Jun 21 AT 9:42 AM Alberto Vildosola 48 Comments

Android and its blitzkrieg strategy are about to overrun Blackberry, kill RIM in the process

On September 1st, 1939, World War II began with the German army invading Poland. A year later, Germany controlled most of Western Europe. The nation’s blitzkrieg (lightning war) strategy deeply influenced the way in which Germany was able to take over so many countries in so little time.

Wikipedia describes blitzkrieg as a “concentration of tanks, infantry, artillery and air power, concentrating overwhelming force at high speed to break through enemy lines, and, once the latter is broken, proceeding without regard to its flank.” In other words, a whole lot of stuff moving in one direction at high speed without stopping.

Substitute “tanks, infantry, artillery and air power” with “phones and tablets,” and that quote pretty much describes what Android’s doing to its rivals. At least one Android ally (OEMs and carriers) is releasing a new device every week. This “release fast and often” strategy drowns the enemy in a sea of Android devices.

Normally, we wouldn’t want to compare our favorite OS to a vicious army that destroyed half of Europe, but there are some pretty clear similarities in the way that they’re attacking their enemies.

As a result of this “lightning war,” Android’s competitors are often caught off guard. Germany was able to break through enemies’ defenses due to “general enemy unpreparedness and an inability to react swiftly enough to the attacker’s offensive operations.” If that sounds like the situation RIM and Nokia find themselves in, that’s because it’s exactly what’s happening.

Just like many of Germany’s enemies, RIM hasn’t been able to effectively respond to the Android war machine. Essentially, Android has moved too swiftly and precisely for RIM to recover–and the inevitable has happened. Android has broken through RIM’s defensive line and the latter is now on the run.

Things haven’t looked good for RIM for a while, but the first sign of weakness surfaced last week via the company’s earnings call. RIM announced its net income is down roughly 10% compared to last year’s quarter–from $769 to $695 million. Additionally, RIM said it has shipped (not sold) only 500,000 Playbook tablets. Again, not very good news. To top it off, the company plans to put in place a “cost optimization program,” also known as “firing a whole lot of people.”

Following the earnings call, it has been one bad news after the other one for the Canadian company. First, another senior executive at RIM jumped ship and went to competitor Samsung. Then we found out RIM is pushing carriers to release bug-filled and unfinished phones in order to get them out faster. Yesterday, we saw Wall Street lower its expectations for the company’s annual earnings.

Finally, like a kick when you’re down, Seesmic (makers of the popular Twitter app) announced yesterday that it’s dropping support for the Blackberry platform. You know something is wrong when developers stop supporting your platform, instead of the other way around. Slowly but surely, the wheels are falling off the RIM wagon, and it’s not pretty.

What is RIM doing to counter-attack Android? The company is working on a new platform based on QNX. Devices powered by this new OS won’t be released until 2012. This gives Android at least six more months to destroy whatever’s left of the Blackberry army. Like I said, RIM seems unable to “react swiftly enough to the attacker’s offensive operations.”

But everything is not lost for Research in Motion. There’s still a way out. The company could still surrender and adapt Android. While Blackberry OS won’t live to see another day, at least the company will survive in a mostly Android-owned future. I’m not saying it’ll be easy, but anything is better than sitting around and watching the competition eat your market share like a hungry Pac-Man.

UPDATE: There’s blood in the water now, and the sharks are starting to notice. RIM’s value is so low now that there’s talk of a possible acquisition by Microsoft or Dell.

Via: AllThingsD

Alberto is a college student living somewhere between Miami, Sarasota and the World Wide Web. Although a former iPhone owner, Alberto is now a proud Android enthusiast. You can follow Alberto on Twitter and Google+ for his thoughts unworthy of an article.

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  • http://Website GeorgeV

    If you can’t beat them, join them.

    • http://Website daniel walsh

      if they want to survive, they must adopt android

    • http://Website Uberpretzel

      Dont mess with ze androids!

      • http://Website Sarah Palin (the republican hood rat)

        Its confirmed.
        Android equals IT nazis

  • http://Website Nate

    I think you meant lightning not lighting

    • Alberto Vildosola

      Fixed. Thanks

  • http://developmentgeek.com Kevin Fairchild

    Wait… people still use BlackBerry? :)

    • http://Website RockinEvo

      Lol classic

  • http://Website Jeff

    Only a matter of time until Google or Microsoft buys them fore $0 billion dollars.

  • http://Website westy

    Huge android fan here but RIM isnt going anywhere anytime soon, they still have a strong following and a huge chunk of business users. Some people dont want smartphones and just want the basic function, whether you want to believe that or not is up to you. I also dont see Blackberry adopting Android, the CEO is to proud to let something like that happen. But time will tell, it took sometime for Palm to fall victim to the onslaught of Android and iOS so we will see.

    Also i feel with the last update (iOS5) to Apple’s iPhone ICS better smooth things out on Android. This next update really needs to quiet the doubters of Android dominance. The UI needs to be cleaned up and made much smoother. WP7 and i0S are catching up and WebOS is back in the running. Lets not get comfortable Google and go for the kill ICS needs to be KILLER!

    • http://Website d00kie

      why wouldn’t they adopt android? the playbook is already compatible with android apps. doesnt that say something?

    • http://Website jbrandonf

      It will take some time for them to fail but they will. They had an option when the iPhone came out in ’07..they could’ve started from scratch and built themselves an OS to rival iOS or they could stay the course and just build on what they already had.

      They chose to stay the course. Palm chose to reboot, but because of their money-woes they didn’t make it. Hell, even MS chose to reboot.

      RIM was ain a different place because whereas the former two companies had no choice to reboot, RIM still had their good name behind them. Ah well, they gave it a good shot.

  • http://Website Dee

    I don’t think android should kill BB yet. They should at least pressure them to make BBM a app and get the was business operations are done on BB ported to android. There’s other ways for BB to stay afloat besides adopting android, tbh, a android powered blackberry sounds….boring. what BB should have done is allow other manufacturers to make blackberry phones since RIM is running out of ideas on how to make new ones. RIM has yet to release a seriously high end phone. Even their upcoming phones look exactly like what’s out now and feature specs that could compete with the lower end of android phones. Add to the fact that painful browser~horrendous camera~and cheap build quality and you have more reasons for RIM to be on the downswing.

  • http://Website Paul

    My company still uses blackberry because they like the control and security they get from using Blackberry Enterprise Server. We have and control our own server and can deploy our devices and secure them quickly and easy, but RIM is dying. If they were smart, they’d create some super software and tight, very tight, integration with Android, and adapt their BES to work with those devices. They could then either make their own hardware or work with Samsung, Motorola, LG, etc. to make some ‘blackberry branded’ devices, running Android, but with their custom enterprise level integration. My company would seriously consider that and stick with Blackberry. As it is, we’re researching alternatives. There are several players on the Android front, “Good Inc”, “Enterproid”, Touchdown and Moxier to name a few we’ve tested. Touchdown and Moxier are simpler, Enterproid has some promise but is still in Beta, and Good’s software client was ugly but at least they had a Enterprise Server software that could centralize the management. Right now I’m using Moxier but am keeping an eye on Enterproid.

    • http://Website Dan

      I agree with BES being secure, but Active sync is slowly catching up. With each new release of Exchagne, more security features seem to be added that are matching some of the security features of a blackberry. Remote wipe, remote lock, allowign the use of texting, camera, wi-fi, removable storage and even bluetooth are a few that Active sync is now able to do with Exchange 2010.

      So, although BES and Blackberry is no yet dead, it is still being replaced, slowly in the enterprise.

    • http://Website weirdroid

      Why not play in the iPhone and Android space by putting BES clients in Android and iOS devices?

  • http://Website Frongy

    Of a CANADIAN company gets its ass handed to them by a mobile operating system lol

    • http://Website d00kie

      its not just the OS, its all the different manufacturers combined that are dropping these android devices non-stop.

  • http://Website derek

    Really? No one takes any issue with the fact that here Android is being compared to Nazi Germany? This article embarassed me to read. And besides being grossly inappropriate, does no one remember who ended up losing World War 2?

    • Alberto Vildosola

      Read the fourth paragraph.

      I’m simply comparing Germany’s military strategy during World War II to the way Android is growing.

      • http://Website rrrrrichard

        I, too, find the metaphor and the admiring tone inappropriate and offensive. Your unapologetic response isn’t helping. Goodbye, Android and Me.

        • http://Website teleknEsis

          Dood, srsly, overly-PC ppl like u are ruining it for everyone. Grow a pair and quit getting your panties in a bunch

        • http://Website ihatefanboys

          get over it , i got a better one for you….. rim and wp7 are the twin towers, and android is al quaeda….its silly to attach personal feelings to a metaphor. besides i dont believe that 9/11 story….full of more holes than IOS 5….

        • http://Website jbrandonf

          Stop being a sensitive pussie, he was talking about a freakin military strategy. Jeezus…

        • http://Website doctor shark

          Knee jerk much? It’s comparing the strategy, not the country.

        • Uncemister

          QQ bk

    • http://Website ihatefanboys

      wow people really are dumb arent they ? no one gets metaphors, or even understands the concept of context in a conversation…. truly sad. But good job paying attention in history class.

  • http://twitter.com/mswansonxi SparkyXI

    Rawrz from teh Androidz!! Rawrz!!!

  • http://Website Mark

    What’s a blackberry?

  • http://Website TJ

    I sure hope Android’s fate is not the same as the Nazi’s…

    • http://Website Maximus

      Actually when you really Look at REAL History the Fate of the NAzis isnt so clear cut

      Sure there Military may have lost the battle however the NAzis themselves never lost

      If you know History then you know “Operation PAper Clip” brought over 1k Nazis to the US and Russia mainly their Top Scientist and put them in High levels of Government institutions

      Dr Verner Von Braun top Nazi SS Officer and head of the Nazi Rocket Program got us to the Moon through the creation of NASA

      So they didnt really die they just assimilated

      • http://Website Luke

        The fate of individuals is and ought to be considered separately from the fate of the whole. Lots of members of the Nazi Party of course survived WWII, but the Party itself certainly ceased to exist in any recognizable form.

        Similarly, if Android ceases to exist as the powerhouse that it currently is, it doesn’t mean that all of its employees will be die. They’ll just go on to something else, just like the lower level Nazis.

        (And a slight point of clarification. The point of Operation Paperclip was to bring GERMAN scientists over, most of whom were not Nazis. Yes, Wernher von Braun was at one point a member of the Nazi Party, but he appears to be the exception. And Operation Paperclip NEVER brought scientists to the USSR. It was an OSS operation designed specifically to keep scientists away from the Soviets.)

  • http://www.ghabuntu.com ghabuntu

    It’s not so much as Android beating RIM as it is about RIM losing strategic focus of the overall smartphone market.

    RIM can still regain its formidable position if it sort of “forks” itself. Breaking its market into the various user segments-including those catered for by the droids- rather than bundling all of their market into “corporate” one.

    • http://Website kazahani

      I have always held the belief that RIM was somewhat surprised by their popularity with consumers. They have always seen themselves as more of an enterprise solution and less of a consumer cell phone manufacturer. They have refused to embrace the consumer market, and in doing so they left the door open for Android to come in and dominate.

  • http://Website 7nd

    We have blackberries here in our garden!!!!!!!! I think im going to >blitz and kill> a few of them now.


  • http://Website d00kie

    though rim may never again be what it once was, i think andoid os in bb hardware would be pretty damn interesting.

  • http://Website Hydra

    With RiM doing so badly, it makes you wonder why WebOS and Symbian even bother existing.

    • http://Website Dee

      i quite like WebOS…#jussayin

  • http://Website dan

    i think its funny how everyone is forgetting about QNX: RIM is hardly tanking, they have no debt and a large reserve of funds, and the first QNX os phones will be out next year. I think they’ll survive til then and hopefully things will take off next year for them.

  • http://Website Luke

    I don’t know who made that picture, but it is TERRIBLE! (Spoiler alert: this is about to get incredibly nitpicky/anal).

    First of all, the machine gunner in the foreground is holding directly onto the barrel. Anyone who’s fired a gun knows that the barrel gets extremely in a short amount of time. It’s even worse for machine guns. Gun barrels have been known to melt with overuse. For shame artist!

    Second, the machine gunner’s bandolier appears to have intake bullets running both in and out of the gun. Empty casings should be expelled into the foreground.

    Third, I could make some comments about the elevation at which those planes are flying, but will demur on those points.

    -And some comment about Android being awesome.

    • Uncemister

      “the barrel gets extremely in a short amount of time”

      extremely what? Moist? lol j/k you brought up good points.

      and your last sentence was win :3

    • http://Website Luke

      LOL. “extremely HOT in a short amount of time.”

      Lousy interwebs!

      • Uncemister


        You should take “and some comment about Android being awesome” and put that at the end of every post you make here, no matter what.

        -and some comment about android being awesome

  • http://Website D

    only the new RIM MING can save em. Bring it on!

  • karrob

    I told some friends of mine this a few weeks ago.

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  • Lexl207

    I think this piece takes a very simplistic view of the market and the segmentation of customers across the industry. Android is doing well now but I dont see this as being in any way sustainable. If you do a Porters analysis of the market it is clear that there is absolutely no barriers to entry here, and android doesnt have anything to offer which cannot be matched and bettered by others. What Android does not have is a lock on the huge non price sensitive enterprise customer segment which BB does which is why margins from BB customers will always be better than margins from the low end personal use consumers that android panders to. And finally fragmentation within the android world itself is becoming so bad it will leave more and more consumers frustrated