Blackberry: Past Perfect, Present Tense, Future Unsure (Part III)
Continued from Earlier post.
Contemporary OS and interface apart, BB has another couple of things to be worried about majorly in 2011. The lack of a 4G Handset to complement 4G launches happening across operators in US and the handicaps in Playbook, its tablet.
The problem for BB doesnot just stop at the BlackBerry smartphone platform, their OS quagmire and how it competes with Droids and iPhones. While iPhone 4 and Droids/EVOs exhibit capability of 4G which would hence complement the LTE rolls outs that operators are investing in, LTE Blackberry phone is still in a very early development process. Lack of an imminent BB LTE offering in 4G space, which is expected to drive enterprise business and adoption could provide the opening for the Androids and iPhones to penetrate such markets and get a head start over BB.
BB’s most interesting product today is the Playbook Tablet. It generated a huge amount of interest in the CES and as a first attempt Playbook is super impressive and QNX makes the cut. However, the Playbook also has a few challenges that could play spoiler
• The current SDK doesnot do a lot of developer stuff. Hence developers would have to wait for a date closer to launch for platform readiness. That delays the developer bit.
• Secondly, the Playbook would launch after the launch of Android 3.0 and iPad 2, both second generation tablets which means more refined behavior and lesser glitches.
• Thirdly, it doesn’t help that the PlayBook absolutely requires a BlackBerry to be wirelessly tethered to it in order to do native enterprise email. A BlackBerry smartphone tethered to the PlayBook for required email support is practically a boat anchor.
RIM’s challenge now is to keep delivering on the needs of the enterprise while at the same time packing the BlackBerry with the sexiest features that will truly drive end-user interest. If it doesn’t do this well, RIM is likely to lose share and ultimately become no more than a footnote in the mobile market that it helped create and define a decade ago.
The leader in the US smartphone space is now trailing the challengers by a heavy distance and worse, it doesnot seem to have its act under control from a future perspective. From the early signs, RIM and the BlackBerry due for some bumpy weather in 2011