Saturday, July 2

Is the RIM falling off the wheel that drives BlackBerry?

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BlackBerry is in trouble and I mean big trouble. I might be clutching at straws but I sense the Canadian smart phone giant is in an “all-in” mode with its Playbook tablet. Cue the death march, maybe but I sense all is not well.

In South Africa at the moment, BlackBerry is the fastest growing smart phone manufacturer. It does not need too much analysis to understand the growth. BlackBerry Internet Services and the fact that subscribers potentially don’t have to pay data fees have seen brisk adoption by the South African public.

However, the same could not be said of their international numbers. BlackBerry is being trounced by Android on levels not seen since IBM’s massive growth in early 90’s. Their market share is decreasing at an almost consistent level for the last few months in developed markets.

RIM will be allowing Android on the Playbook

I might be completely wrong but I sense the fact that RIM is allowing Android apps to be able to be used by Playbook users, might be the beginning of the end of RIM.

RIM has moved to kick-start developer activity around its new PlayBook tablet, announcing that it is adding support for Android apps on the platform. RIM said it will launch two optional ‘app players’ that provide an application run-time environment for both BlackBerry Java apps and Android (2.3) apps. These new app players will allow users to download Java and Android apps from BlackBerry App World and run them on the PlayBook alongside native apps.

PlayBook will initially support 25,000 Java apps and 200,000 Android apps. According to RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis, the move will “provide our users with an even greater choice of apps and will also showcase the versatility of the platform.” It will also allow the firm to benefit from the vast Android developer community.

Think about it, why do you spend millions of dollars on buying QNX (BlackBerry’s new operating system) and then 12 months later open your software platform to another rival platform? It makes little or no sense.. Surely you develop your own software further and ensure that you remain the focus of your users.  I am fully aware that apps can make or break your tablet offering but doing this leaves me asking more questions about BlackBerry’s future.  I can honestly say that Android is the big winner in this.

RIM allowing Android apps

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