BlackBerry devices don't need to try and out-pizazz the iPhone, or include more bells and whistles than a Nexus Prime. There is only so much you can do with the concept of a mobile OS and user interface. RIM needs to just focus on delivering a quality experience that is distinct from the competition and provides a compelling case for choosing BlackBerry.
Stick to smartphones...at least for now. The BlackBerry PlayBook is a flop, and pouring more money into pretending like it will eventually succeed won't change that.
I think it is a mistake for any company to pigeon-hole itself, so I don't fault RIM for trying. But, creating a tablet is just another me-too, too-little-too-late-for-too-much-money reaction to the competition out-innovating it.
RIM should be looking at the bigger picture of the value it brings to the market, and developing ways to raise the bar and deliver more value rather than thinking of itself as strictly a smartphone company, just not right now.
Get the train back on the tracks with the core products and services. Restore some respect and credibility to the BlackBerry brand. Once things have stabilized, then RIM can consider that bigger picture, but it should do so as a function of its own strengths, creativity, and innovation, and not just stumble about trying to copy what works for its rivals.
RIM is still a major force in mobile communications. Consumers, businesses, and government agencies around the world depend on BlackBerry. This is an opportunity for RIM to look in the mirror and get back in the game, or it could just be all the reason customers need to check out that new iPhone 4S.
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.