Shrinking market share in the west makes us think.
There has been a lot of talk on whether RIM should exit the consumer market and focus purely on the enterprise- a segment that they are really good at. While it’s true that RIM’s market share in consumer devices has globally been shrinking, it is still the best messaging device out there.
It’s no secret that I’ve been an advocate of BlackBerry Smartphones for a while and yes, I feel the pain of users who are envious of the slick UI and Apps that the iPhone and Android devices sport. So like most users in the UAE, I carry two phones with me and one of them is always the BlackBerry. The other phone keeps switching between an iPhone and whatever device that I am currently reviewing but the BlackBerry is a constant.
The reason I do that is because, as I mentioned in the intro, nothing comes close to being as good of a messaging device as a BlackBerry. The keyboard on RIM’s devices are insanely good and come in very handy, especially in a non-English speaking world where you mix and match words from multiple languages. Even my two year old iPhone doesn’t always get it right with auto-correction and no matter what one says, a full hardware keyboard continues to offers the best typing experience.
There is no denying that RIM is awesome on the enterprise-side, especially with their compression and security which not only helps careers utilize less bandwidth but also makes your device less expensive to use (through data charges) and makes the battery last longer due to lesser usage. That kind of technology would be incredible on an iPhone- especially if you add BBM to that mix, but do keep in mind that the reason that Apple does so well is because their control the entire software and hardware aspect of their products. RIM needs to continue doing the same.
So I don’t think RIM should exit the consumer device space. Their numbers might be shrinking in the rest of the world but they are doing really well in the Middle East where BBM has replaced text messaging for most. For a slick UI and apps, we need to wait for RIM to release the BlackBerry 10 OS and hope that they really hit one out of the park. And make a device that looks like the concept picture posted on top. I still have faith.