What Could 2012 Hold For The Big Players In Smartphones? Day 4: RIM BlackBerry

So here we are, the last day of my look into the future. A look at what the big boys of the smartphone world will be doing, as well as what I think they should be doing, throughout 2012.

I’ve already looked at Apple’s iPhone during day one, with Google and Android being the subject of a grilling on day one. Day three saw Microsoft under the spotlight and today we take a look at Canada’s finest, Research in Motion.

The BlackBerry brand has had its ups and its downs of late, with the downs far outweighing the ups. Let’s take a look at how things will look in twelve months, and what the company could do to improve its fortunes.

I actually feel sorry for RIM. Only a little bit though. Suffering the fall from grace that RIM clearly has over the last two years cannot be easy for a company which once owned the business market, as well as the lucrative younger market across Europe.

But look at the company now. Less than five years since the iPhone was introduced and RIM finds itself struggling to stay relevant in a world which is full of iPhones, Android phone and the newcomer, Windows Phone, err, phones.

RIM can’t even fall back on its old stomping ground, with more and more business turning to iPhones as their source of connectivity for an increasingly mobile workforce. If RIM loses out here, where does it have left to go?

iPhone 4S BB

BlackBerry X, or 10 depending on who you ask, was meant to usher in a new era for the Canadians, but we also heard the same thing about the BlackBerry PlayBook, and we all know how that ended up don’t we?

The recent news that BlackBerry X handsets have been delayed, potentially until 2013, just about sums up the state of RIM at the moment, with missed deadlines and handsets that just do not offer what the public at large wants nowadays. Hardware keyboards are so 2007, and if you take that QWERTY keyboard away from a BlackBerry, what do you have left?

2012 is going to be a pivotal year for RIM, but I fear the writing is already on the wall unless real changes are made at the top. The company’s co-founders are struggling to turn things around, and it may be time for changes in the world of RIM.

Changing personal is only part of the solution though. RIM needs a hero phone, one that will get developers – yes, I’m talking about developers again. Remember, apps sell phones – excited as well as push people to check BlackBerry out again. New phones are very much required at Research in Motion, but the company needs to throw out its existing lineup and start again. From scratch. Completely.

There is even a case for RIM killing its own software and doing a Nokia by cozying up with Microsoft. Stranger things have happened, that’s for sure.


If you’ve read the first three parts of this series then you will probably have noticed that this is the shortest of the lot, and there is a reason for that. I just do not know where RIM goes from here without wholesale changes, and I’m even less sure that the company is willing to make them.

Where RIM will be in 12 months time is anybody’s guess. It’ll still be around, but in what state?

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