RIM Employee Details Company’s Problem in Open Letter

Blackberry Bold

It’s an open secret that RIM is increasingly losing grounds in the smartphone market. Its mobile platform lost 4.6 points in a three months average comparison (September to November 2010 and December to February 2011), having its share drop from a dominant 33.5 percent to 28.9 percent.

A “high-level RIM employee” knows exactly what went wrong. In an anonymous open letter, he pointed out that RIM lost focus on the two most important groups who determine the success of its product — users and developers.

“We often make product decisions based on strategic alignment, partner requests or even legal advice — the end-user doesn’t care,” he noted in his first point, citing end-user experience for the success of Apple’s products, which he describes as “user centric and (working) how they are supposed to work.”

His straightforward fourth point: “There is no polite way to say this, but it’s true — BlackBerry smartphone apps suck.”

In February, developer Jamie Murai ranted about his painful experience developing an app for the BlackBerry Playbook. Even a non-developer like myself feels his frustration after reading his revelations.  In the open letter, the author said “things haven’t really changed that much since Jamie Murai’s letter.”

On the marketing front, the author suggested it’s more important to create user desire than to market technical superiority, urging the RIM bosses to watch this video:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qp0HIF3SfI4&w=560&h=345]

Head over to BGR to read the full letter.

And here’s the link to RIM’s response, in case you’re interested in knowing the Waterloo company is “fully aware of and aggressively addressing both the company’s challenges and its opportunities,” how much money it has, how profitable, and how many smartphones it shipped last quarter.

Photo: johncatral