After two long outages this month, many believe that the end is drawing near for Research in Motion, maker of the BlackBerry.
But Is Research In Motion in trouble? Financially, RIM continues to be a healthy company, throwing off billions in profit each year. But if doesn't “think different” about its network strategy, its customers may think different about their choice of handset vendor, Jaquith argues.
Jaquith says that RIM should dismantle its proprietary centralized delivery network, something that has been a key strength for the company.
The BlackBerry was introduced in 1999 as a two-way pager on steroids. Back then, TCP/IP over GSM (and other networks) was just a pipe dream. RIM implemented a system by which all traffic is collected from the mobile networks of the sender, funneled through RIM servers and then routed back onto the recipient’s mobile networks and pushed to the handset.
By moving to a decentralized model for its BlackBerry network, (1) the Internet provides the routing and (2) centralized communications monitoring is much more difficult.
That is what Microsoft and Apple, in essence, do today because the devices connect directly to company servers [via commodity carrier networks] rather than through a single service provider.
Data plans that provide TCP/IP over wireless carrier networks are now ubiquitous, nullifying a key RIM advantage. Does BlackBerry need to rethink its network model to effectively compete moving forward?"
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