The mobile device business is a brutal one. Palm was the clear winner in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Now, Palm is gone. Microsoft found its mobile mojo around 2002/2003, was even adopted by Palm, and then lost focus just before the iPhone arrived in 2007. Now, Microsoft is scrambling to produce a winner out of Windows Phone 7 in a last ditch effort. While Nokia is still the world leader in overall phone sales, they don’t have any smartphone story to tell. They’re now looking for a smartphone strategy and a new CEO.
And, then, there’s Research in Motion (RIM) and their successful line of BlackBerry phones. RIM owned the smartphone mindshare for most of the past decade. Their well designed thumb keyboards and push email were the defacto standard tool for business people. But, 2010 has been a very bad year for RIM. Just take a look at this trio of items about the firm published this week:
MobileCrunch: Bad News For RIM: Only 150,000 Torches Sold At Launch?
I’m not sure this fourth item about RIM can be categorized as “bad news”. But, any time your product lands in what sort of looks like a bargain bin right after its launch, it can’t be good.
Wall Street Journal: AmazonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s $99 BlackBerry Torch Puts Pressure on Retailers
RIM is starting to look like Nokia. Both are still shipping a lot of units. But, they don’t have a “next story” to tell.