RIM Says It’s “Ready To Compete” Even As It Loses Major Clients, Developers to iOS

RIM Says It’s “Ready To Compete” Even As It Loses Major Clients, Developers to iOS

There was a certain irony that was almost comical last week when RIM CEO Thorsten Heins announced to 2000 BlackBerry developers in Europe that the company was “ready to compete” because that statement came during a week when the BlackBerry maker lost to high profile enterprise clients – both Halliburton and NOAA will be dropping the BlackBerry support and replacing existing handsets with iPhones.

The statement became even more ironic, though with a tragic rather than comic tone, over the weekend as it became widely known that one major travel company that it was canceling all plans future updates on the BlackBerry platform as well as terminating technical/user support for BlackBerry users.

KAYAK, an online travel service that allows users to search for the best travel deals across various travel sites and services, announced that it had made the decision to suspend any updates, bug fixes, and user support of its BlackBerry app. The company praised RIM as a smartphone pioneer, but made it clear that there simply was enough potential to warrant continued support of the platform.

The two specific reasons KAYAK cites for its decision highlight the seriousness of RIM’s problems.

First, the company mentions declining use of its BlackBerry app – which indicates a declining number of users. That’s certainly played out in overall smartphone share reports over the past few years.

Second, and definitely more scathing, KAYAK said of the BlackBerry platform “it’s not working out to be a great channel for consumer mobile applications” – something that undercuts RIM’s belief that it can make the BlackBerry into a consumer platform.

KAYAK does note that its mobile-optimized site will run on the BlackBerry browser but also listed the platforms that it will continue to support with a native app. That list includes iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and even Nokia’s discontinued Symbian.

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  • freighttrain2126

    To be fair, the decline in users probably has more to do with BB Travel (a first party app by RIM) and not a declining user base, because even though their market share is down, total user base is up.

  • FriarNurgle

    I have a feeling working at RIM is kinda like being at a job after giving your 2 weeks notice. 

  • prof_peabody

    So many grammatical errors!  

    It’s only a few paragraphs, is it really too much to ask to check it before you post it? 

  • csman

    Hahah Mr. Wilson! We all know the US loves their Apples, tough fight there.

  • FilthyMacNasty

    I feel sorry for all those employees at RIM, being led by such incompetent boobs. Just picture the discussions in the Executive Suite: “Well, we’ve sat on our collective corporate behinds since the iPhone came out in ’07, and we’ve watched our market share plunge every day since. Anybody have any ideas what to do now? No? Well, let’s go to lunch then. When we get back, have somebody write something about how we’re ready to compete, or something like that.”          
    These execs are rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. RIP, RIM.

  • Jeremiah

    I took a break from this blog due to the number of errors in almost ALL of their articles as well as some of the content they post.  Looks like it hasn’t gotten any better in my absence…

  • Daibidh

    Yeah.  I thought they were still going strong in many markets…. just not here in the US.  The RIM and Blackberry brands still carry some weight.  Launch a compelling product and their fortunes could reverse rather quickly.  Then again, the actual product comprises only half of their image problem.  The other half is the perceived ability of their leadership to innovate.  

    Personally, I think this insistence that their single Blackberry moniker be all things to all people is ludicrous.  They should have forked their brand and developed a revolutionary new product while still refining the Blackberry product.  Are they Research in Motion or just Blackberry?  

About the author

Ryan FaasRyan Faas is a technology journalist and consultant living in upstate New York who has written extensively about Apple, business and enterprise IT, and the mobile industry. In addition to writing for Cult of Mac, he is a contributor to Computerworld, InformIT, and Peachpit Press. In a previous existence he was a healthcare IT director as well as a systems and network administrator. Follow Ryan on Twitter and Google +

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