Research in Motion (RIM), the maker of BlackBerry products, has been under the microscope lately. Many analysts have been wondering if RIM can keep up with the slew of smartphone and tablet products currently saturating the market, and it’s an issue that’s still very much in the air. But the general industry consensus has been that if the RIM PlayBook doesn’t go to bat properly, the company might be in for a rough time.
Given all of the recent hype surrounding RIM, you can imagine my delight when, on a recent flight, I realized that I was sitting next to a member of their marketing team.
Now, you may not have heard of the company I represent (Vernon Computer Source) – we specialize in providing IT equipment to businesses in the form of tablet and iPad rentals. But many of our bloggers have been cross-trained as journalists, and we know how to seize an interview opportunity.
Apologizing at first for my curiosity, I hashed out a few questions, which I will paraphrase for our readers:
I asked, “Should we buy BlackBerry Torches for our reps on the go?”
At this, the RIM rep shook their head and said, “No, wait for June. Our next phone (the Touch) is similar but it’s lighter, better.
“How do you guys feel about the PlayBook. Are you getting the results you expected?”
At this the rep smiled and seemed pleased, but relatively mum.
Going back to my journalistic roots, I pressed the issue: “The analysts say the PlayBook will make or break your company, what do you think of that?”
The representative paused, perhaps taken a little aback by my question, before answering: “We’re definitely optimistic about the future of RIM – and the PlayBook.”
The final question I asked was: “Are you nervous about becoming a niche company, serving only businesses?”
To this, the RIM rep. said: “We are definitely pursuing niche markets at this time, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing; we’re talking medical imaging, corporate communications, etc.”
I eventually left my beleaguered flight-mate alone and plugged in my earphones, but I promised myself I would write an article about the conversation later. And… here it is.
[Editor’s Note: For those still curious about what the PlayBook has to offer versus the iPad, look no further:]