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RIM: BB10 OS to PlayBook… Too little, too late?

Can RIM get anything right? Photo by The GameWay on Flickr.

BlackBerry OS version 10 will indeed be coming to the PlayBook according to RIM executive Rob Orr. In his quote to website TechRadar he states, “We’ve said publicly a number of times that our first BB10 handset will be available towards the end of 2012, and that’s still firmly the case”. As with most other BlackBerry software update announcements, there is no date tied to this one and to who’s surprise? RIM cannot seem to hold up to their dates anyway.

I hate to bash RIM, but seriously, let’s get real here. This company is in dire need of a turnaround and they need it fast. 2012 looks like it will be a dismal year for the company that has already announced it only expects share prices of around 80 to 95 cents and profits of $4.6 billion, which falls way bellow the analysts expectation’s of $1.16 a share and sales of $5.1 billion.

When things are looking this bad for you, you need to get into high gear. RIM has a serious problem on their hands and this “end of 2012” talk just seems like that of a company not taking things seriously. How much longer do they think they have? RIM’s ship is sinking and it is sinking fast.

The company is only expecting to ship 11 to 12 million handsets this year as consumer interest turns to high end gadgets such as Apple’s marquee iPhone 4S and Google’s slew of Android offerings. Compare this to Apple’s number of shipped handsets.

The technology giant, worth roughly $500 billion, shipped 4 million iPhone 4S’ in the first weekend the device went on sale alone and forget Apple’s Q4 2011 sales of the 4S. That number is a staggering 37 million 4S devices… in Q4 alone! That is approximately four times what RIM plans to make this entire year. Are you listening RIM?

RIM’s continuous carefree nature and lay low attitude will indeed catch up to them. Changing CEOs should have been the least of this failing company’s concern (although yes, Jim Basillie and Mike Lazardis were the head clowns running a clown show). What RIM really needs to focus on is time management. This is a company that can no longer suffer setbacks and delays. The heat of the consumer wants should be breathing down the hairs on the back of RIM’s executive’s necks.

The mobile industry is no longer a game of sit back and put it in cruise control. Just because RIM was once the leader in a loyal smartphone market does not mean they still are now, yet they seem to have this notion that their “loyal customers” will stick around. People will only stick around with a boring OS and even more boring hardware for so long. While yes, BBM was my main reason for owning a BlackBerry at one point, that lost its appeal quick when I saw how sleek my friends and fellow colleagues iPhone’s were. What we want as a consumer is a polished, friendly, easy to use UI, not the same clunky junk that was cool for business professionals in 2004.

RIM better hop on the bandwagon and they better do it quick. Time is running out…