RIM's challenges are tall - no question about it. But there is still so much opportunity and the mobile pie is going to grow so much more. Earlier I talked about Step 1 in Part I - Staging the RIM Comeback and Step 2 in Part II - Staging the RIM Comeback Step #2 - Show the Love to the Carriers, Baby in staging RIM's comeback. Here I explore the last leg.
I believe RIM has huge potential that is still vastly untapped. It has an ace up its sleeve. It’s the QNX platform that is already embedded in so many cars and continues to win more manufacturers every day. The competition is just not there: Apple is looking at TV and Google is looking everywhere. Microsoft, with Sync, is the only other game in town. Unlike RIM, MS’s Sync platform doesn’t have a common underlying core with its mobile devices, like the one that QNX shares between BB10 and what they embed in the cars. I believe this is an opportunity for RIM to move faster - there is leverage in the integration of car and mobile that they can really go to town with.
Let’s hope RIM doesn’t repeat the mistake of the past by working only with manufacturers for innovations like they once did by innovating strictly for enterprise customers. Now is the time to observe USERS/DRIVERS to see how painful life is when transitioning between mobile use and driving. Now is the time to experiment A LOT with creating continuity. Throw lots of spaghetti on the wall (and the windshield) to see what sticks. Don’t fall into the trap that automotive innovation is about consumers only. Sure it’s one big and highly attractive market. However, a huge part of our economy involves transportation and it’s highly inefficient and ripe for an overhaul.
Keep in mind that the number of cars on the road globally is going to go through a hockey stick growth with the rise of emerging economies. The model of automobile ownership may change too. In ten years are we each going to own a car or will we purchase a membership that gives us access to a car? It’s time for the think tank automotive group at QNX to grow big and work hard at laying down the strategy. I’d like to see them showing huge thought leadership that goes well beyond the car stereo. It’s time to think BIG and experiment.
RIM can again win HUGELY in this area. How can cars, delivery trucks, long haul trucks, emergency vehicles, personal vehicle fleets, and so many more, benefit from a QNX/BB10 one-two punch?
I can’t wait to see the RIM platform enabling the next generation of smart transportation systems!