RIM is NOT Exiting the Consumer Market

Despite a number of news reports suggesting that BlackBerry-maker RIM is planning to exit the consumer smartphone market, the Canadian company will continue to cater to consumer users while also renewing its focus on its enterprise roots.

BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion is not exiting the consumer market.

Yesterday, RIM reported its Q4 2012 financials, and a number of comments made by RIM's CEO Thorsten Heins regarding the company's future strategy were exaggerated. Plain and simple.

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From the Twitter feed of RIM's Managing Director of Global and Regional Marketing, Patrick Spence:

"We remain committed to all of our Customers (consumer & enterprise) and are enhancing our support/solutions for enterprise."

When Heins took the RIM reins in January, he said that RIM needed to strengthen its focus on the consumer, and while he does seem to have made a bit of an about-face on that front, the company isn't changing its direction completely. Frankly, it can't afford to; the consumer market is much, MUCH larger than the enterprise space, and as much as RIM may want to withdraw from the fierce competition there, doing so would surely have dire consequences.

"We need to be closer to our consumer user base. We're well positioned with CIOs...but in the US, we need to do a better job there [targeting consumers]," Heins said during a January press conference.

RIM is also preparing for its annual BlackBerry World conference in May, the biggest BlackBerry event of the year, and this time around it introduced a brand new developer event that will run alongside the broader BlackBerry World called BlackBerry Jam. RIM's Jam event will be focused on the upcoming BlackBerry 10 mobile OS, and it will be aimed largely developers who want to target the consumer audience.

From a post on RIM's developer blog regarding the differences between BlackBerry World and BlackBerry Jam:

"If you are an enterprise developer specifically looking for more information on building successful enterprise applications, as well as connecting to enterprises with BlackBerry implementations, BlackBerry World might be a better fit. If you are looking for more information on BlackBerry 10 tools and the opportunities of building for BlackBerry 10, then BlackBerry 10 Jam is the show for you."

RIM is not abandoning consumers, but it will be interesting to see what comes of its plans to renew its focus on the business side of things.

AS

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