While Nokia's Symbian phones reigned supreme throughout most of the world, RIM's BlackBerry with it's integrated email services, was the unquestioned leader in the US.
Fast forward to the present day and you see both companies struggling. But where Nokia decided to ditch Symbian in favor of Microsoft's Windows Phone platform, RIM has continued down a very different path, which currently looks like a road to nowhere.
To say this year has been a disaster for RIM would be an understatement. BlackBerry began the year as the number one smartphone platform in the US, but was passed twice - first by Android and then by the iPhone.
Their much hyped PlayBook tablet appeared to be a minor hit with the market, but less than a month ago they were forced to write off nearly $500 million in unsold inventory.
But perhaps the biggest disaster of all, and likely the final nail in RIM's coffin, was their announcement last week that their next generation of devices, running the new BlackBerry 10 OS, would be delayed close to a year. With their market share dwindling and customers jumping ship to Android and the iPhone, the BlackBerry platform seems like a dead man walking.
You might think the news couldn't get any worse, but according to Boy Genius Report it's already worse than RIM executives are admitting. The official reason for the BlackBerry 10's delay was a component shortage, but according to an anonymous source from inside the company, that's a lie.
The real problem, he says, is that the OS isn't nearly ready. It's not ready to ship and, worst of all, it's not ready to compete with iOS or Android. In fact, he reportedly told BGR it doesn't even stack up against previous BlackBerry operating systems because it doesn't have a working BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) or email client.
If you look at RIM's corporate governance, it becomes easy to see how they could fall so far. The two men in charge of day to day operations, Co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis are also co-chairmen of the board of directors.
When you consider Balsillie has the additional emotional attachment of being a company founder it isn't surprising he would see the glass as half full. But at this point it looks like the glass is just broken.
Written by: Rich Fiscus @ 22 Dec 2011 14:08