Even before it announced a delay in launching BlackBerry 10, RIM had plenty of obstacles to conquer before winning back the mobile market. One of the most imposing obstacles is the winning back of former customers. RIM lost significant market share in recent years, with fed up customers moving to competing platforms. While RIM can lure some users who have never experienced BlackBerry, in order to succeed they’ll have to win back some of their former users. The solution could be to convince them with other devices. The biggest appeal of QNX is its versatility. RIM has talked about using it to power far more than smartphones and tablets. For instance, it has applications for car entertainment and control systems. But what if RIM took it a step further. What if it turned QNX into an actual computer platform? RIM could hop on the Ultrabook trend here. What is an Ultrabook? The link to Lenovo puts the technology right on display. They are, essentially, bare bones laptops. They have no optical drives. It’s just USB and auxiliary ports. They also have solid state hard drives, which are more durable and reliable than traditional magnetic hard drives. While I think the portable computing market will eventually move to the tablet form, Ultrabooks will likely keep laptops alive for a bit longer. With laptops-slash-Ultrabooks, RIM would get a fresh start. People might be receptive to an Ultrabook with QNX, because they don’t have ill feelings towards RIM in that market. If BlackBerry 10 really is that impressive, and I do believe that it has great potential, then RIM will be able to wow people with an Ultrabook offering. It will be easier, then, to convince those users to switch to BlackBerry 10 smartphones. Any move like this is easy to think, but difficult to execute. I’m sure that in strategizing for the future, RIM has talked about this very idea. It seems pretty basic. But it requires a significant investment in time, money, and other scarce resources. Clearly RIM has chosen to take the direct route by remaking smartphones and tablets. While they can succeed there, I do believe that offering QNX on a device outside of traditional mobile could prove another way to win back market share.
RIM should spread QNX far and wide
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