How The Mighty Have Fallen. Could RIM Get Its Mojo Back?
It's easy to assume that RIM is dead and washed up. It's easy to assume that Android and iOS have such a commanding lead, that nothing RIM does at this stage will reverse its fortunes. But everyone loves a good comeback story, and RIM couldn't have asked for a better situation to foster such a story. For one, it'll be the only major platform launching new software in Q1 2013, so that stage is going to be completely owned by RIM. Moreover, many power users have complained that Android and iOS have grown a bit long in the tooth, with the "grid of apps" look getting a bit dated. Third, everyone in the smartphone arena is apt to give RIM at least one more passing glance, and if they truly ship a revolutionary product, it may pull back more than just enterprise users.
But here's the other thing: international sales. While the U.S. market have may moved on, many other nations in Europe, Asia and Africa see RIM differently. Even older BlackBerry handsets are selling at a premium in Africa, and RIM may be able to conquer markets outside of North America in order to maintain its position. Will it ever return to dominance? That depends on how you're judging things. One thing's for sure: we're all going to watching in Q1 to see what kind of rabbit RIM pulls out of its hat.