Blackberry's value is not in the core operating system. It is in the business apps, BB messenger, unique keyboard, enterprise features etc. It seems like they would be much better off adopting Android as their base and building proprietary features on top.
It just seems like they are spending all their time just to create a product that can barely compete with the 1st iPhone let alone the 5th.
Just like Microsoft, BlackBerry has and will continue to have lots of loyal customers. That's not enough to grow a company, though, and having started out in the consumer market, Android and iOS now have a huge advantage in the enterprise since employees are asking to bring their own device to work.
Maybe they have so brainwashed themselves that they actually believe BB10 is poised to take the world. It has some "killer" feature such "customizable download button" or something and it will just blow away the competition.
All the ones that have not drunk the kool-aid have either left or where pushed out for being negative or not being a team player.
To dissect the last part. They have probably been talking internally about how much iOS and Android suck and how they are just temporary fads. That shit becomes part of the corporate common set of beliefs. Anyone in power of making a change knows, if they all of the sudden admit that BB10 is a failure or Android is better, they are perceived as a traitor and not a team player.
This was when iPhones had firmly taken hold of the market and BBs were already yesterday's handset. I talked about that with him and he threw a lot of jargon at me and listed the reasons why RIM would continue to dominate into the future.
That conversation was unpleasant enough that I still think of it whenever I see RIM news pop up. If he was characteristic at all of upper-level execs there then it's absolutely no surprise to me that RIM is circling the toilet bowl.
I don't know. RIM gets high marks from governments around the world for its platform security, and it's the OS that is certified. Version 7.1, for example, was recently certified by the US, UK and New Zealand governments. So I'm not sure that switching OS would be such a good move.
RIM has over 1B cash, has about 16,500 (soon 11,500) employees. Most of their loss was from writedowns, so their burn rate might not be too bad. They might have time to switch to Android. They can't afford BB10 to flop, but I'm pretty sure it will (even if it's actually a great OS).
If they can loose some heads, and switch to Android, they might generate some confidence which could help them get funding. An Android phone with a competitive advantage (in some niches) over Samsung is something I'd bet on. A phone with a new OS in 2013 is not.
The people left over will not be willing to bust their asses to make great products for 2013, even if they're capable of doing so. They will be exercising their skills at printing résumés. What is RIM going to do: give them raises, while they're losing money? More like their Office Space bosses will tell them how greeaaaaaat it would be for them to start coming in on Saturdays. No, RIM has lost whatever chance it had to try something new. The next series of moves will all be drastic and they'll have only golden parachutes in mind.
People prefer software that has existed for several years to software that might never be released. This isn't psychological, it's the same reason cats are a more popular pet than unicorns.
There seems to be this massive appetite right now for stock Android devices because of the pretty woeful update policies of the OEMs.
It just seems like RIM would have a lot of success having a stock Android + the fancy BB10 keyboard. And then gradually drip feeding new BB only apps.
That said, they should have released BB10 years ago.
I thought they were essentially doing that with QNX. It should utterly kick ass on a phone if they can manage battery life. As a bonus they control the O/S update cycle + avoid open source licensing issues that may sit poorly with some of their core customers. Just need to put the apps on it. I don't think android would have made things work out any better for them. They failed hardcore in other ways.
I've documented my own issues with them here:
BBM is certainly not a replacement for e-mail but it's an alternative to, well, nothing.
When I send something with WhatsApp, I know it will probably get there, but I'm not sure when, in what order, or at what relative time - and it takes a while to figure that out. When I send something with BBM, I know that it will either get there instantly or not at all, and I know that right away. For me, the latter is better.
I do wonder though, if this isn't simply an inevitable case of software eating unnecessary hardware options. That is, whether RIM's only good option was to become a software-only company that builds enterprise software on top of Android and iOS. It would mean the mass contraction of their scale that way as well.
I don't see what the benefit for them would to compete in the hardware business when they can deliver their software on top of 95% of all smart phones instead.
In terms of operating revenue, Motorola died in 2007, Sony Ericsson died in 2008. That left Nokia, RIM, HTC, Samsung, and Apple.
Apart from Apple, the only companies to make more money after Android was released were Samsung and HTC, because they were the only viable phone makers who switched to Android. Motorola and Sony Ericsson were already toast - they couldn't compete with HTC and Samsung.
RIM and Nokia are the other two viable handset manufacturers. If they switch to Android, I think they'd make more money.
> I don't see what the benefit for them would to compete in the hardware business when they can deliver their software on top of 95% of all smart phones instead.
"If we can capture just X% of this huge market, we'll make out like bandits!".
What? I don't get your logic. What do you mean by viable and why do you consider RIM and Nokia to be viable when they're deep in the red?
If switching to Android didn't work for Motorola, Sony, LG, and even HTC(revenues and profits are crashing hard), why would it work for Nokia or RIM?
Competing in a race to the bottom with minimal customer loyalty(see HTC's lack of repeat sales) is not really viable.
Not the OP, but both RIM & Nokia had excellent sales channels (much better than Motorola, Sony or LG) and Nokia especially had fantastic scale to for their logistics chain. Nokia could build and distribute any phone cheaper than anyone else in the world. In the post Tim Cook world Apple may well have surpassed them there now though.