Enterprise Mobility: RIM's BlackBerry Magic Formula: 10 Ways to Reclaim It
RIMs BlackBerry Magic Formula: 10 Ways to Reclaim It
by Don Reisinger
Ditch BlackBerry OS 6 for Consumers
The first thing RIM should consider is getting rid of BlackBerry OS 6 in the consumer market. It's undoubtedly a risky move, and it's something that RIM would likely never do, but it's the right decision now. BlackBerry OS 6 is designed with corporate customers in mind. And consumers, expecting an iOS-like experience, will be disappointed with what they find in the software. It's time to do away with BlackBerry OS 6 in the consumer market. It just isn't working.
Get Rid of the Torch
It might sound counter-intuitive to discontinue a device just days after it's launched, but the BlackBerry Torch was a mistake. The device boasts a little over half the power of the iPhone and Droid X, has a sub-par screen,and delivers a decidedly "last-gen" experience. It won't appeal to consumers, and it will likely bore enterprise customers that are becoming increasingly intrigued by the iPhone and Droid X. Go back to the drawing board, RIM. It's the smart move.
Vastly Improve the Storm
RIM was on the right track with the BlackBerry Storm, but it didn't know how to make a real touch-screen device work. With a little ingenuity, it might be able to succeed in that space. Using the Storm as a starting point, RIM needs to figure out exactly what consumers want in a touch-screen device and deliver that. If it can, the company could finally put itself on the right path toward competing effectively against Apple. But in the process, it should be sure to not run afoul of Apple or any other company that has filed suit against competitors alleging patent infringement over touch-screen software functions.
Deploy Android OS
This could be an extremely controversial decision, but it might be time for RIM to work with Google and bring Android OS to its consumer-focused BlackBerry models. As mentioned, RIM should think about ditching BlackBerry OS 6 for consumers. If it does so, it needs to replace it with something. And that something should be Android OS. Google's operating system is captivating consumers and selling extremely well. A BlackBerry running Android would be the best of both worlds for consumers. And it could help turn RIM's business around.
It's a drastic step, but if RIM can't find a way to stop Google and Apple from dominating the consumer market, the company should consider focusing all its efforts in the corporate world. The enterprise is where RIM has enjoyed the most success. It's also the place where Apple and Google have been unable to make much headway. If RIM can focus its efforts there even more than it does already, the company could go a long way in bolstering its bottom line. That said, this should be a last-ditch effort if all else fails in the consumer space.
Create a Real iOS Competitor
BlackBerry OS 6 is nice and all, but it doesn't compete with iOS or Android OS in any way. In fact, it's a poor alternative to those operating systems. That's why RIM should start working on a real competitor to the touch-based alternatives. It won't be easy, and it might simply be a better idea to go with Android, but if RIM is intent on going it alone, developing a vastly improved BlackBerry OS 6 is a necessity.
Focus On Security
Security is one of the areas where both Android OS and Apple's iOS platform leave much to be desired. It's also the place where enterprise customers care the most. If RIM wants to enjoy greater success, the company should focus its efforts on bolstering the security of its mobile platform. If it can do that, and give users more control over their mobile safety, it should be able to maintain (if not increase) its mobile market share for the foreseeable future.
Bolster Enterprise Solutions
BlackBerry Enterprise Server continues to be the biggest barrier to entry in the corporate world. But with each passing day, the competition is chipping away at that barrier with solutions. That's why RIM should continue to double-down on enterprise services that lock corporate customers into the BlackBerry platform. BlackBerry Enterprise Server should be just the start of a full-fledged corporate onslaught of must-have solutions.
Be More Apple-Like on Design
Apple has laid down the gauntlet for the competition to create beautifully designed phones. For most companies, that's practically impossible. But for RIM, it's becoming a necessity. The Torch proves that RIM doesn't fully understand what it takes to build a beautiful device. But with consumers clamoring for the best-looking product, the onus is on RIM to step up its game.
Remember What Made RIM Great
RIM should take a step back and look back at what made it so successful in the first place. The company realized there was a need for better e-mail solutions in smartphones, it understood corporate desire and perhaps most importantly, it delivered a secure, usable platform that appealed to corporate buyers. It needs to go back to those simple ideas. The future is very much in doubt for RIM, but with a better vision, it should be able to stay relevant for the next several years.