“RIM captured boardrooms by reinventing business communication. Now it faces a balancing act between keeping those customers and wooing tech-savvy consumers. […]
This week in Orlando, RIM’s executives gave perhaps the clearest explanation yet of what the company intends to do: everything Apple’s not doing. It is no longer about playing catch up in the apps race. It is about playing a different game altogether.
While Apple’s focus is squarely on the consumer, RIM is building its consumer strategy around the same things that made the BlackBerry a corporate addiction: security, low power consumption and efficiency. While Apple controls the means of downloading applications for its phone, RIM allows downloads through myriad channels, such as third-party websites, giving developers more freedom. While Apple regularly boasts about the number of iPhone applications available – somewhere north of 185,000 – RIM, which boasts just 6,500 apps, is now pushing quality over quantity, focusing on professionally designed applications that make full use of the BlackBerry’s many functions, something Mr. Lazaridis defined this week as a “super-app.”
In essence, if Apple wants to be the Holiday Inn of the wireless application world, RIM’s new focus is trying to become the Four Seasons.”