RIM (Research In Motion, maker of Blackberry) Needs to rediscover it’s roots in security. They need to do so with certain haste.
Having been thrown for a recent loop, RIM was reported to have had to lay off masses of it’s people (although none in it’s maritime head offices). What the media neglected to include in that story though, was that these people were all hired in the last six months, presumably for the most part to sell and support their new tablet.
Well that was a big mistake, Not so much the Playbook tablet, but it’s marketing. The train wreck that ensued caused a chain reaction the media ran with blindly.
Blackberry did tap the original app scene (and it does have a few good ones) but it’s never going to be Apple, not iTouch, not iPhone and not iPad. RIM made the fatal mistake of leaving it’s own successful path to attempt to follow someone else, and Apples path may be huge with their offerings, but Blackberry had its own very important (and highly profitable) market tied up.
What Blackberry has that no one else ever did to the same degree, is security.
City, State, Province and Country staff and officials (world wide) don’t use iPhones if their communication is at all vital to operations. President Obama does not have an iPhone, he has a Blackberry. Your own government officials all use Blackberries supplied by work, even if they sneak over to their personal iPhones at home.
This is an undeniably HUGE market that has not even been fully exploited.
The Blackberry Playbook was the first tablet certified by the US Government, but as that came to be… RIM was busy pushing flash and social applications harder than this victory.
“RIM is pleased to announce that the BlackBerry PlayBook is the first tablet approved under FIPS for use within the U.S. federal government,” said Scott Totzke, Senior Vice President, BlackBerry Security at Research In Motion. “This certification demonstrates our continued commitment to meeting the needs of security-conscious organizations and enables the U.S. federal government to buy with confidence knowing that the PlayBook meets their computing policy requirements for protecting sensitive information.”
And on their site is about the only place this highly market friendly info ever was published.
Rather than pushing that point to the media, and taking credit where important credit is due, RIM dropped the ball and continued to use what they perceived as Apple shortcomings as their door into the toy market.
RIM centered huge campaigns geared at teens and 20somethings, they pushed their production of a tablet that can view flash, but got slammed with the reality that this particular market place wants Apple and Apps, not flash.
It’s one thing to update your hardware to accommodate a social market but a whole other to forget who your original market was and why they came. While pursuing this hopeless tangent, the entire face of RIM and its secure communications network, got lost in the fray and it almost cost them their future.
RIM has little time left to return to its roots, but it, for sure, is enough time to catch up again and get it right. It’s a tricky position to be in, but they really need to take a second look at how they market and to whom.