Today’s news of RIM’s restructuring should not come as a surprise to anyone that follows the mobile industry. RIM has been strugging for the last 5 years to sustain itself in a market it never belonged it. The last 365 days have been it’s worst ever. It’s stock has lost of 2/3 it’s total value in this time. This, however, is not the mysterious part. The mystery is how its stock price managed to stay above water and didn’t tank to OTC depths. RIM’s stock price has been gaining all day long.
You’ve read the news that RIM is exiting the consumer business. You’ve also read RIM’s statement that these claims are exaggerated and inaccurate. You know that RIM has come forward to clarify that they are planning to “refocus on the enterprise business” and “build on [its] strength” where they had been trying to be “all things to all people.”
Who Are You Trying To Fool?
RIM is in this position today because it was unable and unwilling to be all things to all people. When the smartphone went mainstream, it continued to focus on enterprise. Polishing BBM and selling BES were at the forefront. You could say that they lost track of the consumer, but really they were never on track with them to begin with.
Jim Balsillie on the iPhone
Balsillie on the iPhone in February 2007: “It’s kind of one more entrant into an already very busy space with lots of choice for consumers … But in terms of a sort of a sea-change for BlackBerry, I would think that’s overstating it.”
Mike Lazaridis on the iPhone
“Try typing a web key on a touchscreen on an Apple iPhone, that’s a real challenge. You cannot see what you type”
Jim Balsillie tries to explain that devices shouldn’t do everything?
Yeah on the iPhone touch, I mean I don’t know, we do a lot of focused groups in what we do, there’s a lot of market research in what we do, we had a lot of market research from our customers in the markets on what the market expects from a solution. However, there has been some debate previous on graffiti and different touch and tactility things and [mechanical] vulnerability costs and battery kind of things and tactility things. I think the best thing will be that for these things to just get in to market and get going, and its just there’s just so many dimensions in our space happen sometimes people over define the category like its all about for so at last its all about the keyboard or its all about some input mechanism or its all about music play or something.
You didn’t say it, but you said it…
The company coming forward to says that it has not abandoned the consumer market and plans to focus on its strengths is a lie. What you’re telling us is that the board-of-directors is OK with you going back to the same business model that put you into this position. This is absolutely, 100% lip service.
If you plan to limit the consumer friendly aspects of your devices, then you don’t have anything for the consumer, period.