If you pulled together a focus group of average smartphone users and gathered their thoughts on the platforms which they believe are most relevant at the current time, then it is unlikely that BlackBerry and RIM would get a significant mention. There was a time when RIM were on top of the world and riding on the crest of a wave, but the emergence of iOS and Android as well as some killer underlying hardware from Apple and other manufacturers has seemingly put an end to that.
As things stand at the minute, no one really knows what the future holds for RIM and which direction the company will take in the coming months, but it has been interesting to see their current CEO Thorsten Heins giving an interview to TheTelegraph that outlines some of the internal discussions that they had to make, as well as the struggle they face to keep up with the likes of Apple and Samsung.
Heins admitted during the interview that his company took "the conscious decision not to go Android" when discussing the future of the software that will power the next-generation of RIM hardware. The decision wasn’t taken lightly, with Heins also admitting that they were forced to take a long hard look at the possibility of adopting the Android OS before finally discounting it in favor of pushing their resources into designing and developing the BlackBerry 10 OS.
To some people on the outside looking in, it may seem like a no-brainer for the company to admit defeat with their own software and start rolling Android onto their devices. But when you dig deeper, it actually starts to make a little sense as to why the decision was made. BlackBerry has had a long standing promise to its user-base that their devices will push impressive productivity, and by staying true to their direction, they feel they can distinguish themselves from the crowd. Heins and his executive team are under the impression that adopting Android provides little "wiggle room", meaning they can’t really stand out from all other manufacturers who build their hardware around the open-source OS. He has a point.
With BlackBerry 10 being delayed and not looking likely to see the light of day before the end of 2012, Heins and RIM still believe that their popular Blackberry Messenger is still something that could pull the users in and set them apart from the competition. It’s plainly obviously that RIM doesn’t want to lose the hold they have over the loyal BBM users and going cross-platform is something that would make that happen. On the surface of it, the decisions that have been made by RIM seem pretty logical, but that doesn’t stop the future looking awfully bleak for them going forward.