The upcoming release of the BlackBerry Pearl will be Research in Motion’s first true step away from its core corporate business BlackBerry user base. Cingular came out with their BlackBerry Personal Plan that gives BlackBerry users not connecting to a BlackBerry Enterprise Server discounted BlackBerry Internet Service pricing when they released the BlackBerry 7130c, however, the Pearl is the first BlackBerry with consumers in mind from the start.
RIM has its foot firmly planted on the top of the smartphone / wireless PDA hill, however, the game changes significantly as BlackBerrys stray onto the shelves of department stores that sell mobile phones. The question that I have is just how far can RIM stray from its corporate business user core?
Believe it or not Research in Motion, even though it receives a monthly subscription fee from each and every one of the 5 million plus BlackBerry users around the world, generates over 70% of its revenues from hardware sales. To say that RIM has dominated the corporate business smartphone / PDA market is an understatement, however, the $613 million that RIM made in Q1 fiscal 2007 was just a rounding error to the likes of the big boys such as Motorola, Nokia, and Siemens.
In the consumer world of mobile phones, RIM has stiff competition from several companies that, for all practical purposes, print their own money. Just how far off can Research in Motion stray in the to consumer world of mobile phones and what will happen when the big boys that dominate this space begin to notice?
Tell us what you think?