Thorsten Heins, who has been appointed RIM’s chief operating officer said on Friday – “We make the best communications devices in the world,” while interacting with editors and reporters from The New York Times. Not everyone feels the same way. Over the past year, RIM’s share price has plunged 75 percent. The company once commanded more than half of the U.S. smartphone market. Today it has 10 percent.
RIM has many ways to go forward and redeem its lost ground. The first – the one that Heins is clearly aiming for – is a triumphant comeback after a near-death experience. RIM is on the verge of upgrading its PlayBook operating system – now with, among other things, email, a feature that the original PlayBook bafflingly lacked – and will release the BlackBerry 10 OS this year.
Secondly, like other smartphone manufacturers like Samsung, HTC etc. RIM can explore the possibility of equipping few of its smartphones with Android and Windows platforms. BlackBerry can still keep the scraps for sometime – a small but dedicated following of corporate and government customers who want its proprietary messaging and security features. But they must focus their energies on latest Android and Windows operating software, which are very popular and Samsung has sold millions of its smartphones on this platform. Nokia is becoming aggressive with its Lumia range of smartphones on Windows platform.
RIM has got sturdy hardware and if they decide to run its few smartphones with Android and Windows operating software, then they can still give good challenge to the competitive smartphone vendors. I do hope the new COO of RIM will definitely think about this and give presentation to Board of Directors when he meets them next. When you are not able to walk on your legs there is no harm in taking help of crutches. Taking help of Android and Windows may prove beneficial for RIM and they may recapture the lost ground.
Only the coming days will tell how the new COO navigate the troubled ship of RIM.