How The Mighty Have Fallen: Who’s next?

Posted on Apr/02/2012 by
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Today Forbes.com writer Adam Thierer wrote a great story about the new faces of the mobile industry who have shown up and how easily they have started to replace the old faces. I’ll cover some of the ideas from that article and give my take.
5-7 years ago, Google was a search engine. Apple was a computer company. RIM/BlackBerry was the world leader in smartphones. Palm was right behind them. BlackBerry’s were known as mobile computers. At this point, email was the main concern. Could you compose emails and organize them with no trouble? Absolutely! BlackBerry became the businessman’s dream.
Had anyone said that another company was going to swoop in and take their market share, especially a company that had no standings in the mobile market, would have been thoroughly laughed at.

Here we are. It is 2012 and in 5 short years the proverbial tables have been emphatically turned.
Why? Everyone has their own opinion on that, but many are chalking it up to the fact that some companies (namely the ones on top) saw the need for innovation and proceeded to innovate the tar out of the mobile industry. Others seemed to stay a bit more complacent.

There are a lot of folks out there bashing BlackBerry for falling behind, and I won’t be one of them today. RIM had and still has for many people in business, the best solution for the modern businessman/woman. There are still some things about BlackBerry devices that have Apple and Google beat. However, someone has to be first to the finish line with innovation, and RIM just wasn’t that company this time.

BlackBerry lover or not, the numbers aren’t really lying right now.
Nevertheless, here was Adam’s point in the article on Forbes.com: look how easy that was!
In 5 years, we have totally washed away our thoughts on mobile devices and replaced them with something different. In 2017 what will we think? Are we still going to be raging the Android vs. Apple war? As fast as this industry moves, probably not. Maybe they will be the ones getting rid of CEO’s and cleaning house trying to keep up with next upstart taking their crown.

So let’s not be so harsh on RIM. They were the king for a while, maybe a few lifetimes in the mobile industry, but let’s not call anyone invincible just yet.

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