RIM will today be showing its game-changing BlackBerry 10 platform, but one analyst isn't sure that the new OS will be enough to save the struggling company. Jan Dawson, Chief Telecoms Analyst at Ovum, recently said the company faces "twin demons": consumer-driven buying power and a chronic inability to appeal to mature market consumers.
"There is nothing in what we've seen so far of BB10 that suggests it will conquer the second of these demons, and the first is utterly out of RIM's control," Dawson told Benzinga in an email. "We don't expect a speedy exit from the market; with no debt, 80 million subscribers and profitability in the black in at least some recent quarters, the company can continue in this vein for years. But its glory days are past, and it is only a matter of time before it reaches a natural end."
Last month in a blog on Ovum's website, Dawson said that RIM is too focused on building the best BlackBerry device for BlackBerry users instead of developing a platform that will win the hearts of Android, Windows Phone and iPhone users. RIM's recent announcement that BlackBerry World is stocked full of movies, TV shows, music and apps seem to claim otherwise.
"The points of differentiation RIM has focused on in teasers for the new platform confirm this – better multitasking, productivity, email, contacts and calendar applications and so on, rather than a better gaming, content consumption or social networking experience," he said.
Benzinga humorously points out that the mainstream media has been quick to praise RIM for its latest BlackBerry effort while dismissing whatever Apple has released over the last six months. Apple, the golden child of Wall Street, is no longer revered. But that could change: when things looked bad for Apple, investors were all too eager to dive into RIM. Now those investors are getting cold feet, nervously waiting to see what RIM has in store with BlackBerry 10.
The big test for RIM will be the aftermath of the initial launch rush. If BlackBerry 10 devices are still selling like hotcakes after the first few months, then RIM has succeeded in securing its future.