Despite the higher than average negative press RIM received, the company actually did some things quite well. One of the things that RIM has been struggling with is the ability to adapt to the consumer market in the US. Last year RIM actually did this in two ways. The first way RIM did this is that they adapted to the growing tablet market and delivered us the BlackBerry PlayBook. Although it didn't have the warmest reception it proved that RIM did care about the popular market.
The second thing RIM did quite well was deliver their new BlackBerry OS 7 smart-phones. The Bold 9900, 9930 and 9790 devices all sold quite well and RIM maintained the popularity of its Bold series smart-phones. The other OS 7 devices the Torch series 9850, 9860, 9810, and the Curve 9350/9360, and 9370 also made an appearance as well. All devices showing that RIM was serious about getting new devices into the hands of consumers.
RIM also maintained its popularity within the enterprise market. RIM has always had a good understanding of security within mobile computing, and they continued to do this well throughout 2011. One could argue that the rooting of the PlayBook diminishes this quality a little bit, but overall they are still way ahead of their competition when it comes to security.
The global market has also been a key focus for RIM, and they have been maintaining a very strong presence outside the US market. RIM has gained popularity in countries like India, and has dominated the smart-phone market in other countries like Indonesia Southeast Asian countries.
Let's not forget about BlackBerry 10, (formerly BBX) and its announcement made at DevCon Americas. This proved to be a pivotal move for RIM as it opens the door for its QNX based OS to shine in 2012.
As always there are two sides to every story and RIM is not exempt from this one. RIM may have had the worst year in it's companies history. The bad year started with the rocky launch of the PlayBook, this immediately let the critics out of the cage with lots to say regarding RIM's future. Critics and investors were already on edge about the future of RIM's smart-phone devices as the rise of Apple and Google Android phones continued to rise.
Its no secret that RIM had some financial hiccups as well last year, there were a few things that contributed to that. The first being poor PlayBook sales, during RIM's last financial report they mentioned that they were actually taking a loss on the PlayBook. The second being a drop in consumer purchases in the US. According to Wall Street in 2011 RIM's saw it's shares drop to a seven-year low at $15.
The Just Plain Ugly
As if poor sales and sloppy stocks weren't enough, RIM was also plagued with a number of lawsuits. The two most important pertaining to BBX and BBM. RIM had to change the name BBX to BlackBerry 10 because of a lawsuit involving the software company BASIS International Ltd. RIM's coveted trademark BBM is also the target of a lawsuit. Executives from a Toronto based broadcasting group BBM Canada have launched a court proceeding against RIM. Lets hope this one does not go against RIM.
Although no one can tell exactly what the future holds for RIM, it does look promising. The company has already hinted towards some good things for this year, and most people, are looking forward to a good year from RIM.
Perhaps one of RIM's biggest investments for this year will be in the PlayBook. The much anticipated PlayBook OS 2.0 is set to be released this year and users will be greeted with some much improved features. Better messaging features and the ability to run Android applications, OS 2.0 looks really promising. The PlayBook is actually one of the highest grade tablets on the market today.
BlackBerry 10 is another area that RIM is promising to deliver on. While some remain skeptical of the later than expected launch date, it may prove to be a key competent in the delivery of a complete and finished product.
Lesson's learned, and creativity are all one can hope for this year from RIM. All of this has left many divided within the BlackBerry community, many have jumped on the RIM failure bandwagon, but in all only a solid foundation and innovative minds will get RIM back on top.