While Google and Apple continue to do laps around RIM in US and European markets, the company behind the Blackberry is shifting its focused to developing markets.
RIM recently released a low-budget Blackberry in India that is expected to be made available across Asia soon. While the Blackberry is the bare bones of the smartphones we are accustomed to, running on 2G with a only a two-megapixel camera for the retail price of $215, it is notably less expensive than the $400 or $500 retail price of most smartphones in the US.
With RIM continuing to lose ground in the US market, I’m intrigued with the firm’s new focus. Is RIM accepting defeat and solely seeking to conquer other markets? Or, is the company simply going down this path for the short term until it can regain some of its market share in the US and Europe with its upcoming Blackberry X generation? Unfortunately for RIM, the former seems more likely to me as I think Blackberry’s hay-day in the US is over.
RIM’s new strategy may be profitable in the short term, but I question the long term sustainability of it. As the economies continue to develop in Asia, consumers aren’t going to be satisfied with a low grade smartphones for long and they will look to upgrade more sophisticated Apple and Google devices.
What do you think of RIM’s new approach? Is this another misstep for the company? Or, a move in the right direction?