Business, Pleasure or Both - Should RIM further segment its product offerings or continue with an all-in-one approach?

By Jared DiPane on 2 Oct 2011 08:33 pm EDT


Recently we have seen tons of changes from RIM, their first tablet was released, executives have left, new phones have launched, and with all of it we are left wondering in which direction is RIM really going these days? The primary focus for RIM, the heart of their business, has always been Enterprise users, folks using their device for work purposes, to keep organized and crank out emails while on the go. Recently we have begun to see somewhat of a shift of focus from RIM, but not a full shift to consumer mode, instead sort of stuck in the middle in an odd place that no one really understands.

Recently Wall Street Journal published a piece about whether BlackBerry devices were intended for work or play, and it got me thinking even more on the topic. Do business users need a professional grade tablet so that they can play Need for Speed, or do consumers need an OS that is best optimized for BES users? 

Up until just recently it was extremely obvious that RIM's focus was on BlackBerry Enterprise users, folks in the work environment that have their BlackBerry devices controlled by their BES Admins. We knew where the focus was, we constantly saw updated tools for enterprise users, hardware stayed relatively the same, focused on the keyboard for ease of use, and battery life, not too much on the frills and extras. Recently we have not seen this same focus, updates for BES items don't appear to be rolling in, the devices are receiving larger hardware updates, focusing on displays, processors, and cameras, which makes us wonder, do enterprise users really need that?

"There's an internal war going on around the marketing message. Even the guys at the top don't agree," one executive close to the company said at the time.

If the folks at RIM themselves are unsure of where their primary focus is, what does that do for us as end users? The BlackBerry PlayBook was promoted as a "professional grade tablet" yet it still lacks some basic functionality that any business user would need. Without a calendar, and email integration how does RIM expect for the device to be the laptop replacement that they had originally intended it to be? Sure it can be obtained by bridging your device to the PlayBook, but when on the go do you think that users really want to do this? The front facing camera is a great feature, but again, it's an extra that many business geared users would not need. We can accept that it was meant to be a consumer grade tablet that is great for gaming and web browsing, but why wouldn't it have been marketed as such?

When we look at the competition to the BlackBerry PlayBook, say for example the Amazon Kindle Fire, we know exactly their intentions for the device, and their marketing strategy. The device has yet to launch and we already know they intend for it to be focused on media and applications, along with some web browsing. The device is not geared to be a laptop replacement, instead a companion to take on the go to keep up on your favorite reading, along with having a little bit of extra fun.

With the release of the BlackBerry 7 devices we saw a Torch 9850/9860 get released which was clearly geared towards consumers, the large screen for displaying media while on the go, the lack of physical keyboard, and other features, but it was mixed in with the Bold 9900 devices which looked like a business type device. The message is confusing, they want to keep a professional edge in a consumer market, or they want to try to bring a consumer into the professional market for their device? We are just as unsure as they are at this point.

One former RIM executive says Mr. Lazaridis didn't want to compete in the cutthroat consumer-phone market, where margins were typically much smaller than in the corporate market. He also objected to cameras or music players, people close to RIM said, because he didn't think they would be favored by the government and military agencies that were some of RIM's biggest customers. 

Remember BlackBerry Balance, and how it was/is going to unify work and personal devices without compromising any company information? In concept it seems like a great idea, users can carry one device and have their personal information as well as be connected to their corporate managed email, but did this ever take off? This again was aimed at making the device suitable for both a consumer and business use, but over the past years we have instead seen the growing trend of users separating their work and personal devices, instead of trying to combine them.

We all have seen that RIM is attempting to make big changes, they want to bring QNX to the mobile space, which they strongly feel will help set up the next decade of the BlackBerry experience. Could this thinking be what is putting RIM in the position they are in today? They want things to last so long term, instead of looking a year or two out, they are already hoping for 10 years of success from a new entry to the mobile space.

Does RIM need to regroup, refocus, and make that focus clear amongst the users, or is the somewhat of a double focus that they currently have and use enough for most? Should RIM make it clear whether they are going for a consumer or enterprise focus, and put all efforts towards that particular one, and that one only, or use some resources for each, but with a stronger focus on one? 

A clear message and a designated focus from the two leaders could help a great deal with all the employees of RIM, as well as us end users. Knowing where the company envisions themselves going, and the steps they hope to take to get there would allow users, and investors alike to better understand the decisions that are being made, as well as put us in a position to give better feedback.

So RIM, which is it, business focus, have you finally given in to the consumer market, or do you want to continue trying to make one device and hope it pleases everyone?

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Jared DiPane Jared DiPane "News Writer for Mobile Nations
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Reader comments

Business, Pleasure or Both - Should RIM further segment its product offerings or continue with an all-in-one approach?


What would have been nice is that if your attempt at posting to stop an annoying trend actually brought content to the post, as because you left out the word you were trying to avoid, it didn't really change anything as the first post still was of no value.

NOW onto topic.
"Should RIM further segment its product offerings or continue with an all-in-one approach? "
Firstly RIM hasn't really had an all in one approach for many years, offering a multitude of device form factors clearly with different demographics in mind. I think RIM needs to maintain their methodology of a Single OS Tree with Multiple devices for choice. I feel that OS Tree over the next 2 years will be QNX, AND RIM should understand the power these devices will have will allow them to cater to both Business and Consumer.
Business User: would LOVE if his Address Book allowed him to store dated notes and history of contact for each person in the contact list, knows as Call reports in some circles.
Consumers: Certainly wouldn't be upset about being able to make notes about people they speak too, "remember John got a divorce don't ask about his wife"

Consumers: Want music and media readily available with cloud storage!
Business Users: Want Music to listen to while they work, and corporate pod casts to be sent to them for review, as well as access to a cloud business tool library of video's and promotional material

Consumers: Want Battery life to get through the day of work, then out to a club all night
Business user: needs a battery to go from Board room, to taxi, to airplane, without dying.

many of the things the Business person wants, the consumer will find a use for, and vise versa RIM just needs to have more of the consumer wants AND!! develop the methods to make them business wants as well, with controls that BES can provide.

Why is this even a choice. Rim already has a business phone so why can't RIM just incorporate it so it does both. Is it really that much of an issue. Just think were RIM would be now if they made this work 2 year ago. A phone that can be used for business or play.

First serious post (couldn't resist- hate it too). While I understand the Mr. Lazardis' concerns, for the most part we are all carrying devices 24/7/365. So no matter what, we have to accept that a great many users would prefer carrying either one device, or phone/tablet combination. As a result, IMHO, the all-in-one approach would be the best one. Of course, the leadership must have, and give the freedom to explore new venues and opportunities as they arise.

/Still waiting for an all-in-one PlayBook.

//Would still be lighter and better than some of the old cells I've been stuck with.

Nobody wants to carry two phones, but up until now there hasn't been one phone that can do both.
I think RIM will have a lot of success with a business phone that has the proper hardware to run some serious consumer apps and attract developers.

Marketing is the key. RIM needs to spend some money on quality marketing.

RIM is making money from selling phones. Why combine consumer and enterprise? Selling two phones is double revenue ;-)

It's amazing that this is even a topic worth debating, of course RIM should go after the consumer market, to not do so will see them lose out on the smartphone market and I don't think that mesage has been lost... Apple, google and microsoft are attacking the consumer market to gain a foothold in businesses. A lot of business people are now swapping their blackberries for iphones because not every business is a top secret government agency lol - A lot of us do appreciate media applications like music, movies and ebooks. That's why QNX is being developed because rim have taken note of the changing landscape to keep relevant.

Secondly, smartphones were originally business phones and I don't think RIM have lost that message. Smartphones have been muddled by new players like apple and google and as such RIM felt the need to join them in that race for the consumer dollar. I'm sure if you pull out graphs regarding businesses it will show that RIM still hold a huge majority in the workplace. It's consumers that RIM have been losing ground too and I doubt they had many to lose in the first place until they re-focused with the new bolds.

Even when HP pulled out of the smartphone market to pursue the enterprise, they still haven't lost their edge on their consumer products in other areas(printers,laptops) but unlike HP(palm) RIM still hold an advantage in the smartphone segment.

Military and governments are big business and they should continue to focus and provide phones without cameras etc when needed. The power of bes allows these phones to be controlled to an extent and maybe the brand needs to be broken into two depts.

Rim are finding it hard to keep it head above water in the consumer market but to shy away would be bad news not only to sales but to their overall business. If their problem is margin then they should just pack up shop and forget making hardware...

Rim is doing the right thing. Focussing on QNX is their future. The only thing they are doing wrong is not putting out enough effort to gain developers. Hiring programers and enticing the other members should be their highest focus at this point. Having a single OS (QNX) to program to should make BB a more desirable platform. With many people today having to use their phones for both work and personal reasons, it is important that Rim be able to put out devices that span the entire field. If Rim is able to make headway in the app developement area, they will see a monumental increase.

Agree that RIM needs to focus more on use cases for industry verticals -- random example, corporate lawyers: what do they do all day? what are the apps that will simplify those tasks and embed PlayBook into their workflow? But don't agree that a neat line can be drawn between business and pleasure. That same lawyer is taking client docs and trade-press updates home to read on the train: can they move those docs easily to the PlayBook in their current platform configuration, and access them just as easily when on the actual train? What if they want to BBM their husband while doing so? Consumerization isn't just a buzz word. It recognizes that devices have to fit into daily workflows, but goes on to acknowledge that workflows are interspersed with life events, too.

It's unfortunate for RIM that Apple has been able to redefine the smartphone market to be entertainment centric. While Apple describes this as consumerization, I prefer to think of as "dumbing down".

Can you imaging what customers would say if you brought a Gameboy to a meeting ? What message would that send ? This is what Apple promotes as the future of smartphones. Right now CIO's are grappling with gigs and gigs of video content coursing through corporate networks, chewing up resources like clouds of locusts. This is the vision Apple is presenting to the world as there model of the future of corporate computing. Employees listening to music, watching movies, playing games on company time without an expectation of recourse.

Its unfortunate that RIM cannot become a force for corporate productivity in this highly competitive consumer centric market. Be the voice for devices that add value to corporations, moving information to solve customer problems and drive new business.

I don't see why they cant go after both. Especialy with Qnx. Why not develop one device strictly for corporate and government with few frills but full security then turn around and continue to bring various full qwerty and touch devices that will attract business users who dont have to worry with full security and want fun worked in while they use their devices outside of work (like me). These devices could also be seen as fun and desirable by retail consumers too. For businesses like RIM, it is possible to do more that one thing great and edge apple and android who, as another person posted, go for business through fun.

Why not make the phones do everything they might ever be wanted to do. If it's in a BES environment, let the corporation decide what the phone is allowed to do. If it's in a BIS environment, let the user go wild. Put BlackBerry Balance on and if the user wants to separate their calendars, data, and e-mails that's great. I don't see iPhones or Droids doing that.

RIM is already in the corporate and enterprise world. They need to keep those users as they are their bread and butter. They don't want them talking their IT departments into allowing them to use iPhones. I see them moving the business people more towards the consumer level as opposed to the other way around.

I agree that RIM, as a company should make a decision on the direction that it wishes to take their company, if they haven't. But I do not see why they can't please both groups, because let's face it; what use to be two completely separate groups are now merging into one. A younger generation is taking over the business world and changing the way it operates. They want to be able to make appointments, create tasks, and receive emails and then go home and unwind with their favorite game or catch up on missed sporting events. If a business person doesn't want to use the entertainment part of the phone then they don't have to and visa versa, but at least have the option. Also, this two phone bit, gotta say; I can't see me walking around with two phones. I need all my business data and contacts with me almost all the time, I think I'll stick to one phone, thanks. In closing; I think RIM should put their all into their phones making them appeal to everyone and also, make them flash compatible!

But they need to MARKET what they have!!! The OS7 phones are fantastic, get 2.0 for the Playbook out ASAP and advertise the $hit out of them.

People, (The Customers), want to be lead. So get a master sheep hearder and get the general public in the know,,..!!!

From what I see, RIM has the biggest selection of devices that are truly different than one another two, Apple & Android do not.

All that on top of the best support community and designs that are not so compromised in productive/Fun ways like the Apples & Androids.

Brilliant hardware, the open source nature of the software, and being able to really customize each phone to suit the person who owns it.

The Blackberry name is cool, Black electronics have been in style for quite some time now.

Have a commercial of two young people meeting up at a loud obnoxious bar on Wiki-Tude and then use a Blackberry to find a Jazz club or a electronica club and sit down for the beginning of a "Blackberry Night". Lots of cool screen shots on a 9860 and a 9900, then a hot couple begin what you know will be a HOT night out on the town. She could even ask him if that thing (Blackberry) can get "US" back to your place?


As someone who was a big BB fan, follows the industry, and works at a Fortune 100 company who until last year used BB exclusively - I'd say they lost their edge in the enterprise ...but I believe there's still a (one) shot to get it back.

Today, its Apps, Apps Apps!! and unlike a few yrs ago everyone can do the basics (email, mms/sms, web browser) so there is really very little distinction there. Employees have moved into using collaboration tools that work across platforms (Skype, Google Apps etc.), instead of proprietary (Appletalk, BBM etc). On BB, popular apps either do not work at all, or when they do - the look and feel is not there. Example Google voice on Storm vs new Torch 9850.

You do not have that fragmentation w/ Android (even given the thousands of different phones), or IOS (a model released every couple of years). BB needs to standardize their OS/handsets UI so it is not a challenge for the few developers who are still trying to create apps one time that will work on all handsets.

I believe given a choice and the capability most users would prefer carrying one handset - so "balance" shows promise.

I have a PB, and am on OS7 (9850) now. I love the 9850, and while the PB hardware was well thought out, the unavailability of basic apps make it a disappointment.

I will be rooting for BB, and will try QNX.

I see no reason RIM can't go after both markets. Look at HP, the have printers for every segment of the market. I think RIM should build on thier BES heritage and sell to the consumer as a very solid device with a good track record that now does all the bells and whistles the consumer wants.

The reason why I own a blackberry is because it does both. As a guy in corporate america, I can care less about the number of apps a phone has, as long as it has all the biggest, most important ones I can use on the go. I need a phone that's fun, but that's also amazing on e-mail, calendar, and that won't get hacked, hence a blackberry.

Blackberrys are tools, not toys. Sure RIM has some catching up to do with the regular consumers, but Apple and Google have some catching up to do with enterprisers. If they already don't have something like this set up, I believe RIM should have at least one executive that focuses mainly on regular consumer innovations. A division to focus on music, games, and fun applications to win over the people who would normally buy an iPhone or Android phone. I'm assuming they have a division like this, but maybe it has to be bigger than it is now.

Also, where is the marketing?? The only marketing I see for the new OS 7 devices is online on sites like engadget and phonearena. The people on these sites already know your phone is out, no need to market to them. MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL maybe - get some prime time tv slots. Show them the new touchscreens, how fast and responsive they are, how awesome the new Bold's keyboard is - the other day my buddy bought an iPhone and played with my Bold soon afterwards, and he was pissed that he didn't know about it. GIve the most popular morning radio shows new Blackberrys for free, and tell them to market it. Market the BBM. Market the keyboard. Market how it will never get hacked like all the celebrities had (if none of those were blackberrys, I'm surprised there wasn't a blog written on it yet, but maybe there were blackberrys in there, I'm not sure). Seriously, KIM KARDASHIAN does more than RIM's marketing department. Maybe hire her to do some ads. I'm so pissed, my phone is amazing, I'm tired of losing all my BBM buddies because of the terrible marketing.

While NFS and DeadSpace are great for showcasing the power of my PlayBook, that's not why I bought a BB tablet . I bought this unit because I expected a mobile workhorse like the BBs I've owned for the last 10 years. While Bridge and the browser have filled a number of gaps, they have not been ideal solutions for RDP, remote access to servers, ssh, ftp etc. I don't like the closed ecosystem of the iOS and if 2.0 doesn't address these shortcomings then I will have to look at alternatives because I have been caught without my key functionality too often. For the love of all that's holy, don't make me have to go back to a netbook! :)

Build the best device possible, include the most powerful OS and let the end user decide what to use it for.

The argument can be made that with social media platforms everyone is essentially their own business. So trying to separate business from consumer users is rather futile. Deliver the absolute best device with the best hardware and OS and let the end user decide what to use it for.

Technology is at a point (actually, for awhile now) where they don't have to choose, they can do both. RIM is stretching themselves too thin with too many models, and have a marketing department that doesn't know how to market to the general public.

They're too proud to follow what others are doing. If you look at the success of Apple, they really don't innovate (many people will argue), they make things better. Plus, they have a marketing division that actually knows what they're doing.

RIM can succeed (or be a solid player) with 3 devices: 1 tablet, 1 phone like the bold 9900, and 1 phone that's only touch screen. Why build 3 versions of the same phone and call them by different names? Don't confuse the customers, because then they won't buy. First rule in sales (and many other things): K.I.S.S.: keep it simple, stupid.

They don't need to go after the niche of the niche market. It's a waste of their time and resources, there are enough other phones to cover that market.

RIM = Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

I think all this misses the market reality. RIM has already saturated the corporate market. The only place left to grow is the consumer market space. This also begs the question... Why does it have to be one or the other? Why does it have to be a question of business vs. pleasure? Why can't it be both? Frankly I enjoy the features and functionality they have been adding over the years. I find the camera massively useful in my work life. As a personal camera for memorable photos in my family life - pulleaase... I'll get out my 15 megapixel. I like the music player. I carry enough crap... why would I want to buy an ipod and carry that too?

There are certain market realities that exist with regard to the Playbook. You can't be as late to the party as RIM with an unfinished device and expect 20 million clients to beat a path to your door. Anyone ever thought that Apple and iPad's just been out there longer? Most people who wanted a high-end tablet already have one... and I'm sorry folks, it's an iPad. And I hate to shock some of you, there are plenty of blackberry users that are carrying an iPad.

RIM needs to keep on keeping on. They need to continue hitting Apple where it hurts - continue building great business devices that give you lots of great options for recreation... cuz despite what people think, us business people aren't all work and no play. I don't want to look like Nerds are us with 5 devices when I travel... I want one great set of gear for both tasks. I'm tired of buying electronic gizmos that only do half the job.

This is a crazy idea and I have no clue if it will work but you can be the judge of that.

The blackberry name has gotten a bad rep for not being user friendly or not hip. I don't agree with this but its the truth. But what if RIM made a new brand, a more consumer friendly brand because the average person doesn't know RIM, they just know blackberry. They can keep the blackberry name and gear it towards the business person while getting better apps and upping the specks. But they can have a over the edge consumer type of phone, huge touchscreen, dual core processor (or whatever the new standard will be) and a simpler ui but under a brand name.

Will this work? Of course this is just a crazy idea but I would like to know what you think.

RIM must focus on their business and professional customers or they will lose them too. They cannot afford to build devices that cater too much to non-business customers if that involves doing anything that jeapordizes this business for them.

I certainly do not suggest exiting the non-business market, rather recognize that different devices serve different purposes. Instead of different versions of the same damn thing (Bold, Torch, Curve only difference slightly from one another if we're honest about it) offer the Bold to those it suits and QNX OS smartphones with nice touchscreens for those who are looking for something more like the current most popular handsets.

Works both ways for me, can be used to bang out emails from any of 5 email addresses representing 4 businesses, or watch a movie, play songs, read a book or waste some time with BBM!

I find it interesting to see what RIM has become. From a company that used to deal with 2 way paging system but now becomes one of the world's major phone manufacturers. people have known blackberry for its security and build quality, so i don't see any point that RIM can't play itself on both worlds, yes they have been doing it since few years ago, and yes the market will still keep the hype for new BB devices only if RIM really makes their devices better, more innovative and to have broader range of connectivities with leading apps nowadays. I also believe QNX will bring the new benchmark in mobile OS environment, so, yeah RIM come on, BRING IT ON!!!!

They should just give additional access to the fundmental apps (i.e. calendar, address book, recent activity, etc.). For example, if the Salesforce app could integrate seemlessly with recent activity feed for contacts and calendar and make it so you can update things from pleases the business user. That same API could be used by Facebook, Twitter and any other social network to basically become a friend feed built into the address book.

At this point, they just need to push out cool phones on the QNX platform and business/personal users will move to the platform. If both IT and users are interested in pushing the same device people will buy it and use it.

Yes it should be able to be used as a business phone and a pleasure phone.. What is wrong with that.. They are just trying to complicate things even more for rim.. How come no other phone companies is having this problem?

RIM sucks, it doesnt know what to do...its a typewriter and everyone has moved on to mac's

It clearly cant keep up and that last bit of gas it gets from the corp world wont hold for long

in my opinion this is a completly made up problem. i owned an origninal storm about 2 years ago, then (to save a ton of money on a cell phone plan i jumped on my parents account at at&t) i moved to an iphone, and i am now happyily back to the bb family. i dont know if rim knows it or not, but they already are headed in the right direction and that direction is a device that can do it all. allow me to explain:

years ago, i was strictly in the consumer market. at the time i was slightly dissapointed in the app support, or lack there of, on the storm... particuarlly in the gaming department.

i have to admit, i wasnt all that thrilled to switch to an iphone after a year spent with the storm. but that doesnt mean i was married to the bb, but rather i was the type of person who changed phones way more often than the new-every-two and i hated leaning new operating systems, button layout, and the like.

i did dive right into the iphone and there somethings about it that i liked over the storm and others that made me crave to hold the bb in my hands once again. i will try to list a few of the differences here.

i loved the fact that the iphone would allow me to keep what seemed an unlimited amount of text in my conversations for what seemed an unlimited amount of time (it still has every text on it since the day i got it), where as the storm used to automatically clear out old text messages, either after there were too many or if they were in there for a while (this seems to be "fixed" with the new operating system). i was, and still am, going through a nasty divorce which involves kids and these conversations played a big part in me winning custody. on the other hand, i loved the fact that when i emailed these emails to myself the blackberry timestamped them from when the text was actually sent/recieved. the iphone only time stamped when i forwarded the text to myself, aka i sent the email. this was beyond frustrating and made it so i had to go back and type every single text i had with my ex over the past year and get it notorized..... very very very time consuming.the camera's were about equal--neither blowing me away, and neither being terrible (i do use my phone to captures lifes little moments, as i think its not only impracticle, but also slightly unacceptable for a guy to walk around with a camera in his pocket at all times). i have to be honest i dont think i ever really used calendar on the storm and only sparingly on the iphone (its something i use daily on my 9810, but more on that in a moment). i did like the fact that the iphone offered up 2 alarms for any given event. its not that i thought that the bb was underpowered, but lets face it, i did more than my fair share of battery pulls. i did not incounter my iphone crashing, but maybe one time. and then finally, app support. oh how i loved the fact "theres an app for that." until i actually found an app for "that" and realized it really wasnt that helpful or time saving. 9 times out of 10 there was an easier way to do whatever it was i was trying to do. i have to say though, one app that is sorely missed, that was truly useful, was keyring. that litterally halfed the size of my wallet.

ok, so back to the topic at hand. i think that rim is doing the right thing by catering to both the business and consumer markets. it may not seem like it is consumer friendly, but i couldnt dissagree more. sure, it is lacking in the app deparment (again namely the game department). however i dont think that apps are really all they are cracked up to be and apple did a really good job at marketing them and making them the next big thing. i love the fact that bb is more "business orientated" because it just allows me to do so many more things on it than i could have ever dreamed of doing on my iphone. it allows me personally to stay more organized (soon i will be syncing my phone with a phone im going to get my girlfriend), has a better interface, in my opinion is more laid out to be the all in one device that consumers are so longing to own. i am no corporate business owner, but recently just moved up to a magament postion and it allows me to stay more organized even allows me to run multiple calendars. documents to go has been a Godsend (if only i could print from my phone now...itd be even more tasty if i could just print whole text conversations, emails, or basically anything from my phone.....come on rim, be the ones to pioner the way on this!). i actually use this program professionally and personally. this phone is truly geared to do it all.

somethings that my 9810 has over my iphone (3g..i know not really a fair comparison, but i still think that these are features you wont see on an iphone anytime soon). i wasnt really intending on using the physical keyboard on my 9810 (thinking my fingers would be too big) because i feel in love with suretype on my storm. texting was a breeze on the layout of that touch screen. i admit iphone keyboards are nice for a touch screen but do not hold a candle in the wind to the suretype and def not to the physical keyboard (which i am still perfecting but using almost 100% of the time). removable hard drives and batteries. thats pretty obvious. light up LED indicators, great for those times i dont feel the phone vibrate. speaking of vibrate, in my whole time with the iphone i never once could get it to vibrate for text messages. i always have my phones set to vibrate, all the time and for everything. it would vibrate for phone calls but never for a text. which is another great point, my 9810 allows me to set up different vibrating patterens for different i can tell if i have a phone call, email, text message, etc withough even having to take my phone out of my pocket.

ive taken up enough of your time. thank you for those who stuck around to read all of this. in conclusion, i feel that blackberry is the right phone for me at this current point in my life. maybe its because im stuck somewhere between businees and pleasure, or maybe its because this phone allows me to bounce back and forth between the two at my own leisure and without any headaches.

i think that rim does a great job of offering different phones to cater to a wide array of people. it has an obvious draw for its business and professional capabilites, but lets not over look what it can do for you on a personal level. therefore, i think that rim needs to continue on the path it is on, with a strong focus on keeping its bread and butter (the businees end of the spectrum) happy and moderate attention given to the bells and whistles.

I think RIM should continue with a single platform that is both consumer and business focused but at the same time have different HW (phones). I am a business oriented user but at the same time i am a consumer and like to carry a single device with the access to both (Very challenging) I think that RIM does not have a choice but to do both consumer and business ( I think that Apple, Windows and Android will do the same; They started with consumer but are heavily involved with the Enterprise as well; starting with the HW while at the same time working/investing into MDM solution)

QNX will allow user and business to get easily integrated to QNX existing industry but at the same time allow consumer based service (cloud services). I am very confident that QNX is going to be a successful platform, both consumer and Enterprise/Business focused.

I agree with njasarevic. However, I think RIM should narrow their offerings. Why have a Curve 9350/60/70? Aren't these selling for $50, probably eventually discounted to $25. Nevertheless, I've seen the Torch 9810 and 9860 discounted already to $50, and BestBuy in Canada had the Torch 9900 for 1 cent last week!!! In fact, why have so many different Bolds?

I suggest RIM sells one set of premium phones: SELL ONLY PREMIUM PHONES! Drop the Curves, drop the Pearls. Next year's Torch 9810 will still be a pretty decent device in the hands of a teenager for $50, perhaps discounted to $25. Yes, as you show in this article, colorful faceplaces will personalize the device and make it more attractive to teens and young adults. Again, you can't sell faceplates if you sell a number of different devices, all different sizes. It's not a money making business to sell two or three for this phone and that. Same goes for third party apps. They have to test on so many different devices. I lose track sometimes!

RIM must standardize on 3 or so devices and make them live longer so that the accessories can have a longer life too! Instead of designing, building, and testing cheaper devices, they get to sell these older devices longer. Less effort on designing, building, and testing. Think about the monies saved! App developers will have less devices to support as well, and so there will be likely more apps to share among devices with very little effort.

I speak of faceplates, but I hate those cheap plasticy things. Instead of faceplates, how about colorful protective cases? No faceplates please!!!

Going by the last quarterly report and update, business services are about 1/4 of revenue. Phone sales in the US are also about 1/4 of sales, where they were 1/2 of the sales volume a couple years ago. The increase in overseas sales, with a corresponding increase in business services, suggests that is where growth has gone. The bad part is that overall smartphone market growth has moved at a faster pace than volume sales growth of BlackBerry phones. They are missing the market and there is no good reason to not sell at least at the same pace as overall market growth. BlackBerry defined the smartphone market, but now they have no impact beyond keyboards and e-mail.

Upper management seems to want to pursue only the professional business market. A quick look around will reveal that businesses are not expanding; they are operating leaner and more efficiently. Companies that know the value of quick e-mail and BBM messaging would not lose that with more of a consumer emphasis, because those aspects would still be available. There are few companies left to sell to in the corporate space. If RiM want to be a slow to low niche player business device maker, then they should take that cash and move the company private.

Shareholders want growth and clear direction. Neither has been provided by the company. There is a growth opportunity in the consumer space, without hurting the business space, yet for unexplained reasons the company is shunning consumers. The other big error in my opinion is to let the carriers call the shots in marketing and advertising. They're really losing an opportunity to stay fresh in the minds of people, and to stay relevant amongst consumers. Consumers are buying vastly more smartphones than businesses; they are the engine of growth; engage them.