RIM seriously considered going with Android

At least one of these OEMs has the guts to admit they were considering to use Android going forward. RIM’s CEO Thorsten Heins mentioned the company was looking at the open source operating system to determine their plans to move forward, but ultimately decided to go with what is now known as Blackberry 10.

RIM was no doubt challenged to modernize themselves after seeing the likes of the iPhone and Android race on by. The challenge came with differentiation: did Android give them enough room to keep them from being a “me too” company?After all, RIM is one of few OEMs which make both hardware and the software which runs on it.

Nokia’s move with Microsoft wasn’t quite as surprising considering they held no loyalty to a homegrown operating system. It was important for RIM to develop their own option, though it obviously hasn’t come without its pitfalls.

One major problem has simply been the unpredictable and unforgiving software development cycle. Blackberry 10 was expected to launch this year, but unsightly delays have pushed that back to early 2013. Many think it will be too late for RIM to offer a compelling smartphone experience by then as Android and iOS get better each and every day (let alone Windows Phone).

And who’s to say RIM couldn’t properly distance themselves from what’s considered “the norm” with Android? Amazon did it with the Kindle Fire, and we’ve seen Meizu transform Android into a beautiful beast the likes we haven’t yet seen.

Even MIUI, an after-market ROM, could fool one into thinking it’s not based on Android. But the decision was made, and RIM is dead set on making Blackberry 10 work. The only other question is whether or not the users are willing to wait while competition is steadily passing them by. [Telegraph]

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  • Jeffrey Evans

    Still hope, for either Android or BB10. Yes, I’d hate to see Rim close doors, they still bring good things to the table. What I’d really like to see is a partnership so both sides benefit from their collective strengths. Android could use their enterprise knowledge and BB could definitely benefit from the openness and depth of apps.

  • camelsnot

    RIM’s development team could have strengthened Android. What a shame.

  • http://twitter.com/tr_slate Travis Slate

    im sure BB 10 will pay off /s

  • MK2

    Maybe they should start with cutting edge hardware…

  • http://twitter.com/timmyjoe42 tim bennett

    Launcher 7 is a great example of making Android look any way you want. It looks almost identical to a Windows phone, but has all the perks, bonuses and customization of Android.

  • Canon User

    We almost made a good decision!

    • burgosma

      Exactly.

  • achmafooma

    “Nokia’s move with Microsoft wasn’t quite as surprising considering they held no loyalty to a homegrown operating system.”

    Really?
    Symbian was co-produced by Nokia (with Ericsson, Motorola, and Psion), and Nokia had layered their own unique S60 interface on top of that underlying platform. Later, Nokia, the only major user of the platform left, bought Symbian outright and open-sourced it, trying to make it into their own Android.
    It was a HUGE surprise when they went with Microsoft in 2011, since all indications previous had been that they were doubling-down on Symbian.

    • http://www.phandroid.com Quentyn Kennemer

      Yes but Nokia hinted toward ditching Symbian a good amount of time before the Microsoft deal. They co-produced MeeGo with Intel, and their loyalty to that wasn’t strong at all. I think it definitely was less surprising.

  • phinn

    I’ve been saying for years that RIM should go Android, and use their Enterprise level Email, Calender, and BBM software as apps and widgets. They really fucked this up. Now they are borderline finished.

    • burgosma

      They still have time. If they stopped BB10 and started on Android right now they could right the ship… unfortunately they are too stupid to adapt.

      • Jeffrey Evans

        I don’t think they are stupid, just have something they are excited over and don’t want to see it fall by the wayside. If it turns out to be a dud, then maybe they were stupid.

        • burgosma

          Competing with their own software is a dead end. People either want Android or they want and iPhone. The best way for RIM to compete is by providing a business focused Android experience.

          • TongueDar

            I own a PlayBook as one of my tablets and the OS is top notch. It provides an experience with its touch-bezel for navigation, that I absolutely prefer over my other tablets. I like Android OS the best for obvious reasons — something that iOS-only guys can not comprehend — but it could benefit from some of what QNX is doing; and just for reference I like my iPad the least, because its stationary tap-tap-tap home-button for everything is lame and cumbersome when compared to using my PlayBook, or my Transformer running ICS.

            I’m personally glad RIM is offering another option, because there’s always more room than just another Coke and Pepsi.

            RIM still has a healthy enough share that I know they can make BB10 truly happen, but to put that into perspective, they’ve never had the share that Android and iOS have now; but having said that, I can honestly see them as only going up, but then again, most people are obstinate and won’t even give them a chance. Anyways, more choice is rarely a bad thing, especially when it leads to competition; that thing Apple hates… rambles.

          • c4v3man

            I had a playbook, and navigation was nice. Beyond that, I actually had various apps crash randomly for no reason especially the browser. It wasn’t a terrible experience, but it wasn’t earth shattering (and yes, I factory reset, installed no apps, and still experienced instability). At times it was impressive… streaming music in the web browser using flash while playing a 3d shooter was pretty slick… but they browser shouldn’t crash when it’s the only thing open.

            Beyond the multitasking interface, the Playbook is crap, and the android virtualization is half baked at best. The TAT Blackberry demos are stunning, but they never materialized into something the market could use. If they release some of the collaborative elements from the TAT demo’s in OS 10 (At first release, not “at a later date” like the android virtualization that took a year to release on the Playbook) then they have a chance to stay alive at Windows Phone 7 levels of usage. But with Windows 8 proposing a unified experience from phone, to tablet, to computer, I feel alot of users are going to be taking a close look at Windows Phone 8. Especially if they can get Nokia to sell a model with their 41MP camera sensor.

            Two vendors are absolutely owning the market right now, and there’s room for a third, especially if app development is promising. Microsoft’s market rules, and reduced commission after a certain amount of sales may help them attract the developers they need. So if Microsoft ends up being that third vendor, then Blackberry is simply going to die a slow death. Maybe they’ll get bought out by Google for their extensive patent portfolio…

  • gmaninvan

    They really should have. The opportunity was there.

    They could have.

    1. Given android a curated app store. This would fall in line with their security requirements and also allow for android on bb apps to have a look that matches the os by implementing a set of design standards. It wouldn’t be much work for developers because all they need to do is take their play store version and change a few of the colours to match bb.

    2. Follow what the NSA did and make their version of android a locked down and secure platform. If anyone can do this, it is RIM who still has arguably the most secure platform in mobile to this day.

    3. Use their combination of metal and fake leather, high quality internals, and solid brand image to make a flagship that would do well with both enterprise and consumers

    4. Port all of the key BB apps over. BBM, BES, BIS, etc. Leave out Blackberry Maps since there is no sense in re-inventing the wheel. Google, Tom Tom, etc. already provide numerous mapping solutions for android.

  • http://twitter.com/MrYuzhai *Certified_geek™

    ok.. i’m gonna call it. bb10 will not be released by rim. they will get bought by google who will merge their services with android and create a more secure & stable environment for enterprise.

    part of the deal will include keeping the firms canadian roots, teams and integration of bb10 services into next years android build (post key lime pie)

    the astonishing tribe will work alongside matias and will strive to make android even more beautiful.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mxchris91 Chris Ruble

    I’d actually love to see Google buy RIM and turn that into the Nexus line. BlackBerry’s hardware is great, and Google wouldn’t have to worry about who’s going to manufacture their Nexus phones. Then they could really take a peice if Apple’s pie.

    • abc

      Did you forget Google owns Motorola, who also makes excellent hardware and radio antennas…better than RIM in my opinion. Google could easily just have their own company, Motorola, make all the Nexus devices if they really wanted to. But I have a feeling this might anger Samsung and HTC… and tarnish their loyalty to Android.

  • JulianZHuang

    hope it is not too late for them.

  • HellG

    I agree on most of what you have said but the last part..
    I believe that Amazon is hurting Android Eco system by changing so much in the system and to offer its own market as the main app/media market!
    So for Meizu that turned the beautiful ICS home screens into a “Sparkly” IOS like app drawer! and that’s it a polished app drawer, they used to make fake iPhones but taking a very good OS and turn it a fake iOS is really a shame, If RIM will take Android and change more than the layout and features (like all OEM’s but Amazon and Meizu are doing) then its really going to hurt it self more…

  • http://www.facebook.com/kam.w.siu Kam Siu

    i think it’s a win if they did go to Android. RIM could really give android a huge boost into the enterprise level. now how they differentiate themselves hardware wise from other android manufactures is going to be interesting.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cameron.schluchtner Cameron John Schluchtner

    blackberrys… running android wih an unlocked bootloader…… that would do well here

  • Jeffwx7

    RIM will be in Bankruptcy Court by 2013. RIM would have been wise to adopt Android and develop Apps that work exclusively on their phones which cater to their enterprise customers

  • http://twitter.com/KnowScott Scott Stafford

    FAIL

  • Eduardo Marines

    BlackBerry its not to late… Forget BB10, Android is the now and the future!

  • endinyal

    Had RIM gone Android, they would have folded even sooner.

  • CharlieTX

    And what a shame it was that they failed to recognize that their strength was not in their own proprietary OS, but in their unique understanding of the corporate email systems, their high security communications system and understanding how to integrate keyboards into a handheld device. Can you imagine how far along they would be today if they had adopted Android early on and ported their entire infrastructure to it?

  • Lennatron

    Bye bye RIM.

  • Brian S.

    Their Research definitely wasn’t in Motion when Android came by and easily over took their market. RIM didn’t even sort of kind of put up a fight.

    I am glad the world is watching this happen to a company right in the middle of what appears to have been a peak of capitalism.

  • Alu Zeros

    RIM is done, I personally think they will not be able to compete with google or apple, + now with throwing in microsoft with windows phone 8 into the circle. They have no ecosystem that can compete with these three. There going to end up like nokia forced to dump their os and join collaboration with one of these companies or sell.

  • mikedo2007

    If this is true, lt could be a beginning of a beautiful friendship between RIM and Google.