Feb 24, 2012

What does Netflix's decision to ignore Blackberry tell us about RIM's future?

I may be reading too much into this, but Netflix isn't going to release an app for the Blackberry, which seems to be suggest a company that has spent much more time than I have analyzing RIM has a dark view of the company's future. Keep in mind that Netflix hasn't seen many devices that it doesn't like; it is on everything from Android devices to Sony Vita to Nintendo 3DS to laptops, and so on. Off the top of my head, I can name 5 different devices on the first floor of my house that have Netflix on them. Is the rejection of the BB by Netflix a bit of a canary in a coal mine, or am I just too used to being able to watch Firefly and Downton Abbey on pretty much any device that I find in my hand?

As noted, Netflix is available on almost any device you purchase these days, so they really must see a very limited market for viewers with Blackberries. Part of that may well be the strong focus on enterprise users by RIM. Not too many companies are likely to be clamoring for streaming movies on the devices they provide their employees. I suppose that is also true for the Playbook, even though, as a tablet, it seems a logical match for Netflix.

Much of BBs popularity is outside of the US, where Netflix has almost no presence, so simple numbers of units in Netflix's market surely paid a role in the decision, and compared with iPhones, Androids, etc, that number is pretty low. RIM must bring something compelling to the table other than a native email service to drive sales in the future, or this will be a cyclical thing - lack of appealing apps because of low sales, low sales because of lack of appealing apps.
It seems pretty clear that they think RIM is doomed, and they're probably right. Let's face it, do you know anybody who talks about their Blackberry these days? I don't. It's either iPhone or Android devices that most people are using.

RIM missed the boat, and it missed it big time. First Apple nailed them with the iPhone and then Google smacked them upside the head with Android. Why would anybody bother with a Blackberry at this point?

RIM's future is grim.
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