Research In Motion was once the company that all others compared themselves to in the mobile space. RIM was the firm that understood how to appeal to enterprise users, found a way to target consumers through the office and, along the way, dramatically improved the way in which those customers interacted with their smartphones. Without RIMs lessons, it might have been extremely difficult for Apple to have delivered the iPhone.
But unfortunately for RIM, Apple did deliver the iPhone. And now, Apples smartphone, as well as Android-based handsets, is dominating the mobile space. RIM, meanwhile, is left to hope that it can turn things around with its upcoming software launch, BlackBerry 10. That operating system, RIM says, will carry the company well into the next several years.
Although its hard to know exactly what BlackBerry 10 will look like or what features it will ship with, RIM does plan to provide prototypes to developers in May. This likely paves the way for a launch later this year. But for that operating system and the devices running it to be successful, several things must first fall into place.
1. A solid design
Want to know the secret to Apples success? Design. The company knows how to build software and hardware that people want to useand show off to others. RIM, meanwhile, doesnt do anything of the sort. For BlackBerry 10 to be successful, it must work well and be stylish, and run on devices that deliver the same feel.
2. Big displays
RIM has historically made the odd decision to offer up devices that come with very, very small displays. The Torch and Storm2 are the only exceptions to that rule. With BlackBerry 10 devices, RIM must forgo the past and deliver devices with big displays. At this point, a 4.3-inch screen should be the companys minimum display offering.
3. Ditch the physical keyboard
As much as RIM executives dont want to believe it, the physical keyboard is a major issue for consumers and enterprise users who are considering buying new devices. The physical keyboard is a relic of the past and something that most customers dont want any longer. And yet, RIM continues to deliver it. With BlackBerry 10, RIM must wake up and realize that its going about the mobile space all wrong.
4. Responsive software
One of the biggest issues with RIMs BlackBerry 7 is that it lacks the kind of responsiveness found in Apple iOS. Like it or not, RIMs BlackBerry operating system cannot match Apples platform, and unless BlackBerry 10 achieves that feat, expect RIM to continue to slide in the mobile space. BlackBerry 10 is a make-or-break offering for the mobile firm.