With smartphones poised to be the fastest growing handset segment, RIM is bound to face increased competition from Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), Nokia (NYSE:NOK), HTC (TPE:2498), Samsung (SEO:A009150), Motorola (NYSE:MOT), and other new entrants.
The increasing popularity of Apple’s iPhone and the rapid onslaught of Android-based smartphones will surely lead to their increased adoption in the corporate world, thus loosening RIM’s stronghold on the enterprise domain. This heat of competition is reflected in the >30% decline of RIM’s (NASDAQ: RIMM) stock value over the last 3 months.
To counter the increasing threat of competition, RIM should:
- Expand around core competency – Enterprise applications incl. email
- Focus on mid-tier smartphones especially, the sweet spot for high volumes, as smartphones ramp up to be a mass-market play i.e. establish price-point that is maintained at ½ to 2/3 of iPhone
- Expand into Emerging Markets (BRIC – Brazil, Russia, India, China) via enterprises, where GPRS/EDGE is still the norm and is adequate for Email/IM etc.
- Innovate around Email/SMS to make it user friendly (e.g. speech recognition)
- Improve user experience/productivity on critical (most commonly used) use-cases for mid-tier (mass-market) smartphones
- Human-machine (user) interface
- Fast Web Browsing
- Social Networking
- MP3/Video Playback
- Location-based Services (LBS)
- Innovate/customize for emerging markets that are pre-paid centric and retail centric as opposed to postpaid and operator-centric NA/EU/JPN/KOR markets (Email/SMS/IM, unlocked, dual-SIM)
- Develop managed mobile service delivery platform for enterprise services beyond email (enterprise applications, infomobility, mobile payments, telematics, mobile marketing)
- Maintain strong relationships with enterprise mobility managed service/infrastructure providers such as IBM (NYSE:IBM), Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO), Accenture (NYSE: ACN), Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL), SAP (NYSE: SAP), etc.
RIM is still a strong player and has considerable room for growth if it keeps a razor sharp focus on leveraging its core competencies into new markets within the enterprise and outside.
★★★ There’s more valuable insight on smartphones and new wireless frontiers at http://emblazeworld.com/ in the Resources section