I have written quite a bit about the writing that is on the wall for RIM and the Blackberry brand and while I hope that there is something that can help them pull out of the perpetual nose dive well…I am just not seeing it. I was intrigued though about some early release images for the upcoming new “SuperPhone” from RIM. Dubbed the Blackberry London it is indeed a sexy beast but with complete network failures, strong competition from every direction and what appears to be a lack of innovation from just up the 401, I think that anything they do at this point will be a matter of too little too late.
I talk to a lot of IT Managers that beg for a simpler time when there was not pressure from their users to bring in any one of 100 different SmartPhones but unfortunately that day is long gone and the coolness factor of having the latest BlackBerry will go the way of Colecovision, Sega and Packard Bell.
If the leaked image above is indeed the first phone to have the much anticipated Blackberry BBX OS installed on it then the really big question is…when will it be available. Some reports are saying as early as June others not until late Q3 2012. I get that RIM does not want another fiasco like the utter failure of the Playbook on their hands but there is still a fairly loyal following of Blackberry users out there and I think that to stop the bleeding…they need to get ahead of the curve and release 3 or 4 strong alternatives to the iPhone, Galaxy S, EVOs and other strong SmartPhones out there.
The QNX based OS from Blackberry has been much anticipated ever since we saw the preview of it with the Playbook. Feature rich, slick and stable the anticipation seems to grow on a regular basis but there has been many calls to what put RIM onto the map in the first place. Walking down three paths at the same time is a challenge but the structure of the company let it excel when it focused on “Services, Technology and Infrastructure”. Okay so BBX will be the Technology, it plugs into the extensive existing infrastructure but what are the services going to be that aligns with it. We want RIM to succeed but at every turn…it seems it is not just a brick wall but either a cascade of chewed on Apples or an army of little green Robots that win out and in many cases not because they are better or worse…they just listen.
The current lineup from Blackberry includes the Bold, the Torch, the Curve, the Style and the Pearl…I think that it might be a great idea to look to the naming of the different devices after different Cities as has been hinted with the new London. With the 2012 Olympics coming very soon it makes good marketing sense to get out ahead of this and really…releasing the device sooner rather than later would allow RIM to have the base line out but also have an Olympic Games version available for limited release during the summer and would also allow them to directly tie themselves to a strong sporting connection for years to come. Every 2 years a form of the Olympics occurs, throw in World Cups (Soccer, Rugby and Cricket) and the beauty of this type of strategy is in the fact that these events do not repeat the same cities or even the same continents for the most part in the same decade so it would be a good strategy that could take them to 2020 and beyond.
Imagine the Blackberry Sochi, or the Blackberry RIO, Blackberry PyeongChang or even the Blackberry Brazil, Blackberry England in the next few years to align with these events…I don’t know if this would fly but hey…when you are circling the drain…what’s the worst that can happen, the shared CEO role by Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie might actually accomplish something more than selling off yet another Canadian Treasure like what happened with Nortel. Doing nothing has really not been a good strategy for the past 8-10 months and waiting another 8-10 months is not going to move anything except for a lot of jobs out of Canada!
Well that is my two cents worth. Is the Blackberry London even a real phone…that is open for debate but when nothing is happening…well then speculation abounds.
Have a great day and another week is about to start…yeah!
Chris J Powell