I am often asked the question, “What can RIM do to get the BlackBerry back on top?”

To be totally honest , I don’t know that there is anything, realistically speaking, that RIM could do to regain the crown of top smartphone in the foreseeable future.

As a matter of fact, a potential bright future for Research in Motion could be one where the BlackBerry doesn’t even play a significant role in getting things turned around.

A lot of people, many industry analysts included, believe that Research in Motion exists as a company because of the BlackBerry.  What actually is true is that Research in Motion is the company that manufactures the BlackBerry and does a list of other things that generate tremendous revenue for the company with far greater margins.

Jim Balsillie’s strategy wasn’t a bad one…

The story behind Jim Balsille’s resignation from RIM’s Board of Directors is making its way around the interwebs.

It is a story where Mr. Balsillie, in essence, wanted to start offering RIM’s proprietary network infrastructure to carriers so they could offer inexpensive smartphones not necessarily named BlackBerry to their customers with very inexpensive data plans that offer BBM, Facebook, Twitter, and a few other social media services.

RIM’s network services are ridiculously high margin compared to the BlackBerry and it makes almost a billion dollars for RIM each quarter.

It would be naive to think that a path to righting the ship at RIM couldn’t be based around expanding RIM’s proprietary network beyond BlackBerry users whose numbers are well south of 100 million to Earths’ feature phone / low-end smartphone market which numbers in the billions of users.

It would be equally naive to think that the only viable future for Research in Motion is one where the BlackBerry is a dominant force in the smartphone landscape.

I personally hope that the first BlackBerry 10 device turns out to be the best smartphone ever manufactured, and, like a magic wand, fixes all that it wrong with RIM.

BlackBerry 10, however, is definitely not RIM’s only shot at turning things around, and, may not even be RIM’s best shot at doing so.

Hopefully BlackBerry 10 isn’t RIM’s only card

It’s hard to say it, but, a bright future for RIM doesn’t necessarily mean there will be a bright future for the BlackBerry.

If Thorsten Heins is doing his job (increasing value for RIM shareholders), moving the company in a direction where the BlackBerry is no longer the flagship for Research in Motion has to be one of the options on the table…

Not the only option, but, at least one of them…