Did RIM Miss the Boat on Windows Phone?

By Michelle Maisto  |  Posted 2012-04-23 Print this article Print

Hyers expects Windows Phone devices to become the €œde facto €˜approved€™ devices€ by IT managers, though he says Nokia will need to supply the best Windows phones at the best prices, putting a shoulder to the door to keep Samsung and HTC out.

€œIn all of this, RIM is the loser,€ said Hyers. €œIts new OS, BlackBerry 10, won€™t be available until the end of the year, meaning that new devices running it won€™t be available until 2013. A large library of applications will lag even farther behind. In the meantime, Windows Phone and iPhone devices will continue to take share from RIM.€

RIM also missed an opportunity in rolling out Mobile Fusion without support for the Windows Phone operating system, as RIM waits for the latter to build up a larger user base. The growing BYOD trend is driving enterprises to re-evaluate their mobile-device management (MDM) solutions, and in the next 12 months, according to TBRI research, 60 percent of enterprises plan to replace their existing MDM solutions or add more MDM support.

€œIf RIM doesn€™t support Windows Phone, then enterprises have to look elsewhere,€ said Hyers.

RIM will likely €œslowly wither,€ he said. €œMy bet is that they eventually get bought, for their superb email solution, and get integrated into someone else€™s platform.€

Pund-IT€™s King says that if RIM is on a €œsteady downward trajectory,€ as many believe, its millions of customers will have to go somewhere. Forrester analyst Sarah Rotman Epps has argued that if Nokia were smart, it would work to steal RIM users€”already accustomed to paying for data plans€”instead of going after feature-phone converts.

Though the smart money, says King, €œis probably on those users eventually adopting increasingly business-friendly iPhone and Android devices and services, Nokia is betting the farm on offering options enterprise customers will find more familiar and comforting.€

RIM, when asked why one should find its handsets more compelling than comparably priced Nokia devices, responded in a company statement:

The mobile sector is very competitive with many new offerings.  With a subscriber base over 77 million users strong and over 90 percent of the Fortune 500 using BlackBerry today, RIM is passionate about delivering a powerful, simplified and optimized user experience for BlackBerry smartphone and BlackBerry PlayBook users.


The BlackBerry platform continues to offer unmatched value, reliability and security for our users today. We continue to grow and strengthen core offerings like BBM, which is now one of the largest social mobile networks in the world with over 55 million users.  At the same time, we are committed to pushing the boundaries of mobile technology, demonstrated through the integration of NFC [near-field communication] last fall into the BlackBerry platform.  Looking ahead, we are focused and excited about delivering our next-generation BlackBerry platform, BlackBerry 10, in the latter half of calendar 2012 to our customers.                                             

Nokia spokesperson Keith Novak, when asked the similar question, suggested Nokia isn€™t competing with RIM, so much as just trying to make good phones.

€œ[Nokia€™s] place in the €˜rankings€™ doesn€™t really play in to our thinking€”rather, we work to make sure that we are delivering great products that people are excited about. As we do that, and more people experience what Nokia brings to the table, and share that experience with others€”that€™s the sort of success for which we really strive.€

As for Rotman Epps€™ advice about refocusing on current RIM users, Novak said there was no need to choose.

€œWhile we do see the Windows Phone platform as a great opportunity for feature phone customers to step into the world of smartphones, we are also seeing that there are plenty of opportunities for the Lumia portfolio to attract current users of other smartphone platforms as well,€ he told eWEEK. €œSo, it certainly isn€™t an either-or situation, but an €˜and€™ situation when it comes to bringing people into the Lumia fold.€




Michelle Maisto has been covering the enterprise mobility space for a decade, beginning with Knowledge Management, Field Force Automation and eCRM, and most recently as the editor-in-chief of Mobile Enterprise magazine. She earned an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University, and in her spare time obsesses about food. Her first book, The Gastronomy of Marriage, if forthcoming from Random House in September 2009.

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