Why you should care about RIM.
Hey guys, I've recently started writing for a small tech blog with a few friends and woud love to hear some comments on my second piece ever. Also feel free to check out Techspce.com for more articles by the rest of the team. Comments and critique are much appreciated!
So without further adieu here it is!
Why You Should Still Care About RIM
I know most people, me included, wrote RIM off as a serious competitor in the mobile space recently. I still think RIM’s riding a burning ship into the bermuda triangle never to return but, hear me out. This isn’t an article on why or how RIM is going to make a comeback, in this writer’s humble opinion they aren’t, more over I’m going to talk about why you should still care about RIM. RIM is most likely doomed, and I for one will be sad to see them go.
Competition is the key to innovation. The main reason you need to keep RIM on your radar is BlackBerry 10 (BB10), RIM’s soon to be released next-gen OS. Why, you ask? Because for the first time in a long time RIM is innovating, or at least buying people that do. RIM is innovating for two reasons, The introduction of a New CEO and the need to stay competitive. The second reason is universal to all companies in the world, but even more so in the world of technology, and patent lawsuits but that’s another article. You see it’s a simple principle of a free market that competition creates innovation and vice-versa.
With BB10 RIM has shown of a few spectacular new user interface conventions and features that truly innovate beyond what anyone else is doing right now. I’ll give you a brief overview of top 3.
As you can see in the video above, the new BB10 keyboard has some pretty neat, and productive, features. This keyboard is serious competition to the Swype & SwiftKeys of the world, actually out of all the features shown for BB10 this is the one I want to get my hands on the most, and #2 is a jaw dropper.
Did you see that?!? RIM made that camera look the space-time-continuum in the eye and laugh at it! Sorry, thats just an amazing feature, though admittedly that tech was made by Scalado Technologies and was demoed on android phones a while back. But don’t count on it ever coming to an android phone near you anytime soon, something tells me RIM payed a pretty penny to keep this an exclusive.
Thats a brief glimpse at BB10 UI. It’s the work of a design team named The Astonishing Tribe. If that name sounds familiar you might better know them as the team that designed the UI for android 1.5 cupcake back when the HTC Dream (T-mobile G1) was the first and only android phone on the market. There is a reason Astonishing is in these guy’s name they do nothing but make drool-worthy UIs and case studies. Though sadly many of the deisgn conventions of the "Flow UI" as RIM calls it are based heavily on the "Swype UI" found on Nokia’s D.O.A N9 and its MeeGo Harmattan OS. Heck even the "Cascades UI" found on the PlayBook is basically a BlackBerry OS7ified WebOS.
And therein lies BB10, and by extension, RIM’s biggest issue. I just spent this article talking about RIM’s innovation and the sad fact is that it’s still too little too late.
"It’s just not enough."
RIM’s borrowed too much and truly innovated very little. But the main reason I want RIM to survive is in the 2nd paragraph of this article, competition. Even though RIM isn’t doing a lot to truly innovate, they’re doing something, and do you know what that means? It means every other player in the mobile game has a new, higher, bar to try and jump over. I’m an Android user through and through, but I love the mobile space far more than I’ll ever love one platform. That’s why underdogs like like BlackBerry, Windows Phone, and MeeGo matter. My favorite thing about the fast moving world of mobile technology is that everyone is always coming up new and interesting ways of doing things, and once we lose RIM was lose a old, but necessary cog in that amazing innovation machine.
So I’ll spend my time rooting for RIM like a Chicago Cubs fan, steadfast in my love but always knowing in the back of my
mind that their going to lose…