Bye Bye Blackberry? (well RIM operating system anyway)


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.

iPhone vs. Blackberry – the professionals choice?

iPhone 4 is here and is in every professional's pocket
iPhone 4 is here and is in every professional's pocket

It may be a small straw poll but I have heard of two more professional services firms who have switched all of their phones to the rather excellent iPhone platform.

We did it ourselves last year with a great deal from 02 who gave us seven of them free as part of our contract – which in truth is not that massive at around £200 per month. I had a Backberry Pearl for a few weeks on demo but hated it.

But one firm – Innes England – have just had 40 of them and replaced all sorts of handsets for the switch.

The other is a specialist law firm who have had 30+ iPhone handsets too.

Now I haven’t heard of anyone switching lock stock and barrel to Blackberry. Have you? But I did buy one for my daughter for her birthday as her and all her mates have them and love the instant messaging function. (like Apple’s ‘face time’ in text – but actually usable)

So for me, this means that the markets are diverging. Blackberry is going after the PAYG market and Apple are trying to own the corporate market. As an app developer, this makes life much easier as you are only working on one platform, but it will push Apple into an almost monopolistic position in supplying this market.

Good. iPhone is just better, and better should win shouldn’t it.