You don’t have to look far to find a good deal on a BlackBerry these days. It is almost as though the deals are “too” good to be true. T-Mobile has set BlackBerry Bold 9780 pricing at $129.99. That’s 130 bucks for one of the highest end BlackBerry devices you can get. I hinted at this in the last episode of the SMRpodcast, but, it is now crystal clear to me that Research in Motion is in market share protection mode.
The current crop of BlackBerry devices are doing well with consumers that already want BlackBerry devices, but, at the end of the day, Research in Motion is getting their lunch handed to them by Apple, Google, and, soon to be, possibly even Microsoft in the consumer market. For a lack of a better word, these other mobile operations systems just offer more… They offer more stuff that consumers want and the hardware and software in the current wave of BlackBerry devices coming out cannot compete on features an functionality.
Where RIM can compete is on price and, to me, it looks like they are going to practically give BlackBerry devices away to try to maintain as much share as they can until QNX is ready to run on much beefier hardware that I imagine we will start hearing rumors and seeing leaked documents about before years end.
One thing that RIM has going for them is that a lot of consumers still aren’t ready to shell out $300 or $400 to get an iPhone 4, or a high end Android device. Inexpensive BlackBerry devices are very compelling around the holidays and I fully expect RIM to sell boatloads of them. This probably isn’t a bad move for RIM in short run because, as I’ve said before, they’ve got to compete where they can…