The line between consumer and enterprise is blurred and many of what RIM has been doing in recent years, reflects a shift in their market. RIM is now selling BlackBerry devices to consumers and enterprise alike. Now, 70 percent of new users are considered a consumer, and overall, consumers make up half of RIM’s user base.
The BlackBerry Pearl is the ultimate introductory smartphone and RIM will be continuing with the series as long as there are still users who have not been converted to the smartphone realm. The BlackBerry Pearl and Pearl Flip are the beginning of this introductory smartphone device roadmap, with a 3G BlackBerry in the pipes already. Although the Flip sold significantly less than other BlackBerry models such as the Curve 83xx, it is still in its infancy, and the device had enough demand to merit making the form factor.
In the coming years we will see more introductory smartphones from RIM to fill the many niches in the market. You will never love every device you see from RIM, but there will always be a device for you.
Here are some introductory devices you may or may not see from RIM:
- 3G BlackBerry Pearl (unofficially confirmed)
- BlackBerry Pearl Slider (we have seen the patents)
- BlackBerry Pearl Touch (RIM is on a streak of combining devices Pearl + Storm)
Personally, I would like to see the conversion rates of BlackBerry Pearl users who move up the smartphone chain to purchase either a Curve or a Bold. I suspect the Pearl does wonders for convincing users of the joys of smartphone ownership.