updated 02:15 pm EDT, Mon May 18, 2009
RIM Dismisses Non Phones
Research in Motion's co-chief Jim Balsillie late last week said his company doesn't intend to expand beyond its familiar niche of BlackBerry smartphones. In an interview, the executive explained that netbooks or other, non-phone portable hardware is outside of RIM's focus and that non-phone PDAs, convertible tablet PCs and "other specialist devices" rarely gain traction. Cost, portability and networking are cited as too important to the success of a given device.
"These [alternative] devices don’t work," Balsillie said. "They’ve been down this path. At the end of the day what we’ve really found is that if they can do it on a BlackBerry that’s what they’ll want."
Although one of the most successful smartphone producers in the world with 7.8 million phones shipped just in its last quarter, RIM is facing opposition from companies that are less defined by their phone business or are willing to branch out. Apple also offers the iPod touch and is rumored to be developing a larger multi-touch tablet or netbook, while Nokia is exploring netbooks of its own.