RIM's BlackBerry Is Dying: 10 Ways to Save It
Say So Long to Small Displays
Â Go ahead and take a look at the BlackBerry Bold. Notice anything rather annoying about it? Yep, the small screen size. According to RIM, it comes with a 2.8-inch display. The gold standard in the mobile space, the iPhone, features a 3.5-inch screen. Most other devices come with 4.3-inch or larger displays. RIM must accept that and start offering bigger screens.
Cut Down the Phone Offerings
Â RIM is offering far too many phones right now. The company has the Bold, the Torch, the Curve, the Storm2 and various flavors of those throughout. Enough is enough. RIM needs to reduce the number of BlackBerry smartphone choices available to customers and start making it clear to them which one is designed for their needs.
Have One Enterprise-Focused Device
Â Following that, it's important for RIM to have only one enterprise-focused device. Whether it's the BlackBerry Bold or the Torch doesn't matter. What RIM must do is research enterprise customers' needs and determine which offering would be best. All others should be tossed out.
Offer One Consumer-Focused Device
Â At the same time, RIM can't just ignore consumers. Although the company's CEO Thorsten Heins recently said that the enterprise is integral to RIM's future, and that is very much the case, the company still needs to stay relevant among consumers. And in order to do that, it'll have to come up with a device that can actually give Apple something to worry about. Samsung is doing it; why can't RIM?
Get BlackBerry 10 to Store Shelves Now
Â All this talk of BlackBerry 10 is enough to make any longtime RIM supporter hope for the platform to launch sooner rather than later. But from a business perspective, RIM should want to see that happen even more. If what RIM says is true and BlackBerry 10 is a major upgrade over its current platform, why is it waiting to launch the software? Time is of the essence here, and RIM needs to act now.
Keep Android, iOS Users Engaged
Â RIM recently posted a job opening saying that it's looking for a seasoned iOS developer. It's a smart move. As much as RIM doesn't like it, the company will have to further its support for iOS and Android in the coming years. Those platforms are only going to increase market share. And as they do, platforms like RIM's Mobile Fusion will become all the more important.
Remember the Developers
Â Meanwhile, RIM must remember to keep developers coming back to its operating system. Right now, there's no compelling reason to port an app from Android or iOS to BlackBerry OS. It's now RIM's job to change that. Making other moves that improve market share might be its best first step.
Invest in the Best Touch-Displays
Â One of the biggest mistakes Apple competitors make is not investing in high-quality touch-screens. The onus is now on RIM to spend the extra cash, invest in research and development, and come to the market with a display that can match, or even better, beat, the iPhone's display. Nice, responsive displays matter greatly in the mobile space.
Open the Platform Up to Licensing
Â This might just be the biggest shift in RIM's strategy, but the company should consider licensing BlackBerry 10 to competitors. The move could help BlackBerry-based devices dramatically improve enterprise adoption and could solve the issue of getting more developers to the platform. The very thought of it is anathema to RIM now, but it might be its next logical step.
Think Seriously About Design
Â RIM must also consider product design far more than it does right now. Its Bold, Torch and other devices lack a certain flair that customers will find from Apple and Samsung. It doesn't matter how much money RIM would spend, the company must find a way to improve its product design. If it doesn't, all the other strategies will matter very little.