As the smartphone war heats up with Android and iOS duking it out for first place, RIM has slowly fallen out of favor with industry analysts and the general populace. While RIM has certainly been in the news lately because of the PlayBook, we haven't heard much about BlackBerry smartphones for months; the last BlackBerry handset to debut was the BlackBerry Style in October 2010.
The latest ComScore survey has shown that Android has finally overtaken RIM's OS in overall market share. Though RIM still holds on tightly to second place, its score is dropping while iOS' is rising (and let us not forget that ComScore only counts smartphones, not the iPod Touch or the iPad). For a company that was once the reigning king in the smartphone world, this must be humbling news.
We asked RIM to provide us with comments about its future plans, but the company has said it generally doesn't do forward-looking interviews about products.
How did we get here? Like it or not, the iPhone changed everything. With its debut, smartphones were no longer just devices designed primarily for corporate workers and early adopters (who had been RIM's bedrock). Yes, there were consumer-oriented smartphones like the Nokia N95, the Palm Treo, and the Samsung Blackjack, but those products simply did not have the same mainstream consumer appeal. The iPhone introduced a multitouch interface, an unparalleled music player, and ease of use that the average person could understand. Apple also introduced the concept of an App Store, which brought another paradigm shift to the smartphone developer community; finally, there was an easier way for consumers to discover and download third-party apps.… Read more