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Day June 27, 2011

The iPhone at four; growing up or just growing?

Ever since the iPhone launched four years ago (to the day), the question on everyone’s mind has been: When will Apple expand the portfolio to reach into all market segments? I remember thinking in 2007 whether it would be in six months or a year that they would create a “mini”, “nano” and “classic” line-up which served them so well with the iPod.

Apple however took a different approach. To their credit, they focused on the platform and built a consistent experience around a fixed screen size to nurture an ecosystem. They also improved the power of the device so that experience would improve to be better and more robust. In other words, they treated every iPhone as not being good enough, needful of every megahertz of power, every pixel of screen and every minute of battery life. They polished the OS constantly and added APIs by the thousands.

In other words, they acted like a computer software company, not like a “device vendor” or like a handset manufacturer which was everyone’s (including mine) frame of reference.

Capital.bg | Nobody wants to buy RIM

Технологии и наука | Хорацио Дедиу: Никой не иска да купи Research In Motion RIM – Капитал.

My thanks again to Andrian Georgiev for interview questions [Bulgarian] related to RIM. My answers to his questions (in English) are below:

Q: What should RIM do to reinvent itself? Should it stray from its business-oriented image?

RIM had begun to move away from a business image already in 2005 or so when it started its “Pearl” brand and a consumer-oriented strategy. The company probably foresaw that business customers would not be enough to maintain the growth they had become accustomed to. The strategy has led to a growing popularity in Latin America and other regions like the Middle East where the product is used as a low-cost alternative to SMS for avid texters. Even in the US, many teenagers use Blackberries instead of iPhones because they can use it for the BBM service (at a lower cost). I believe that it is not coincidence that iMessage was launched.

The company’s salvation is not in branching into new markets but in establishing a credible platform. When Nokia announced that they would be the “third option” after the iPhone and Android ecosystems, they did not even mention the Blackberry. The fact that Blackberry is not seen as an ecosystem is the root of the problem.

Q: How should RIM accelerate the introduction of QNX?