There is no question that the BlackBerry has sat on top of the hill when it comes to PDA devices in the corporate world for some time now and for the last 10 months or so, RIM, has tried to gain a toe hold in the consumer market starting with the release of the BlackBerry Pearl late last summer. I believe, however, that the clock is ticking on Research in Motion’s consumer hopes.

The iPhone is coming and Apple isn’t pulling any punches…

The Apple iPhone, quite arguably, may be the most hyped consumer electronics device ever and unfortunately for everyone else, it is living up to the hype. After watching all of the iPhone reviews over the last day or so, the only real knock on the device is the network that it runs on.

The iPhone, like the iPod before it, will be an industry changer. In 18 months, iPhone like features will be expected on all devices in the same class and consumers will compare everything that catches their eye to the iPhone. This 18 month or so time frame is, in my opinion, the window of opportunity for Research in Motion to do something in the consumer market with the BlackBerry because, quite honestly, RIM hasn’t really done anything in this market yet.

Sure, the BlackBerry Pearl has done fairly well and the book is still open on the BlackBerry Curve, however, these devices are available to less than half of the country where RIM sells twice as many devices as all other places combined.

RIM has 18 months at most to do something in the consumer market and they had better start with offering consumer devices on CDMA networks and they can follow that up with completely overhauling the BlackBerrys web browsing experience.

I think I will come back to that last point in another post…