I was looking at some mobile usage stats for a client of mine last night and I couldn’t help but notice how much RIM (the operating system for Blackberry is falling away). Research by Gartner shows that whilst it’s still hugely significant, it’s falling off fast. And, this got me thinking.
We have no Blackberries left in our house. All have suffered white screen of death or just been quietly replaced in favour of iPhones. Please don’t accuse me of being an Apple Fan Boy, as I have been using their computers for well over 20 years and have never owned a PC.
But, I wonder whether to survive, RIM, the owner of Blackberry, have to ditch their esoteric and unreliable operating system, in favour of the lighter but increasingly popular Android system – which is growing the fastest.
This would be a huge change and it would bring the market back to being a fight/choice between a few key operating systems, but it would shed a huge cost for RIM and give them the chance to bring their brand back up on the back of decent, usable handset design. It feels to me more like they design within the capability of what their system can deliver, rather than what customers want. This is never sustainable. Designing Apps for RIM is a nightmare and I guess fewer and fewer will bother to do it and just build for Android and IOS.
It may be an old argument, but it’s not one I’ve seen before for RIM. For me, it gives them a far better chance of survival.