Research In Motion, the maker of BlackBerry devices, has been facing challenging times right now. Their profits, sales & market share has been dwindling freakishly & the war of ecosystems is getting tougher by the minute. Rumor has it that RIM is waiting to get acquired. I was wondering… what if Microsoft acquired RIM?
Let’s get back up a little bit. Just over a year ago, Nokia announced a strategic alliance with Microsoft. Nokia chose Windows Phone as it’s primary platform for it’s smart devices. Here we are after just a little more than a year.
Nokia has released 3 Windows Phone devices. The devices have received rave reviews, a very positive reaction from customers & overall, decent sales especially when compared to the declining sales of Nokia’s Symbian based devices. The reaction to the Lumia 800 & the Lumia 710 has been positive globally and the Lumia 900 with 4G LTE is doing incredibly well in the US. It’s the number one selling device on Amazon since two weeks. Quite impressive for a Nokia device running Microsoft’s software in the US. The upcoming Lumia 610 with NFC is a budget phone that’s considerably cheaper than the Lumia 710. So, Nokia has got great devices running stellar software across a wide range of price points which are being made available in more and more countries as the day goes by. A chunk of marketing is being done by both Nokia and Microsoft all over the globe through various ad campaigns & organizing special events involving big celebs. So, Nokia’s still in it’s transition phase but the response has been overall positive & the future looks bright.
RIM has been facing dynamic times lately just like Nokia. While Nokia was still the number one mobile phone manufacturer globally, their US existence was kind of negligible. Whereas RIM has done pretty well in the US, their market share is on a constant fall. Their BlackBerry range of smartphones offer great services for corporate environments & their BBM socializing/messaging service is still the best in the market. It’s still one of the biggest reasons for some people to hold on to their BlackBerry devices. But Honestly, RIM knows that BlackBerry has been falling behind. It cannot compete with big names like iOS & Android in terms of features, app count & the potential but it’s also hampered by the rising curiosity about Windows Phone, especially after the Nokia partnership. I hope you’ve got an idea of the broader picture here. So, let’s dive on in to the possibilities of what could happen if Microsoft acquired RIM or if RIM adopted Windows Phone as it’s primary platform just like Nokia did.
It’s a fact that RIM makes great hardware. Their BlackBerry lineup of devices have always had great keyboards, screens etc & have pretty good at what they do (albeit pretty limited because of the OS limitations). BlackBerry is still considered as a cool brand in the mind of many youngsters (though that number has greatly reduced after the introduction of the iPhone). Still, there are a lot of BlackBerry fans out there. BlackBerry devices are very popular in corporate environments as well. BlackBerry services like BBM are hugely popular & perhaps one of the few reasons for consumer interest in BlackBerry devices. If RIM adopted Windows Phone as the primary platform for it’s BlackBerry devices, they’ll get stellar software. Windows Phone has a lot of consumer focused as well as enterprise driven features baked into the OS. Xbox LIVE, Microsoft Office, Outlook, Office 365, SharePoint, SkyDrive are a part of a bigger ecosystem that works well for consumers as well as for business. They’ll have access to a strong marketplace which is accelerating at a pretty rapid pace & they’ll have the backing of Microsoft which is investing lot of resources into this next gen mobile OS. BlackBerry could offer services like BBM on BlackBerry Windows Phones just like Nokia has it’s location based assets in it’s Windows Phones. This will be good for RIM as well as for Microsoft. RIM will get a software platform that’s reliable, powerful & very well thought out & RIM making Windows Phone based BlackBerry devices will not only create a lot of buzz like Nokia but also result in more consumer interest because of great software, hardware & marketing from both sides. It’s unlikely that Microsoft will buy RIM because the results would be in Microsoft’s favour only for the short term but adopting Windows Phone as the primary platform could mean some light at the end of the tunnel for RIM.
What do you guys think?
Should Microsoft buy RIM? Should RIM adopt Windows Phone? Would RIM adopt Windows Phone?
Let us know in the comments below!
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