PRWeek staff editors wrote an article at the end of December titled “Brands in Need of a Comeback in 2012,” and to no surprise, BlackBerry makers, Research in Motion (RIM), made the list. As a BlackBerry user, I couldn’t agree more that RIM needs to step it up a notch to compete in the Smartphone market.
According to this article, RIM’s reputation took a major hit after the almost week-long service outage across the globe in October 2011. So what does RIM need to do to stay in the Smartphone game?
For starters, their devices need to be improved greatly. BlackBerry models (Pearl, Storm and Torch to name a few) haven’t drastically changed over the years and 2012 might be a good time to introduce some new product features and capabilities.
With the release of the iPhone 4S and upgrades to the Android in 2011, the BlackBerry models appear to be so archaic. I primarily use my BlackBerry for emailing and have few complaints with the email server. But where I do see the phone falling down against the competition is with the web browser and applications available to download.
As stated in PRWeek, “The company (RIM) needs to do a better job of letting customers and investors know how it is preparing for the future.” A New York TimesBits blog questions if a new chairman would save the company in 2012, as investors investigated the correlation between management and directors of the company.
Should RIM’s co-chief executives serve as co-chairman or should it be someone from the financial side? Bits Blogger, Ian Austen, states, “Although no final decision had been made, the committee was leaning toward recommending one of its members, Barbara Stymiest, as chairwoman.” Stymiest is well-regarded in the Canadian business market with both accounting and investment backgrounds.
But, as Austen points out, RIM’s problems in 2011 were not related to financials, but rather “the company’s inability to create a new generation of competitive products in a timely way.” Stymiest does not have a technical background, which is why RIM is currently in debate over the chairman position. A final decision is set to be made by the end of January.
With all of this in mind, RIM has some work to do in 2012. In the meantime, I’m researching my next Smartphone purchase, leaning towards the iPhone.