RIM and its Blackberry phones used to be the biggest and most impressive smart phone manufacturer in the world. They had the market cornered for the most part. Blackberries worked perfectly for those in business as well as for those who wanted to be hip with the latest gear (sounds like Apple). In the past few years, RIM fell from grace, and they fell hard. Today they are hoping that a reboot can save them. If it doesn’t, well, there might not be a RIM anymore.
As Leo Kelion writes for the BBC, “In future years the launch of Blackberry 10 may be seen as the start of … Research In Motion’s turnaround – or the moment its fate was doomed.” I concur completely with that. RIM needs to wow everyone with its revamped phone and mobile operating system. They’re going to try at 10AM Eastern Time this morning. Once the event is complete we’ll have a much better idea if they’re still part of the mobile game.
RIM is attempting to do exactly what led to its demise. They want Blackberry to have the power of the next iPhone in terms of stealing market share. If they release something that impresses and intrigues, at the very least they will survive. They might even thrive – if they meet the “strong pent-up demand from Blackberry fans and corporate users for a Blackberry with a competitive multimedia experience.”
RIM has a rough road ahead of them now. Samsung and Apple are serious competitors with huge pocketbooks to research, develop, and promote their products. RIM isn’t exactly awash with cash. They really do have to wow consumers. Lance Whitney writes for CNet that recent polls found “47 percent of consumers were intrigued” by many of the prelaunch features of BB10, “but only 13 percent would consider buying one” with much fewer stating they’d buy a BB10 device immediately. Meeting the status quo in quality and content won’t work.
At the very least, RIM has recognized that media and apps are vital to any tech platform. Stan Schroeder reports for Mashable that “RIM has added music, TV shows and movies to … the BlackBerry World” ahead of the launch today. Prices look reasonable, and they have been and plan to add titles and apps at a rapid pace. Music albums range from $8-$12, movies are $10-$20, and TV is around $1.99 for an episode. Individual songs run comparable to many online music sellers.
Keep an Eye on Blackberry and the Launch Event
For businesses, agencies, marketers, and anyone who enjoys a good story, following RIM in the near future is going to be a lot of fun. It’s not often that we get the chance to see full-scale rebranding or reboots in action by large companies.
What is RIM’s strategy after their launch event? Where will they focus their marketing and advertising? Will there be a concentrated push into social media or traditional media? What techniques will they use? Are they going to engage with followers and Facebook fans in a close-and-personal manner or act like businesses of the past? There are a lot of interesting questions about to be answered. There are also a lot of possible lessons we’ll be able to learn depending on those answers. Expect to see lots and lots of content about RIM and whether it will fail or succeed.
For its survival, RIM needs this reinvigorated push into mobile with BB10 and Blackberry World to work. I’ve always thought that people perform beyond expectation when their backs are against the wall. Hopefully RIM demonstrates that today. I wouldn’t mind having another player in the mobile game. It’s starting to get a little stale between Samsung and Apple, don’t you think?
How interested in RIM and BB10 are you? Do you think they will make it?
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