Today was a big day, but not in the same way that many would think. Today was a big day for RIM, which could have actually developed into a big day for the entire industry, I imagine, but it seemd to go over moderately okay. It wasn’t great -- and no one expected it to be --, but it also wasn’t as dismal as some people (and some analysts) were assuming it would be. Sure, RIM took a hit, and the time between third quarter last year to now wasn’t all that prosperous, but the latest quarterly earnings call from RIM doesn’t paint a picture that shows a company ready to roll over and die. And I think that’s why it’s not going to happen anytime soon.
If you talk about phones, or the mobile market in general, then you’ve probably talked about Research In Motion at one point or another. In that conversation, you might have said something to the extent that the company wouldn’t be around much longer. Or maybe you’ve seen it on the Internet time to time. Either way, the talk of RIM’s demise has been a prominent piece of conversation over the last few months, and this earnings call was going to answer plenty of questions for those select few. Unfortunately for them, it just shows that RIM’s higher-ups are even more determined than ever to make sure that they’re part of the conversation in the months to come.
And it is that dogged tenacity that I think will show RIM employees, RIM followers, and the rest of the world that the company that built BlackBerry isn’t going anywhwere. At least, they’re not going to just give up and concede to failure. No, these folks are ready to fight, and fight they shall. Instead of relaying the quarterly earnings with a tone of dismay, and then just saying, “Hey, we did our best,” the company actually talked about the future, and how they plan on adding to it. Specifically, RIM still plans on updating the BlackBerry PlayBook. Also, those QNX-powered smartphones that we’ve all been salivating over? Yep, they’re still coming. See? Everything is hunky-dory for RIM, right?
No, not really. Sales weren’t great, and yeah, we all kind of figured that, didn’t we? Sure, we love to talk about how RIM will fail, or RIM will bounce back, but the truth is, it looks like RIM is just going to coast through. They’re not going to create any huge waves, and certainly no tsunamis, but they’re still here. And, obviously, they are still planning on creating the best products that they know how to. Will we see more devices like the BlackBerry Torch? Yeah, probably. But, the big twist? QNX Software! And that’s a big twist. At least, when it comes to smartphones, anyway.
The truth is, I honestly believe that RIM is just not going to stay down. In fact, I kind of think they’re like Microsoft in that they’re going to do whatever they want, and eveyone else just has to deal with that. The BlackBerry isn’t going anywhere, and RIM is making sure that the BlackBerry name doesn’t go anywhere, either. The handsets are still coming, and as much as RIM can innovate, they will innovate. They’re not trying to change the mobile industry, not by a long-shot -- they’re trying to innovate their products, and only their products. If you haven’t used the BlackBerry 7 platform yet, but you’ve used the previous mobile operating systems in the BlackBerry lineage, then you know how much of an improvement it is. It just is. And that works for RIM -- that’s what they need to do.
Can RIM survive in this market? Of course they can. There’s always room for another mobile OS, especially a legacy company like RIM. Should we expect great, amazing, and groundbreaking things? Probably not. But if you’re a BlackBerry fan, I don’t think you should be counting out the company -- they’re not going down without a fight.