Today I went by my local AT&T store, where they know me as "the BlackBerry guy," and one of the reps said to me, "you know RIM is done with consumers officially now right?" I smiled, pulled out my BlackBerry and went to the Inside BlackBerry post about RIM not leaving consumer markets, which I've now bookmarked, and let him read it. "How come the news is reporting the opposite though?"
Well it's painfully obvious the slew of bad reporting about RIM's business strategy continues to spread. Unfortunately, it seems aside from tweets and a blog post on Inside BlackBerry, RIM is not really doing much to combat this trend. Major news outlets (not only small blog sites like BGR or techcrunch, we're talking MSN, ABC; etc), are reporting news as if RIM will no longer be making phones for regular people like you and I. The headline grabbing "RIM Surrenders Consumer Markets To iPhone" title was probably the one I hated the most, to be honest.
After the debacle that occurred yesterday, someone from their PR team should have gotten enough people together to make personal phone calls to all these media outlets today to inform them the actual news: Research In Motion will not be leaving the consumer market.
True, these news outlets have done a terrible job of fact-checking before getting their articles and radio shows out, but I can't help but wonder why it's still so palpable that RIM is just staying quiet and letting this carry on and snowball.
With time, all of these people will have to backtrack on their stories. When BlackBerry World comes around and/or when the first BlackBerry 10 device is announced (which will obviously be geared towards the general public), they have to suddenly explain why RIM is making products for consumers again. They will look stupid and their credibility will take a hit.
Until then though, guess who is going to suffer even more because of this? RIM. If you thought they didn't sell a lot of smartphones in Q4, wait until we see what happens when carrier reps starting going around telling potential buyers that BlackBerry isn't making phones for them anymore, like my AT&T rep did to me. Hopefully this doesn't turn out as bad as the 3-day BlackBerry outage back in October of last year. RIM cannot afford another BB-gate, not now or ever again.