RIM’s downfall has been significant since the new-generation smartphone boom. With competitors like Apple and Google (along with all its partners), the arguably outdated BlackBerry OS and devices have seen a major loss of marketshare. This comes after the company’s many years substantial success. Of course, BlackBerry 10’s delay until 2013 is not helping the situation, forcing Research in Motion to consider drastic options.
According to Reuter’s sources, one of the manufacturer’s options under discussion would be to simply leave BlackBerry OS. The company would then focus on making Windows Phone and Windows 8 devices featuring BlackBerry’s solid build quality and highly acclaimed physical keyboards.
The idea surely seems attractive to Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer, as he has recently reached out to RIM in an effort to strike a partnership. But of course RIM is a bit wary of such decisions, as it would mean the loss of the Canadian company’s independence.
Microsoft is not the only one interested in partnering with the BlackBerry manufacturer, though. In a recent interview with ABC News, Google Design Chief Matias Duarte clearly expressed his interest in BlackBerry’s iconic keyboard coming to the Android platform.
“I am still a huge fan of hardware keyboards. Many of the products I have worked on in the past have had them. I think there is a place for them — it’s all about choice and different types of devices. I would love, personally, to have a portrait oriented device, like we made at Palm.
If RIM wanted to work on Android devices, I would really welcome that. They clearly make great physical keyboards.”
Undoubtedly, a shift to Google’s Android OS would boost BlackBerry’s success. RIM fans have been moving out of the BlackBerry platform for years. Only to move on to greener pastures with iOS or Android devices, as well as other mobile operating systems like WebOS and Windows Phone.
Android continues to be the most popular mobile OS in the world, with over 1 million Android activations per day. Joining the green robot’s club would ensure its success, especially with former BlackBerry fans who would still love to see RIM prosper. Many of them still love the devices and physical keyboards, but BB OS is simply not up to par with the competition.
As a former BlackBerry user, I would honestly love to see a well-built BlackBerry smartphone with Android at its core. It would be a bit of an issue to try to work out screen proportions, as the Android OS was not designed for devices of the likes of most BB phones. But with the right mindset and a good amount of work, RIM could bring something great to the table.
Of course, this is nothing but speculations. RIM might simply choose to follow its own strategy and probably die with it. One thing is for sure, though: Windows Phone is also a very young and unpopular platform, making Android a much better option. As for Apple, we know they won’t be working with any partners anytime soon, so it is left out of the equation.
With that, we would like to see what all of you think of this idea. Would you welcome RIM to the growing list of Android manufacturers? Would you go back to owning a BlackBerry if a deal like this ever took place? Participate in the poll and let us know what you think in the comments section!