What a Dying Platform Looks Like

This post isn't a financial analysis a la Horace Dediu or a comparison of units sold. This is what it looks like from the ground as a platform dies.

Walking through the mall in Sault Ste. Marie one evening, I came across a Wireless Wave kiosk that had at least ten 8.5x11 sheets of paper advertising a "free blackberry promotion" and "Playbook $199".

My first thought (cynical as it may have been) was that this is was RIM's new marketing and promotion strategy. Following their latest earnings disappointment, the co-CEOs reported that they would solve their problems with a new marketing plan:


Both Mr. Lazaridis and co-CEO Jim Balsillie said they were disappointed with the BlackBerry's precipitous drop in popularity in the United States, the company's most important market, and blamed much of the failure on marketing and advertising – which they promised to overhaul with a “comprehensive” blitz to drive sales of its latest batch of BlackBerrys.

Breaking out the letter sized signs is pretty darn "comprehensive".

Obviously what I saw was just a Wireless Wave kiosk trying to sell devices, but seeing this alongside some of RIM's new advertising[^1] makes me think about what the end of RIM really looks.

Clearly they're in trouble and marketing campaigns can't save them. RIM must get their new platform (what's it called now?) out the door and it had better be amazing. Otherwise I fear it's too little, too late. Free Playbook anyone?

[^1]: Who is "Diplo" and what is a music innovator exactly?