March 8, 2012

Part I - Staging the RIM Comeback

There are lots of RIM doubters out there these days. The company has become an easy target for the press due to product and sales misfires and outright PR fiascos, so they are all piling it on. No one can deny that RIM has a huge challenge ahead as it has fallen from being the darling of mobile workers to the media’s favorite target.

I know the press always needs a black sheep. The US press in particular has the attitude that if a company is not successful in the US it just can’t be successful period. But let’s keep in mind the mobile game in the world is still very much in early innings. Sure, the US market is one big market, but the rest of the world is one bigger market and it’s a whole other story. Whatever happens in the US will happen, but the rest of the game is being played out around the world (see my post Eric Schmidt at Mobile World Congress 2012  ).

So what’s a company to do? Because you can never have too many three-step programs, here is another one and the only one RIM really needs.
  • Step #1 - Get BB10 right - let's swipe!
  • Step #2 - Show the love to the Carriers, Baby
  • Step #3 - Innovate like mad with the car+mobile combo 
Let’s look at Step #1 for BB10 first. I will talk about Steps 2 and 3 in upcoming posts.

Step #1 - Get BB10 right – let’s swipe!

Let’s burn the boats – BB10 is it. From a user’s perspective, RIM has to deliver the full experience with BB10. This includes a platform that has the feel and power of a tier-1 platform. Simplify, Simplify, Simplify. RIM’s products have always been great marvels of engineering; they now need to be examples of great design. 

There is a lot of cosmetic stuff on the surface that needs changing so that I don’t feel like I’m using a terminal anymore. Under the surface RIM also needs to get rid of 90% of the options- they just clutter the user experience with little benefit.

Finally, swipe is it! The first thing I miss when I move from my PlayBook to another tablet is the swiping. I'd like to see swiping taken to a whole new level to enable the user to do everything quickly and naturally.  It could be a real user experience differentiator.

I can’t wait to see the BB10 preview!


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