Two years ago, the folks at RIM may have been keeping an eye on the iPhone, but there was nothing else for them to worry about. Then came Google with its Android OS, and then came the Android smartphones, a trickle at first and then a flood. Today, Android phone sales lead the pack and iPhones are number two. But BlackBerry is clearly having a crisis moment.
In fact, RIM has just announced a shakeup that will cut its workforce by ten percent—2,000 people—and shake up management. It’s the follow-up to a June 16th announcement in which RIM said things were going to have to change.
This is potentially big news for corporate IT teams that have long supported BlackBerry as the one and only IT-approved smartphone for business use. Today users are demanding to use Android phones and iPhones for work. So as RIM flails and its future becomes more uncertain, IT has no choice but to begin to accommodate the demands of its phone-obsessed, 24/7 constituency. And the more that IT does just that, the more that RIM will suffer. Is BlackBerry on an unstoppable downward spiral, or will new management and new products make it competitive in the cut-throat smartphone market once again?