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I think you nailed it. Their market was / is enterprise, which is a place where they certainly could have competed. I wouldn't want to be in the consumer space squeezed between Android and the iPhone, but RIM had a helluva position in enterprise.

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.




They don't have to be software-only, the large majority of Android phones aren't made by, or in partnership with, Google. In fact, their hardware division might be the least affected by switching to android. Their core OS people would be the ones taking the biggest hit in terms of job cuts or transfers, and all their apps people would have to start porting over to a new platform.


The Android hardware business is a horrible business for all but a few of the manufacturers.

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.


> The Android hardware business is a horrible business for all but a few of the manufacturers.

http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/android-and-apple-market...

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!".


>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.

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.


RIM and Nokia were doing well before Android and iOS. LG, Sony, and Motorola were not.


why do you consider RIM and Nokia to be viable when they're deep in the red?

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.


People loved their hardware, they could have kept a huge chunk of the enterprise market and been one of those few manufacturers. If they had maintained their peak market share, it might have been worth it. At the very least it would have been a much easier change for the company to make than cutting half of their workforce and completely changing their business strategy.


Their market was enterprise. It's now social, and in particular texters. People buy their phones because of the unlimited texting and the keyboard. That is all.




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