Interest in Blackberry Wanes with new Alternatives

by Matt Klassen on June 13, 2011

There have always been two key things that separated Research in Motion’s ubiquitous Blackberry from the rest of the smartphone pack, Blackberry Messenger (BBM) and unrivalled mobile security.

While the BBM feature attracted the soon-to-have-arthritic-thumbs texters with its ability to bypass one’s allotted contracted carrier texting limits, the Fort Knox-like encryption and the unsurpassed mobile security made it the only option for enterprise users, but of course all of that has changed. Over the past few years RIM has seemed content to sit back on its laurels and admire its unrivalled innovation, but it has got lazy, and like the story of the Tortoise and the Hare, it has watched its slower competitors move right on past.

To that end, in a coincidental two-pronged attack, Apple unveiled its new iMessage service last week, a clear knockoff of Blackberry’s BBM, while Motorola unveiled the new Photon 4G on the Sprint network, a phone with so many security features that it will clearly stand as an enterprise alternative; both of which will almost certainly spell trouble for the Blackberry.

As an interesting sidebar, with Apple and RIM now offering a way to bypass one’s carrier texting limitations (and thus bypass potential fees), and with Google reportedly working on its own Android messaging service, Google Talk, revenues from texting, which has long been the lifeblood of the mobile industry, may soon dry up.

But that aside, its clear that while Apple has unabashedly copied Blackberry with its new iMessage service, users won’t really care, finding joy instead that their beloved iPhones can now do anything and everything that their boring ol’ Blackberrys could ever do.

Apple’s new iMessage system will allow texters to completely bypass the SMS text-messaging network, thus avoiding annoying texting charges (which are dubiously high compared to the amount of data a text generates on a wireless network). Of course, it is exactly this feature that has kept many texting titans hooked on their Blackberrys, as the thought of giving up this unique feature was simply too difficult to consider. Putting this feature on Apple, no matter how uncreative and derivative it is, will almost certainly be a Blackberry killer.

The other feature that has allowed RIM’s Blackberry to stand out in the global market—generating both positive and negative publicity for the company—is its unrivalled security features. But security can only go so far, and with RIM’s failure to continue to innovate, enterprise users have been crying out for an alternative…and Motorola has supplied one.

The Photon 4G will not only be a next gen Android device, sporting the latest OS, apps, and smartphone features, but it will have multiple layers of security and access to business oriented apps, clearly designed to attract the mobile enterprise market.

That said, if you think that we’re unfairly harping on RIM for its lack of innovation, it’s not as if we’re making these struggles up. In fact, Reuters has reported that the company has seen its stock downgraded over fears that the Canadian company has repeatedly failed to capitalize on market opportunities, standing pat while competitors rush past.

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Written by: Matt Klassen. Follow by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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