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Dubdub 12-04-2010 03:50 PM

RIM Faces Challenges in Moving to New OS
From GigaOM: RIM Faces Challenges in Moving to New OS: Mobile «

Research In Motion’s acquisition of Swedish mobile UI designers The Astonishing Tribe will surely lend some luster to the aging BlackBerry OS, but the deal’s long-term impacts will likely be more prominent in RIM’s upcoming QNX platform.

RIM is moving aggressively to extend QNX to its entire smartphone lineup, Jeffries & Co. analyst Peter Misek said last week, adding that, within a year, every new device will be running QNX. But as Canaccord Genuity’s T. Michael Walkley wrote last week, winnowing the portfolio of new BlackBerry OS devices could damage the company amid increasing competition in the space:

“We believe RIM will likely lose high-end smartphone market share and higher-end North American subscribers over the next several quarters,” Walkley noted, “due to limited new high-end product launches ahead of new QNX smartphones combined with improving competitive smartphone offerings such as the Samsung and HTC Android based smartphones at most carriers and the iPhone likely launching at Verizon in February.”

There’s no question that BlackBerry OS is a quality platform, particularly in the enterprise. But end users — who increasingly get to choose which devices they carry to work — simply want a compelling smartphone experience. Android and iOS have successfully eaten into RIM’s market share both in the US and worldwide. Though Blackberry emphasizes productivity, Android and iOS are simply superior for tasks that extend beyond the work environment: browsing the web, playing games and using other kinds of apps.

Nonetheless, there is tremendous opportunity for any manufacturer who can combine user-friendly features with an enterprise-minded OS. In his note last week, Misek cited QNX’s “great” browser, superior security and low power consumption. Just as importantly, QNX — which very few people have actually laid their hands on— appears to deliver the same kind of compelling user experience that fueled the success of iPhone and Android. And nobody is as well positioned to take advantage as RIM, given its reputation for rock-solid business apps and its massive mindshare among IT departments who still have some influence over which devices staffers carry.

To achieve its potential success, RIM will need to move deftly from one OS to the other, supporting the aging Blackberry platform while aggressively building an ecosystem for its new one. For my thoughts on how to do that, see my weekly update at GigaOM Pro (subscription required).

Image courtesy of Flickr user Honou.

ezrunner 12-04-2010 06:49 PM

Re: RIM Faces Challenges in Moving to New OS
Interesting article. Good read
Posted via Mobile

SteveO86 12-04-2010 09:53 PM

Re: RIM Faces Challenges in Moving to New OS
Know we all know, when we get this new OS we will miss this old dated clunky OS lol.
Posted via Mobile

tsac 12-04-2010 10:04 PM

Re: RIM Faces Challenges in Moving to New OS
Very interesting.

ArgonNJ 12-08-2010 01:51 AM

Re: RIM Faces Challenges in Moving to New OS
I'm not sure RIM can pull it off. They don't seem to move very quickly. Late 2011, 2012 will be too late for QNX. If they don't have it out before summer, they're toast in the consumer market.

WesleyTrollip 05-27-2011 05:27 AM

Re: RIM Faces Challenges in Moving to New OS
Very interesting read.

ifonline 05-27-2011 06:04 AM

Re: RIM Faces Challenges in Moving to New OS
My biggest concern is RIM's slow pace, and they have been caught off guard before. With the PlayBook, for example, it doesn't look like the NDK will be in gold status until late fall. If that ends up being true, that seems like too long a wait for a native development environment for a brand new product struggling to compete with established brands.

But, I also believe it's too soon to strike RIM from the books. They have lumbered along for this long, and may very well continue to lumber along for years to come. This wouldn't be the first time analysts have predicted the end of RIM only to be proven wrong.

BCCaper 05-29-2011 02:56 PM

Re: RIM Faces Challenges in Moving to New OS
If they can get this rolled out and market it right, RIM could make a solid comeback. I hope that they make the new devices that are being launched this year QNX compatible. I want to get the 9900 when it comes out but also want a QNX device and don't want to hold out any longer than I have to so I can ditch my 9300 asap.

ifonline 05-29-2011 03:00 PM

Re: RIM Faces Challenges in Moving to New OS
The 9900 will not ship with QNX, and if I were a betting man, I would bet that it (and other new phones) won't be upgradable to a QNX-based OS.

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