Should mobile marketers still trust RIM?

One time, long, long ago, BlackBerry devices were all the rage. Granted, this was in a world without Android and iPhones - times that when looking back now, seem like the dark ages.

According to market research company NPD Group, the smartphone market share of Research in Motion (RIM) - the brains behind BlackBerry - was 10 percent in 2011, Mobile Marketer reports. Back in 2009, RIM controlled 44 percent of the market.

Even worse, in December 2011 NPD found that RIM had just 4.5 percent of market share, dwarfed by Apple's iOS (44.5 percent) and Android (46.9 percent).

The outlook is clearly looking grim for RIM. In order to change things up, the company recently replaced co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie with Thorsten Heins, who will act as the company’s new president and CEO.

But even with a new leader in place, how should mobile marketers react, given RIM's recent failures?

"BlackBerry will have to work hard to reassure marketers and developers that they should stick with the platform," Noah Elkin, principal analyst at eMarketer, told the news source. "Marketers will probably head toward the platforms that are noticeably growing, which are Android and iOS."

Elkin adds that "The change in management is a belated reaction to a deeper-seeded problem that has been manifesting itself over the past couple of years, as smartphones from Android and Apple have steadily grown in the consumer and enterprise market."

RIM still has approximately 75 million active users - many of whom are professionals who use for the phone for business purposes. Marketers must still realize this, especially with RIM announcing its intention to release phones with its new QNX operating system this year.

However, WIRED Magazine points out that a better way for RIM to earn revenue and grow its platform may be to license QNX to other smartphone or tablet manufacturers.

Handset makers may be willing to incorporate RIM's software to gain access to still-popular features like Blackberry Messenger, as well as its advanced enterprise solutions.

Mobile Marketer notes that the company plans to launch its Playbook 2.0 tablet in February, a follow-up to the much maligned original Playbook which, according to a separate article from WIRED, failed to incorporate major apps such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as native email, calendar or contacts applications.

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