What does the Q mean for RIM?

Comments

Well, it’s finally happened. The Motorola Q has a firm release date, and it’s coming out so soon that consumers and tech junkies alike can almost smell it. We thought now would be a good time to take a hard look at how big of a competitor Motorola’s sleek PDA will be for RIM.

On the enterprise side of BlackBerry sales, RIM has nothing to fear from the Q. As nice as it is to run Windows on your Q through Windows Mobile 5.0 (although some would argue even that), RIM’s bread and butter lies in the security and flexibility offered to business through its BlackBerry Enterprise Server, which is superior to the Microsoft Enterprise Server solution available to Q users. Enterprises who deal with high-security information (and what information isn’t nowadays?) will also not choose to give their employees a device with a digital camera and Bluetooth connectivity.

The real blow that the Q could strike to RIM will be in markets they’re looking to expand into. It’s no secret that RIM is readying a consumer-centric BlackBerry, with (hopefully) many of the wiz-bang multimedia features of the Q. However, as strong a brand as the BlackBerry is, it’s not a cool brand. Well, it can be cool (otherwise we’d have to change the name of our website), but only to the Apprentice/West Wing crowd: business professionals and government workers (let’s not even get started about those crazy stock market guys).

Motorola’s RAZR brand, on the other side of the mobile coin, is cool – to practically everyone. It’s the iPod of cell phones (sorry, ROKR) and Motorola will parlay their hip image branding onto the Q (its nickname is the RAZRberry for a reason). Everyone who likes the RAZR, but wants a little more from their smartphone (like say, better multimedia features and a full QWERTY keyboard for instance) is going to eat the Q up. Paris Hilton and Dave Chapelle are going to have one the first week it’s out, guaranteed (probably shipped to them gratis, if Motorola is smart). While this probably doesn’t mean much to the fine readers of BlackBerry Cool, it does mean something to John Q. Public and teenagers with hefty disposable incomes.

Aesthetics and functionality will also play a factor in the average consumer’s choice of the Q over the BlackBerry. No matter how RIM’s new device stacks up to the Q in terms of hardware (all indications point towards them being on at least equal footing), there is no possible way it will look as slick as Motorola’s offering (although we have to give RIM credit: the 8700 BlackBerry is a big step in the right direction). In contrast to the enterprise market, casual consumers will far more disposed towards using Windows Mobile (something that they’re essentially already familiar with) than RIM’s oftentimes counterintuitive OS. Factor in a similar price point and it’s no contest who wins this battle.

While it’s unclear how big of a focus RIM’s ‘lifestyle’ line will be in their future plans, it is certain that they’re in for a tough battle either way against the Motorola Q.

  • Dan

    I agree with you here.. It’s almost as if Blackberry needs to hire a publicist and place a few more devices in a couple of movies. I must admit half the reason I bought a Blackberry was because everyone else was using them. Once I got one though, I really loved it and am now addicted.

    The only thing that RIM has going for it with its blackberry range is the fact that the Q is not a way of life. Certainly around here (Australia) if you have a blackberry it’s almost like “Oh, you’re one of them” it’s somewhat of a community. Blackberry is unique in every sense, everything from the devices to the software is “in-house” for RIM..

    Don’t underestimate the OC/Entourage crowd, I think they still feel Blackberry is way cooler than another moto that will probably be replaced in four months with something slimmer and with better specs… and don’t even get me started on the problems people are going to have with devices..

    One thing I’ve noticed is that RIM doesn’t bring out a device until they know it’ll work – they have too many “West Wing” users who will not even THINK about using a device if it shows any sign of not working.

    Blackberry isn’t just a device choice, it’s a brand choice and once you go black, you never go back.

  • Dan

    I agree with you here.. It’s almost as if Blackberry needs to hire a publicist and place a few more devices in a couple of movies. I must admit half the reason I bought a Blackberry was because everyone else was using them. Once I got one though, I really loved it and am now addicted.

    The only thing that RIM has going for it with its blackberry range is the fact that the Q is not a way of life. Certainly around here (Australia) if you have a blackberry it’s almost like “Oh, you’re one of them” it’s somewhat of a community. Blackberry is unique in every sense, everything from the devices to the software is “in-house” for RIM..

    Don’t underestimate the OC/Entourage crowd, I think they still feel Blackberry is way cooler than another moto that will probably be replaced in four months with something slimmer and with better specs… and don’t even get me started on the problems people are going to have with devices..

    One thing I’ve noticed is that RIM doesn’t bring out a device until they know it’ll work – they have too many “West Wing” users who will not even THINK about using a device if it shows any sign of not working.

    Blackberry isn’t just a device choice, it’s a brand choice and once you go black, you never go back.

  • http://www.student-games.com/ Joe

    best online games http://www.student-games.com

  • http://www.student-games.com Joe

    best online games http://www.student-games.com