What's Wrong With RIM
"In my opinion, RIM's real problems center around two big issues: its market is saturating, and it seems to have lost the ability to create great products. This is a classic problem that eventually faces most successful computer platforms. The danger is not that RIM is about to collapse, but that it'll drift into in a situation where it can't afford the investments needed to succeed in the future. It's very easy for a company to accidentally cross that line, and very hard to get back across it. There's a lesson in RIM's situation for every tech company, so it's worthwhile to spend some time understanding what's happening."
Michael Mace is a smart guy; I've even had the pleasure of exchanging jabs with him right here in our forums back when he was the Chief Competitive Officer and VP of Product Planning at Palm. I've always respected him, and if RIM knows what's good for them, they'll spend a week slowly parsing his analysis of their future - then hire him to help them avoid it. There's some connection here to Windows Mobile as well; Microsoft saw the writing on the wall as Windows Mobile declined, and made the hard step to start over.
Short term, it alienates some of the customer base, and is missing key features, but long term, Windows Phone 7 is a platform that Microsoft can ride for many years to come. RIM hasn't learned that lesson yet; every Blackberry I see is, under the surface of the glossy menu, still a glorified pager. RIM does some things very well, but will that be enough to allow them to keep growing two years from now? I think the answer is probably not...