With RIM about to unveil their latest Blackberry tomorrow (sporting OS 6), all eyes will be on the smartphone king to see if it can produce a worthy adversary to iPhone 4 and a slew of Android devices.
Although the upcoming Blackberry lacks the ability to make video phone calls (something even Microsoft is adding to its Windows 7 Phone), there is still hope for the Canadian phone company in its quest to retain its dominance (at least in the corporate sector).
While RIM would be smart to continue to innovate in the hardware arena in order to make its phone more attractive (i.e. screen resolution), there are actually 6 ways Blackberry could easily improve its BB device in order to prevent the company from being eclipsed by Apple or Android.
Wifi Hot Spotting
The fact that Android enabled phones come with the ability to create WiFi hot spots on the fly has already convince many of my iHating friends to avoid the iPhone.
Adding this feature to the Blackberry would give RIM leverage over the iDevice, and would also make it attractive to corporate employees on the go (since they could easily hook up their laptops minus the tethering cables).
No More App World MIA’s!
The fact that many BB users that I encounter have no idea how to find (let alone install) a Blackberry app due to the fact that App World is not installed is embarrassing.
All the major mobile OS players (Apple, Palm, Google, etc.) make sure their app stores are pre-installed on their respective devices. RIM should too.
End $2.99 Floor Pricing
If RIM wants to compete in the app space with Apple, then they need to stop artificially inflating their apps with a minimum price floor and instead embrace “the dollar menu.”
By allowing applications to sell for a dollar RIM would encourage more Blackberry fans to actually buy premium apps. More apps sold equals more developers building for BB, which in turn will help RIM retain Blackberry users.
Blackberry vs iPhone Commercials
After Apple’s Antennagate, the Cupertino giant began promoting the idea that Blackberry’s also suffer from the death grip.
RIM’s response to Apple’s charges was “rather corporate,” but what the company needs to do is challenge Apple via “I’m a Blackberry, and I’m an iPhone” commercials.
RIM could easily challenge the iPhone by noting how secure its signal is compared to rivals (hint: RIM shouldÂ use the UAE story to their advantage) as well as boast about how you can use the Blackberry without a phone case (something that would infuriate Apple).
Poaching iOS Developers
However RIM should actively go after iOS developers within Apple’s productivity, travel, navigation, business and finance categories, as those types of applications would naturally appeal to BB’s business users.
RIM should probably give them an incentive to develop for BB however (perhaps devs keep 100% of the sale the first 30 days live) since many developers have limited resources to create apps on multiple platforms.
Recruit Rejected iPhone Apps
RIM should quickly reach out to every developer who has been rejected by Apple (within reason of course) and convince them to create a premium app upon Blackberry App World.
This would not only generate positive buzz in the geek-o-sphere (which would help RIM compete against the iFan bloggers) but also help boost their anemic app numbers.
Example: Blackberry should reach out to all of the Google Voice developers spurned by Apple, some who are already attempting to pay the bills via Cydnia (an app store for jail broken iPhones).
Despite the doom and gloom often given towards RIM by tech blogs, there are probably dozens of other things RIM could do in order to fend off the iTsunami and the Phandroid menace.
Regardless of where yourÂ allegianceÂ lies (note: this author is an iLover with many BB friends), are there any other ways RIM can get its groove back? Feel free to share your ideas in the comment section below!