Tuesday, August 3, 2010

What RIM Will Need To Do To Sell The 'BlackPad'

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Research In Motion, Canada's smartphone pioneer and current market leader showing that they are not going to let Apple eat their lunch, is launching a new version of their operating system and launching new models of blackberries, and according to recent rumours preparing a tablet computer similar to the iPad.  Already dubbed the 'BlackPad' the tablet from RIM will have a challenge ahead of it going head to head against Apple's iPad.  The tablet market is pretty young which will make it easy for a RIM tablet to get a foothold with both businesses and consumers.  There's a few things RIM can do to make the 'BlackPad' tablet a hit.

1. Price it below the competitor: While the iPad is the current tablet that is the hot gadget, it takes at least 550 dollars just to buy one.  If RIM can get the price down under 400 dollars then that's what it could take to get consumers to rethink getting an iPad. In order to be a successful competitor to the iPad, the Blackpad will have to be the first competitor to the iPad.  There are already are tablets running Google's Android operating system on the way to the market and their manufacturers will undercut the iPad, RIM will need to get in fast and inexpensive.

2. Embrace CDMA: Even though many consider CDMA to be a technology that has one foot in the grave, since Canada will only have cell carrier, MTS that will be CDMA only by the end of 2010. Stateside both Verizon and Sprint will be at least two years away from widespread deployments of their 4G technologies.  Their combined base of 120 million subscribers have been green with Apple envy since the launch of the original iPhone.  Being able to use a RIM tablet with the 3G service they already subscribe to makes the iPad less attractive to subscribers on Verizon or Sprint.

3. Do Flash:  Apple's well known cat fight with Adobe over flash has left users of iPads, iPhones and iPod touches unable to use features on most web sites.  If the 'BlackPad' does flash then that opens up all the videos on YouTube, all the shows on Hulu and just about every video and animation on  the web. 

4. Don't forget the corporate world:  Blackberry has enjoyed a stranglehold in the corporate world, while the stranglehold has eroded somewhat since the introducion of the iPhone RIM can still use that stranglehold to sell the 'BlackPad' Features to make the Blackpad attractive to corporate users just have to be there.

Despite the popularity of the iPad, Research In Motion can and will find their place in the tablet market because of it's small size.  The tablet market will be open to all players large and small.  Apple was first RIM is coming in next.

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