Featured: RIM's Last Chance to Pick Android

Canada's Financial Post reports that both of RIM's co-chairmen, who also happen to be the co-CEO's, are being outed from their chairmen positions, and RIM board member and former TSX Group head Barbara Stymeist will most likely get the job. The report says nothing about whether the two will also their their co-CEO positions, but I'm thinking the board is preparing a change of leadership so they can later kick them out from the co-CEO positions, too.

For RIM's sake, I hope that happens, too, because we're really past the point where you can trust the two co-CEO's to turn things around. Their first major mistake was in not admitting that both the iPhone and Android represented a huge threat to their legacy very early on, and because of that not be willing to commit to develop a serious alternative also early on.

If RIM wanted to have a stable future now, they should've come out with a serious alternative since 2009 at least. That is still 2 years later than when the iPhone came out, and 1 year later than Android, but it might've been enough. One idea could've been to just buy Palm then, and use their beautiful webOS. It would've been a pretty easy way out for them.

Then, they had the opportunity to join Android, and still be very successful by now, if they would've done it back in 2010. That's when Android started surging. If they were one of the early adopters like HTC or Samsung, they could've been one of the top Android makers by now. But they missed that opportunity, too.

Now, it's really too late for RIM to be as successful as they used to be, even if they joined Android right now. But it would at least save them from bankruptcy or being sold at a very low price because of the way things are working for them now. With the 2 current co-CEO's, RIM will continue to follow its QNX strategy, which has no chance of succeeding even on their phones. That ship has long sailed.

This means they will waste another 8-9 months or so to even show the first QNX phone. And what happens if it fails? It would take at least another year, probably until early 2014, to switch to Android. Does anyone think RIM will last that long? I sure don't. So if QNX fails, RIM will be forced to sell the company.

But they can still stop that, and have a chance to at least be a competitive player in the Android ecosystem, if instead of showing a QNX phone late 2012, they show an Android one. They already must be pretty familiar with Android since they adopted its Market for their tablets, so they might be able to pull it off.

Yes, if they do go Android, they will have a pretty small role in the already established market, but at least they would be on the winning side, rather than the almost-guaranteed to fail QNX side. If RIM wants to save the company, the board should immediately fire the 2 CEO's and put someone else in charge who will adopt Android.

If they are serious enough, Google could even pick them for the next Nexus device and Android 5.0. I'm sure Google would like RIM on their side, too, and if RIM can show they can make quality devices with cutting edge specs (kind of like they did with the Playbook), Google might actually go with that. And having RIM make the next Nexus would be a huge endorsement for RIM and their entrance in the Android ecosystem.

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About the Author

Lucian Armasu

Senior Writer
Lucian is passionate about writing about different technologies, talking about their potential, and predicting tech trends. Visit his <a href="http://techdomino.com/news">technology news</a> website at <a href="http://techdomino.com/">TechDomino.com</a>.