RIM Plays Rope-a-dope
It was fascinating to watch the smartphone wars live and in color yester as they raged around RIM's announcement of its new OS and Blackberry Torch. Rumors have been rampant about the pending announcement. Even before the actual announcement occurred in New York on today, data emerged about Blackberry users preferring iPhones or Droid devices, along with reports that the United Arab Emirates were set to shut down Blackberry service in their region because RIM would not allow their government the ability to monitor conversations.
The stories were still flying late in the day (and I'm in Central Time), and RIM is working hard to turn around the negativity hurled at what could have been a banner day for them, bringing out their "it's a floor wax; no it's a dessert topping" device that has both touch screen and a keyboard.
The Trevails of Real-time Communications
This is a textbook example of the frightening real-time communications that companies face today. Competitors who get wind of upcoming news can deflect from the positive aspects of announcements by feeding research, data and sources such as the ones RIM is now defending itself against.
RIM is off of the ropes at present and reacting aggressively to defend itself, but the moral of the story is that you need to:
1. tighten security (think of Steve Jobs) for highly anticipated announcements in fiercely fought markets like smartphones and
2. you need to be prepared for what almost seems like the communications version of a denial of service attack that can take away your control of the communications around your announcement.
As a Blackberry Tour user who uses my love of the keyboard to defend my uncool lack of adoption of the iPhone, I applaud RIM for battling back to somewhat steady ground. And as a communications professional, I will enjoy tuning in today to see Round 2.