The firm can emulate the strategy of Steve Jobs, who opted to exploit the user experience; an agreement with Google or Microsoft would allow open space to developers.
NEW YORK - Many have lost faith in Research in Motion, and rightly so. The company has ceded its leadership in an area once dominated.
Last week, the CEO of RIM, Thorsten Heins, sank lower the stock price by announcing that the company will retain its obsolete operating system and launch the next version in the first quarter of next year. This, no doubt, will condemn the company to failure.
Instead I propose a different approach: execute a strategy Apple style.
In 2006, Steve Jobs replaced owners PowerPC chips for Intel semiconductors across its product line. Apple then was free to focus on what it does best: the user experience. Although rumors about that possibility appeared and disappeared over the years, the initial announcement of Jobs surprised the Mac fans can now see how prescient was actually far.Refocus the user experience was the beginning of the new Apple has become the world’s most valuable company.
RIM can easily dispose of its software platform, which has failed to attract developers, and to license Google’s Android, while maintaining its exclusive line of hardware Blackberry.
RIM can add value to the Android platform offering a business version of the OS. This would include the incorporation of attractive solutions such as Salesforce.com, Oracle, SAP and other enterprise platforms. The typical Android phone is more oriented to consumer applications and multimedia business applications rather than ‘hard’.
If for some reason, Google does not want to work with RIM, the company can rely on Microsoft and licensing its mobile operating system Windows OS. The challenge is then the lack of applications and developers who also suffers from that platform. But RIM is best for you to sign an agreement with Google and create a mobile enterprise platform.
Blackberry users will love the form factor and keyboard of your devices. Many find it difficult to use a virtual keyboard and prefer to stick with their teams. Heins can give them what they want with a modern operating system and business applications that facilitate your loyalty to the Blackberry.
The directors of technology so enthusiastically adopted the Blackberry in their business five years ago now face angry users wanting cutting-edge applications. If RIM is going to Android, can maintain its strong base of corporate users. However, these same CIOs will not wait until next year. I’ve talked to several of them that are already implementing plans to leave Blackberry. RIM’s continuing problems are on track to become an anecdote of the current trend.
RIM has a few months to change course. If you read the instruction of Steve Jobs, can produce an updated device this fall. Otherwise, RIM may well move out to the periphery, because that’s where it ends, on the outskirts of the market that the firm helped create.
* Jack Hidary is an investor in startups, co-founder and former CEO of Dice.com.