If there were any faith in RIM’s turnaround efforts today’s announcements had to drain all of that. Given RIM’s strong corporate underpinnings and international customer base growth there was always the sentiment that new, exciting hardware could give RIM the ammo it needs to fight off Windows Phone for 3rd place in the smartphone arena and take some ground back from Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android. For years all the delays and miscalculations were laid squarely at the feet of former co-CEOs Balsaille and Lazaridis. Today’s announcements however paint the picture of a company who’s entire culture is crumbling at the seams.
The loss and shrinking of RIM’s revenue and market share was expected but the delay of the first BB10 devices until Q1 of 2013 is a death nail. Faced with Android and iOS improving on already leading mobile OSes and Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 looking like an attractive corporate option RIM could not afford any mishaps or delays.
To be clear, I expect the pretty much all of RIM’s market share in the corporate sector to be gone by the time the first BB10 devices ship. Thorstein Heins might put on a brave face but its my best guess that the days of RIM as we know it is over and now the main question is how valuable assets like BlackBerry Messaging and Mobile Fusion is in today’s BYOD world. Keep in mind Microsoft’s InTune manages cross platform devices in the corporate environment and is getting a strong push by Microsoft.
So who benefits most from this latest turn of events: Apple, Android or Windows Phone 8?