Netflix Indifference Highlights RIM’s Downward Spiral

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Let’s face it, RIM has been suffering from a serious personality conflict. The company is trying to cling to its enterprise business while also making its brand more attractive as a consumer alternative to iOS and Android.

Nowhere has this been more obvious than in the company’s PlayBook tablet. RIM initially pitched the PlayBook as being all about consuming content like movies and other media. At the same time, RIM was also trying to sell it as a business device when paired with a BlackBerry even though it lacked core enterprise apps (including email) that could run on the device when it wasn’t tethered to a BlackBerry – a fact that led to RIM hyping the PlayBook’s email app (introduced this week in PlayBook OS 2) as an exciting new feature.

RIM may be caught in this consumer/business identity struggle, but Netflix made it clear today that it doesn’t see RIM as a consumer company – or at least not as a viable one.

Netflix announced that it has no plans to bring its streaming service to any RIM devices including the PlayBook and the BlackBerry via Twitter on Thursday with the following statement:

“We don’t have any current plans to support BlackBerry devices, including PlayBook.”

Following an outcry on Twitter, Netflix amended its statement:

“Generally we want to be on every screen that’s relevant to you. While we don’t support Blackberry today, our plans can change. Thanks all!”

The reality of the situation, however, is that Netflix probably won’t show up on RIM devices. Netflix has actively developed for Apple’s iPad and iPhone as well as for Android – not to mention partnering with several set top boxes including the Apple TV.

The admission that Netflix, one of the major consumer entertainment services, doesn’t have an interest in either the PlayBook or the BlackBerry is pretty damning to RIM’s future as a consumer device manufacturer. This news comes amid RIM losing major enterprise customers and developers while it’s board displaying a delusional view of reality about today’s mobile market. All in all, it simply adds to RIM’s downward spiral.