If RIM can survive with its BB10, then there are opportunities for it to grow and expand. Possibly, the best opportunity is to expand with BB10 tablets. Most smartphone manufacturers, including Apple, have invested in tablets. This has created a separate tablets industry with Apple and Android dominating it. RIM did come out with its first tablet, the BlackBerry Playbook, but it failed. The lack of app support was one of the reasons for the failure.
Even though the Playbook didn’t do well, more than 2 million Playbook users were and are still impressed by the browser. Therefore, if BB10 can get the right number and type of apps, releasing a tablet would be a smart move. Both RIM and Nokia have not been big players in the tablets market, and we’ll have to wait and see what both companies do.
Another opportunity for RIM is to target both high-end and low-end consumers. Apple’s iPhone is only targeted to the people who can afford it, while there are a number of Android devices targeted towards different individuals with different budgets. There were rumors that RIM would be releasing 6 different smartphones in 2013, which would include budget-friendly smartphones as well. As RIM only has a niche market share, they will definitely target different types of consumers now in order to make inroads in the major markets. The switch from full QWERTY keyboards to full touchscreens makes this possible as consumers want touch screen devices. Previously, the target audience was very limited, but RIM does plan to satisfy every type of consumer with BB10. Nokia has done exceptionally well with targeting different types of consumers with their low-end Asha smartphones and high-end Windows smartphones.
RIM currently faces a lot of competition that was responsible for knocking the company out from the smartphone industry in the first place. Apple and Samsung are the main rivals of RIM, as they dominate the smartphone market. While RIM will announce BB10 in late January, who knows what Samsung and Apple might be releasing this year? In terms of Operating System, Android has to be the biggest threat, as it dominates over half of the market. Then there is Nokia, which has come on the right track after struggling for a long time right before the release of BB10. So, there is a lot of competition for RIM in 2013, especially with Windows 8 lurking.
In conclusion, we’ll have to wait for Jan. 30 in order to see what happens. RIM has certainly taken steps in the right direction. It took some time, like Nokia, but 2013 might just be the year for RIM. Nokia made Windows 8 its future and it paid off. RIM has made BB10 its future and it looks like RIM will be heading in the right direction.
The article Is 2013 The Year For RIM? originally appeared on Fool.com.
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