ThoughtPiece: The State of the US Market

Comments

Well, thoughtful readers, Verizon happens to operate their networks on a different technology – CDMA – than the GSM standard, which is by far and away the most popular in the world. We all know that RIM prefers to release the GSM versions of their equipment well before the CDMA versions. It makes sense: you first release the version that will have the largest possible market, and that means GSM.

However, the US market is a very lucrative and influential one, especially for RIM; and if you want to really play in the American market most effectively, more and more you need to have your best equipment out on Verizon. Many other manufacturers, such as Motorola, LG, and Palm, have taken to releasing many of their most cutting edge phones in a CDMA version either simultaneous with their GSM version, or in some cases, even before their GSM version.

I would be willing to bet that if RIM were to release the Pearl on Verizon’s network now, for instance, that it would fly off of the shelves. Arguably, RIM could sell more Pearls through Verizon than through T-Mobile, which has a subscriber base less than half that of Verizon. Verizon is also known for catering to the enterprise market and has a very strong reputation in that area. It will be interesting to see if RIM hastens the pace at which it brings CDMA versions of their phones to the market; to do so would only increase their sales and profits in a very significant way in the US market.

  • mistermix

    RIM isn’t the only GSM-heavy phone company – I do hope to see more CDMA blackberries, but let’s face it, there are a ton of cool GSM-only phones.

    Also, I wonder if it works both ways – that VZW isn’t that keen on RIM, and therefore doesn’t push RIM as hard on CDMA devices as, say, Moto. With Win devices, VZW doesn’t have to pay a per-subscriber fee for push email. I think VZW was hoping that the Q would be a blackberry-killer for consumer/small business (i.e., BIS not BES user).

  • mistermix

    RIM isn’t the only GSM-heavy phone company – I do hope to see more CDMA blackberries, but let’s face it, there are a ton of cool GSM-only phones.

    Also, I wonder if it works both ways – that VZW isn’t that keen on RIM, and therefore doesn’t push RIM as hard on CDMA devices as, say, Moto. With Win devices, VZW doesn’t have to pay a per-subscriber fee for push email. I think VZW was hoping that the Q would be a blackberry-killer for consumer/small business (i.e., BIS not BES user).

  • Thought

    mistermix: Some great comments.

    No doubt that Sony Ericcson, for instance, only releases on GSM.

    Your question regarding VZW and RIM is an interesting one. I certainly hope that VZW is not de-emphasizing BB’s due to the per subscriber fee. To me, that would not be a smart move, because VZW really caters to the enterprise segment. Plus, I believe that VZW only pays the fee to RIM if the client uses BIS…and not BES.

    Either way, I believe that for the good of the profits of both VZW and RIM, that RIM needs to release its CDMA versions at an accelerated pace.

  • Thought

    mistermix: Some great comments.

    No doubt that Sony Ericcson, for instance, only releases on GSM.

    Your question regarding VZW and RIM is an interesting one. I certainly hope that VZW is not de-emphasizing BB’s due to the per subscriber fee. To me, that would not be a smart move, because VZW really caters to the enterprise segment. Plus, I believe that VZW only pays the fee to RIM if the client uses BIS…and not BES.

    Either way, I believe that for the good of the profits of both VZW and RIM, that RIM needs to release its CDMA versions at an accelerated pace.