Now that we have two worthy smartphone competitors and a small host of alternative devices like the Microsoft Slate and Apple AIR this might be a good mid-way point in the year to take a quick assessment of where we are.
- The Cloud is starting to mature with Apple improving the dashboard-like frontend to iCloud.
- The desparate need and demand for International patent reform is gaining traction and momentum.
- We are still seeing numerous weekly/daily hacks exposing Social Media passwords
- Social Media management is becoming a very hot topic and opportunity
- Traditional top-rung companies having serious sustainability issues
- Examples: RIM, HP, Dell, Cisco,
- Online education is “coming out”
- Pandora is virtually crushing traditional broadcast radio
- Rapidly Emerging “Ultrabook” market is flying really high
- Faster more robust bandwidth near: 4G, LTE, Internet 2
- Device and screen display technolgy getting much better
- Apple raises the bar with new iPhone and iPods
- Voice control technology proving to be key to the future
Houdini and David Blane should take note if RIM is able to shake off the shackles of failure and missed opportunities. For a company that in essense fumbled the future and almost an enterprise market that others still have not been able to claim RIM still has a shot. But they absolutely cannot afford to fail even in the least little bit.
To get back in the game RIM is going to have to do the near impossible:
- Come up with much improved devices
- Capture a critical mass of developers and app builders
- Develop an OS platform superior to iOS, Android etc.
- Find deep pocket investors and partners willing to go all in
- Develop marketing campaigns that win users over
- Convince analysts that there is still life left in RIM
- Design devices that excel beyond all others
True, these are significantly huge challenges that seem insurmountable at first and second glance.
My good friend Ron Jones used to say “nobody has a monopoly on brains”.
Yes, RIM can still pull themselves out of the hole they have dug for themselves with healthy doses of genius, innovation and brains. It will be very interesting and instructive to see just how they will attempt to do it, if they still can. RIM the ball is in your court. Time for a 30 footer at the buzzer.
If there ever was a sign that it ain’t working it is a rush to lay off workers. That is the situation facing RIM. Despite lofty hopes for the Playbook tablet Research In Motion seems to have quickly come to grips with reality and do realize where they are in time and circumstance.
Although this is no throwing in of the towel, it does mark the latest episode of a company that until recently was flying high on the wings of the mobile revolution where the “crackberry” was once the very definition of successful mobile enterprise devices.
Time can quickly change the course of things and if you don’t drive change you will be driven by it. You see it looming on the horizon, and lurking around the corners but until it surfaces in you living room do you know that your time has come. This is where RIM lives with the wolf at the door and seated at the dinner table.
We can sit and contemplate what they could have or should have done but once the moment has passed of what use is that? Surely there are lessons here. Companies cannot rest secure on market position or popularity leadership. If you are enormously profitable someone has you in their crosshairs and you better look over your shoulder and watch your back. Like the Mafia it will probably come from someone close to you, a former worker or partner who knows your moves.
We can sit on the sidelines and lament but most of them will leave with their fortunes intake and drive off to new opportunities with strong resumes and credentials that probably lead to new opportunities and expireriences.
So, the answer to the above question is NO I do not think RIM is giving in, and I do hope they quickly find their way out of what seems a downward spiral.
They have the resources, talent and everything but time, but we shall see what we need to know in the months to come before CES if they have not re-energized themselves by then we who wish them well might loose hope.
We all need competition to remain active and strong in order to drive innovation and change and move things along.
RESEARCH IN MOTION
It must be very unsettling for high-flying Apple at the peak and apex of profitability and success to find itself in the crosshairs of every would be competitor nipping and chipping away at just about every aspect of Apple’s market success and dominance. On one hand Microsoft is busy going after Apple’s developer base. HTC is busy cranking out iPhone looking phones. Google is hard at work flooding the device mainstream with many flavors of Android OS’ for Smartphones and tablets allowing every hardware manufacturer to build a functional tablet device or Smartphone. Then you have RIM and IBM tightly holding on to their enterprise and corporate strangleholds. Lastly Amazon is following up on plans to build an AppStore that they believe should and will eclipse Apple’s.
We Shall See what we shall see!
No one has a crystal ball revealing the answers or the future. The jury is still out as to wether any or all of these efforts will succeed or fail but what is known is that Apple is in for very interesting times ahead. Such is the state of successful market leaders in the current technology ecosystem.
I was just thinking that given recent history, I would be careful if I was a competitor of Apple’s. They are one company that seems to have a knack for landing on their feet. Although it is not seen by all as the actual case, personally I would say that in the long run Apple beat mighty Microsoft and that is an unparalleled seriously momentus achievement.
TABLET WARS:YEAH BOY! IT’S ON NOW!!!
The media and threir minions and pundits should/must be more fair in their evaluations of new tablets like RIM’s Playbook. The Playbook is not an Apple iPad! It is a functional device that can stand on its own and support enterprise markets that Apple covets but has never mastered in ways that seem to come natural to RIM. his can only serve to force Apple to do better in addressing business uses and users. The tablet market is young, new and fresh. Competition must be encouraged without knee-jerk fanatic sympathies that do not allow for alternatives and options. The iPad is not perfect. there is room for improvement that will only come in response to pressure from competition.
Even though RIM’s latest moves seem to be outright blatant attempts to steal Apple’s thunder and suck all of the air from the room, example being RIM previewing a new version of their Playbook to the press on the very eve of Apple’s big iPad 2 press event. The equivalent of someone crashing a party, slapping all the guests in the face, throwing up on all the presents, having their way with the host’s wife, and urinating on the front door welcome mat on the way out. it was just an all-out “declaration of war”.