intensified more than ever for mobile titans HTC, Samsung, and LG, who have divided their time between Google’s Android and Microsoft’s Windows Phone. Something is fishy in the air, and the nerd girl at the party waiting on her dance could very well be WebOS, HP’s unclaimed child in the smartphone world. With all of this going on between those companies, how in the world does RIM manage to squeeze Blackberry 10 into the mix?
Reason No. 3: Mobile App developers and their (lack of) desire to now squeeze a new OS into the Limo ride. Think about it: these are the same developers who are reluctant to include Windows Phone to their OS Limo ride — an Operating System that has promise and more integration with it’s ecosystem than even Apple — why on earth would the hard working developers now include a failing titan who has shown all of the wrinkles in its age to this dance?
In a corporate culture at RIM where spinning the media coverage is of paramount importance, this reason may outweigh the others all by itself.
Reason No. 4: The horror show on the market. The Canadian maker only trailed every other smartphone OS in the market, yet by the time an evaluation was thought of, most of it’s sex appeal aged quicker than an urban model reaching her 30′s, sending the crowd streaming toward Appleland and Googleville.
So there you have it, four reasons to back up the premise that this might have been RIM’S last dance on the smartphone center stage. That doesn’t mean you should necessarily look for Blackberry to be zapped out completely by the end of the year, because it would be just like RIM to leave everyone twisting in the wind for another stretch and begin selling itself on the strip at some point prior to the holiday season.
Exactly how and exactly when the end comes for RIM — and whether it gets the wedding ring with another company — will remain a mystery for the moment, but plenty of signs are there pointing to an end that could be upon us at any hour, any day.