Why RIM shouldn’t buy Palm (and what they should do)


Which leads to another point: RIM doesn’t need Palm. RIM is the market leader for mobile enterprise devices, partially because of their corporate philosophy; they know that enterprises tend to keep the same software over long periods of time, while device turnover is common. The Treo 700 is a very solid device (loved by even some within BlackBerry Cool HQ), but it will only be desirable until the next new device comes out. BlackBerrys, however, regardless of device spec, will always be palatable because of what they offer: secure push email. Why then would RIM abandon a successful strategy to merge with a company they have already surpassed in market and mindshare within the enterprise space?

While a Palm merger isn’t a good idea, however, partnering with another company or purchasing someone outright could still be beneficial to RIM. A lot of the reasons mentioned above for a merger with Palm still apply – RIM would do well to break into new markets and silence investor doubt. However, instead of looking towards the enterprise/PDA market, RIM should be developing some consumer level handset goals.

One of the main causes for investor doubt in RIM’s stock has been the recent release of the Motorola Q, which the mainstream media mistakenly believes is a competitor to the BlackBerry; it’s not. The Motorola Q is for people who love the RAZR and want email. BlackBerrys are for people who need email as well as some secondary handset functionality. Despite constant whispers, RIM to date has not yet released a true consumer level competitor to devices like the Motorola Q or the Sidekick 3 (as lovely as the 7130g is, it offers nothing in the way of multimedia options that consumers crave). Partnering with a company to produce a true consumer handset would expand their market share and strengthen their brand without distracting them from continued growth in the enterprise market. You only have to look as far as the iBerry to see how exciting such a partnership could be.