Uncommon Wisdom

May 3 2011   12:51PM GMT

RIM’s hard lesson: Differentiate or die

Tom Nolle Tom Nolle Profile: Tom Nolle

RIM’s earnings statement speaks volumes. It’s not a surprise that RIM disappointed; it has been forced to accept much lower margins and has lost market share to every smartphone option out there.

This is a classic story of how not being innovative will hurt you, perhaps fatally. The iPhone caught everyone by surprise, to be sure, but it should have generated a fast and insightful feature-differentiated response.

There was at least a year when RIM could have cemented its franchise with the enterprise and then built into the consumer space. RIM worried instead about first trying to enter the consumer market, and in that period, Apple made the iPhone more competitive in the enterprise. Then we had the iPad, which even in its first release was light-years ahead of the PlayBook. Moral: Differentiate or die.

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