2 August 2010

RIM faces more international hurdles

I don't really want this blog to become "the Blackberry Report" but clearly RIM is a hot item in the news right now.

I think it's important to state that again for clarity: "RIM" is a hot item. That is to say Research in Motion, the company that provide the global secure data communication service, is in the news. Like reporters around the world, I have been referring to this story as the Blackberry story. I want to highlight that Blackberry is the device and trade name, while RIM is the "legal person" (i.e., the company) providing a back end service.

Laws generally govern people, not technology, and RIM is the "person" who is feeling government pressure because of the nature of the back-end service that it offers.

One of the best articles I have seen so far to summarise the increasing business challenge faced by RIM is this one which ran late last night in Bloomberg: "BlackBerry Challenges May Spread as Governments, RIM Collide". The article points out that RIM is facing pressure not only from the UAE and Saudi Arabia, but also varying levels of intervention by authorities in India, Bahrain, and Qatar. The piece strongly suggests that there are others, and frankly I'm not surprised.

I'm probably not presenting any new lessons in this piece today. This simply adds weight to the points I've already made in the past few days.

Although businesses should consider this: RIM is facing challenges primarily in their role as a service provider. Perhaps this suggests that being a global supplier of communications equipment is a little bit easier than being a global supplier of a communications service. Lucky Apple. They make a lot of money selling iPhones even to people who do not subscribe to their MobileMe service.