RIM has had a pretty rough time of it lately. After a few ho-hum product releases and the wide proliferation of powerful smartphones from Apple, HTC, Motorola, and Samsung, analysts were getting pessimistic about the future of the stalwart Blackberry brand. What used to be the pinnacle of mobile messaging devices was now becoming the wannabe. Fortunately for RIM, the market seems to disagree with that sentiment. In Q2 of the fiscal year, according to MarketWatch, RIM reported a 31% increase in revenues compared to last year and sold a record-breaking 12.1 million devices.
At first glance, the release of the Blackberry Torch would seem like the obvious culprit for the company’s impressive growth. However, the tech world was pretty nonplussed by the release, citing an overall lack of power and screen quality as major flaws in the device. While the new OS has received generally positive reviews, it was seen as positive relative to the previous versions, and not looked at as even in the same ballpark as operating systems of the competition, Apple and Google. RIM’s previous blockbuster release, the similarly touchable Blackberry Storm, also suffered from lack of critical acclaim, and this shows that the reported growth is likely coming from the consumer sector at all.
Blackberry has always found a home in the corporate world. With unmatched centralized mobile device management via Blackberry Enterprise Server, long shelf (or pocket) life, and robust email and messaging functionality, Blackberry has been the choice of IT staff for years. Until the competition can come up with a better alternative to BES for centralized management, RIM will always have this important market in their pocket. It’s becoming steadily more popular to allow employees to use their own devices instead of corporate assets, leveraging technologies like ActiveSync to allow third-party devices to connect to Exchange email servers. While this is becoming more popular, this won’t be a problem for RIM for at least another few years. As long as they can hold on to their corporate dominance, RIM should do just fine.