Who Still Uses RIM Products?

RIM (Research In Motion) has had a rough couple of years. A company that once boasted stock above 130 is now struggling to keep its stock from dipping below 5. Its almost legendary smartphones, once used as a verb to describe smartphones in general, are now almost forgotten by the general market. The company’s future now depends on a successful launch of BlackBerry 10, and it’s going as far as to bribe developers with $10,000 for a successful app.

Who Still Uses RIM Products?

In Q2 of 2012, RIM’s BlackBerry product line had a 4.8% market share in the global smartphone market. That’s a 40.9% decrease in units sold from the previous year. Granted, that’s a higher percentage than Windows Phone 7 (3.5%), but that platform has grown by 115% in the past year, and continues to grow going into Windows Phone 8. (Source: IDC)

So, by the numbers, RIM isn’t looking very well. That said, BlackBerry 10 is shaping up to be a fairly good update to the aging OS. RIM’s devices are still used in the corporate world, and the international following of RIM hasn’t dropped off as steeply as it has here in the US. It’s possible that RIM could revitalize its product line and make a comeback. Stranger things have happened. Even Apple was once on the brink of shutting its doors before the return of Steve Jobs and some pretty heavy investment from Microsoft.

Speaking of Microsoft, Windows Phone 7 didn’t exactly take off and shake the cages of Android and iOS. It did marginally at best, and it would appear that Windows Phone 8 is better positioned for success than its predecessor. Until everything is said and done, it’s up in the air as to where either company is going to sit in the smartphone market by this time in 2013.

RIM’s $10,000 Developer Bribe

One bit of news that caught my eye this week surrounds RIM’s decision to offer $10,000 to any developer who crosses the $1,000 gross sales benchmark for a single app. Essentially, if you develop an app that generates $1,000 in revenue, you’ve earned yourself an extra $10,000. This includes in-app purchases.

That’s a pretty good payday for a developer, but what are the chances of making that much in a smaller market? You may not be as hard to find within a limited developer pool, but the customers have to be there to buy your product. Still, if a few weekends of effort have the potential of paying off eleven-fold, it might be a good investment of time.

How desperate is RIM for developers that it’s willing to bribe them to that level to bring them into the fold? One might argue that this is a brilliant strategy on the part of RIM. It encourages app developers to concentrate on its platform and advertise their apps for BlackBerry devices. One shouldn’t underestimate the power of developer advertising. They are marketing their apps hard, and every time a potential customer sees the BlackBerry logo, it strengthens the ecosystem as a whole. Think about it: Do you think those “Available on the iTunes App Store” buttons don’t encourage people (at least at some level) to consider buying an iPhone?

Either way, RIM needs a home run with this edition of BlackBerry. There are still those faithful users who prefer BlackBerry devices over any other. I know a few of them, and even they (as loyal as they are) are currently considering making the switch to either Android or iOS.

Are you still a BlackBerry user? Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts on BlackBerry 10.

Image: Google

Article Written by

Ryan Matthew Pierson has worked as a broadcaster, writer, and producer for media outlets ranging from local radio stations to internationally syndicated programs. His experience includes every aspect of media production. He has over a decade of experience in terrestrial radio, Internet multimedia, and commercial video production.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Camille-De-Bastiani/100000562071666 Camille De Bastiani

    People still uses RIM products. But they don’t buy RIM products. And making a new phone every single month doesn’t mean that a 3 or 4 years old phone is obsolete. I use a Palm Pré since 2009 and I have no reason to change it.

  • Sheldo

    I have do agree with Camille, i still use a blackberry (torch 9810) for my business just because of the email client and small editing with excell on the fly. I have to point out that i also have an samsung galaxy s2 lte for personal use, i could not see myself using only a blackberry or a samsung galaxy s2 lte, but if you have the need to have two phones i would strongly recommend to say that one of them should be an blackberry.

  • Harry Martin

    I don`t think that RIM has innovated enough to keep up with their competitors. I feel it maybe too late to revive RIM with blackberry 10. The new OS would have to be revolutionary on great phones to save the company

    • Simon

      You’ve obviously never seen the OS

  • AVPTI

    A growing subscriber base, yet no users? 60 million people using BBM. 92% of Fortune 500 companies using BlackBerry servers. President Obama using BlackBerry…still seems people use BlackBerry. Nice try though.

    • https://plus.google.com/112301869379652563135/posts Ryan Matthew Pierson

      I’m looking at market share here. Sales translate to income for RIM. If RIM is operating at a loss, or otherwise experiencing a loss of sales, then there’s an issue. As for Obama, he can’t exactly use an iPhone or Android device in stock form. He had to have a specially-designed Blackberry assigned to him. He also took office almost four years ago, which is hardly an indicator of current trends.

  • Simon

    I’m sorry Ryan, but BlackBerry 10 is not just an “update to the aging OS”. Please try learning something about the product. IT IS A BRAND NEW OS. It has NOTHING at all to do with, or has any part of, the old BBOS [in it].
    I also think you’ll find that RIM have said that if a developer makes $1000 in a year from their app, they’ll increase that to $10,000, not add on an additional $10K
    As for the numbers you noted, you didn’t seem to acknowledge that a part of the lower overall percentage of the market is that the market has grown (not just that RIM has lost market share), which does go in some way to explain the numbers. You also seem to have forgotten to mention that actual BlackBerry subscriber numbers have increased by … well lets say “a lot” over the past year, despite not releasing any new hardware. Therefore, despite their overal market share decreasing, their customer number have increased.
    I think that maybe their future may just not be as dark as you seem to be trying to put accross.

    • https://plus.google.com/112301869379652563135/posts Ryan Matthew Pierson

      You’re misunderstanding my words. Please take a moment to consider what update means in context. Windows 95 was an update to Windows 3.11. Windows 8 is an update to Windows 7 which was an update to Windows Vista. It’s not a matter of code base here. If RIM is going to continue to brand the OS with the same name and add a number at the end of it, then it’s an update regardless of how much code was replaced in the process.

  • http://twitter.com/Ewakil12 Elia Elias W 

    I do! and I love my BlackBerry Bold 9900 and my PlayBook! I’m looking forward to BlackBerry 10. Get over it!

  • http://crackberry.com/ Bla1ze

    Sorry Ryan, you spewed a lot of negative numbers there but masterfully avoided the positive ones. RIM, no doubt, has their issues but you’ve placed yourself among the people who seem to of have written them off already and more than ever that’s showing to be a bad side.

    They’ve been making huge changes within and they’re no longer resting. As for what folks have seen of BlackBerry 10 thus far, it’s only been what RIM wants you to see — there is plenty more in store for BlackBerry 10 ready for when the time comes.

    • https://plus.google.com/112301869379652563135/posts Ryan Matthew Pierson

      I saw your comments in the CrackBerry (name of the forum, not me just saying it to be rude) forums and I can see where you’re coming from. Let me first state my initial title was very different from this one, which sets a negative tone for the article. I’d like to know the positive numbers, because there isn’t much else to go on other than market share. If Blackberry is falling short there, I haven’t seen any positive numbers to show that RIM’s product offerings are jumping.

      Written them off? Hardly. I said that BB10 needs to be a home run. That’s true for any mobile OS in the face of Android and iOS. Palm didn’t hit a home run with its renewed Palm lineup and look where it is. WebOS has been struggling.

      I tried not to be negative, and I certainly didn’t write RIM off. I said, very clearly, that BB10 needs to deliver. If it doesn’t, then RIM (the company that recently announced it was operating at a loss) is in big trouble.

  • esk369.

    You are a complete tool.
    Rim is bribing developers is that a joke?
    I’m sure there is no bribery or payola in your industry have you ever considered being unbiased and objective in your journalism or do you just cater to other Mobil platform fanboiz or whomever your master is go back to terrestrial radio I’m sure you would do a great job pressing the fart button on a morning zoo style radio show because as a journalist you suc.
    If for no other reason I hope bbx is a huge success just to be able to rub in your face.
    Btw I hope rim sues you for slander for the bribery accusation nothing would make me happier.
    I wonder do you pray for rim to fail every night before you go to sleep?
    U R A TOOL.

    • https://plus.google.com/112301869379652563135/posts Ryan Matthew Pierson

      And you take the word bribe a bit too literally. Blackberry is offering incentives to draw app developers to BB10. It makes sense. As for your accusations of bias… I’m not being paid by anyone to take sides, and this certainly wasn’t a journalistic piece. It’s an op/ed piece written on a tech blog.

  • Bill Kraski

    Looking at your background, you SHOULD know the value of fully researching your subject matter. I really don’t have the time to do it for you. But I’m looking forward to a followup article with all the corrections this one needs. In the meantime, I’m one of those who RIM gained in the last two years because of security and usability.

    • https://plus.google.com/112301869379652563135/posts Ryan Matthew Pierson

      I gave an opinion. While a lot of people are willing to tell me I’m wrong, I’m looking for the hard facts that state I’m wrong in saying that BB10 needs to be a success for RIM to stay in the game as a top contender. The company is in trouble, and it’s said as much throughout the year. Please show me the gains, and how that translates to sales for RIM. Is RIM suddenly making huge profits I wasn’t aware of?

  • DCA

    I have seen my friends using their iPhone with the broken glass. My children still use my “old” Blackberries. Even the Pearl is still working great. So RIM only managed a 50% growth in users while the smartphone ‘market’ grew by more. Ever looked at Mercedes, BMW and Audi world shares compared to Ford, Toyota, Kia…? Strangely I never hear anyone harping about the coming demise of BMW. I am sure that as the middle class in India and China grows they are catastrophically losing market share. Speaking of India, they tried to ban the BB but not the iPhone. The reason was that they did not feel they could intercept communications on them. As a business person involved in negotiation with the Indian government I will switch to the iPhone on the day the Indian government tries to ban them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sherman.deforest Sherman DeForest

    My BB is tool. It is not as flashy as an iPhone, but it gets the job done. I will wait for the reviews to decide if my next phone is another BB or if I will switch to Android. We first purchased BB’s because they mesh with Outlook nicely. That is still a nice feature.

  • Spyderbite

    I would still be rolling with a Berry if the availability of apps hadn’t all but dried up and vanished. So, 3 years ago I reluctantly powered down my Tour so the Verizon rep could switch the ESN on for my new iPhone. For about a month I was very careful about letting people seeing me use my iPhone for fear that a Blackberry user would see me and my iToy.

    Flash forward to present day. I’m putting on a “blue shirt” and go to work to repair people’s iPhones. And I’m on my 3rd iPhone, have 3 iPads and a MacBook Pro at home.

    I was sucked into the Apple ecosystem quickly. And, ironically I paid for most of my Apple toys with dividends from my ESPP after a 17 year career at Microsoft. ^^

  • PML63

    RIM nearly added 5 million users in the last 90 days. BlackBerry is just fine and no it will never be a toy like the iPhone you carry and which you get paid to promote. BlackBerry is simply the best mobile communication device available to serious users who care about signal quality, productivity and security. Let’s see how well your iPhone does when it gets hit by a worldwide attach on iOS as the latter has no doubt become a major target for the fine folks who love to create havoc. I am guessing that RIM will eadge towards 15 million users by the end of 2013.