This past week in San Francisco I had the pleasure to attend the Open Mobile Summit held at the Marriott Marquis. This year marked the largest Open Mobile Summit with over 650 attendees from across the mobile industry. Google, Verizon, Sprint, Foursquare, LinkedIn, Yahoo, Samsung, Motorola, and RIM were among the speakers and panelists discussing all things mobile.
Topics that dominated discussion included 4G, mobile advertising, tablets, applications, and monetization strategies. In an effort to show some Silicon Valley presence RIM’s Tyler Lessard, VP Developer Relations and Global Alliances, attended the summit and spoke to the crowd about the virtues of BlackBerry and where it’s going. Lessard spoke about the new tablet and how it will come “enterprise ready” so that existing RIM enterprise clients will be able to immediately adopt the solutions into their businesses.
Based on discussions, the major advantage of the PlayBook is going to be that it doesn’t require any additional plans from a mobile operator. Additional plans tend to be very costly to the user in the long-run. The biggest disadvantage facing the PlayBook is timing, iPad is available and the Samsung Galaxy Tab has just launched. Missing the holiday season is regrettable but it’s better to have a quality product at launch versus something that is not ready.
Adam Nash, VP of Platforms and Mobile at LinkedIn, mentioned the tremendous success of LinkedIn for BlackBerry, particularly the feature to view LinkedIn profiles before a meeting directly from the Calendar. Tyler Lessard also mentioned LinkedIn as a successful BlackBerry app that leverages the inbox to stay in the foreground without being intrusive.
From a BlackBerry perspective, Silicon Valley isn’t paying RIM devices and technology the respect they deserve. BlackBerry is the #1 smartphone in North America and, while Apple and Android OS devices are gaining share, it continues its strong growth. The majority of valley developers, investors, and media continually focus on iPhone and Android as the platforms of today and the future with RIM as an after-thought. While RIM’s developer ecosystem, consumer reputation, and user-experience may not be as polished as Apple’s, the opportunity for growth remains tremendous and RIM should continue to show presence at every possible conference and event in Silicon Valley.
Stay tuned as I’ll be covering more on RIM in San Francisco and the Valley for BlackBerryCool.com.