Win or lose, at least RIM is taking its time to get things right

RIM might not save itself with BlackBerry 10 but at least the company can go down with dignity

Research in Motion has been a pretty easy company to bash in recent years (I've done my fair share of it myself), but the initial reports I've read about this year's BlackBerry World conference leave me optimistic that RIM's next line of products will at the very least be of the high quality that used to be its calling card.

What am I talking about, you ask?  Well, I've been pretty encouraged by new RIM CEO Thorsten Heins' proclamations that the company is in no hurry to ship out new BlackBerry 10 smartphones until the company is good and sure that they provide a strong user experience.  Here's some more from CNET's Maggie Reardon:

RIM's new CEO Thorsten Heins said he understands that the market is anxious to get its hands on BlackBerry 10 devices. But he said the company is taking its time to make sure it is getting the software and the hardware just right. He didn't give any indication when the new devices will hit the market. But some rumors peg the launch as early as August of this year, while others say it could be October. [...]

What's more, he indicated that the new BlackBerry devices will be using fully baked software. This was a problem with the launch of the BlackBerry PlayBook table a year ago. When the device launched, the software was still nearly in beta testing. Few apps existed and the software was buggy.

As I've said in the past, the worst thing a company can do is to simply be reactive to whatever shiny new device Apple happens to be coming out with.  RIM did this with its first touchscreen device, the BlackBerry Storm, and it certainly did this with the aforementioned PlayBook.  That's not to say that companies should just ignore what their competitors are up to or what trends are developing in the market, but rather a company should never, under any circumstances, rush out a second-rate version of a popular device that will tarnish its reputation for quality.  

Heins also seems to understand that BlackBerry 10 is RIM's last real shot at regaining some market share in the smartphone space since the company hasn't released a bonafide hit device for years.  If RIM can't get the newest version of BlackBerry right, the company will likely be relegated in the future to providing enterprise support for iPhones and Android devices, so it's vitally important for the company to succeed in producing quality smartphone software over the next year.  

Of course, even if RIM does deliver truly great devices over the next year, there's no guarantee the company will be rewarded with financial success.  But at the very least, company will be able to say that it went down swinging.

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