Google recently pulled Exchange support from its mail platform as a free offering. Android lives in the world of free, and even though Google Play is second only to the Apple App Store in terms of the number of apps, app developers have long complained that they can't make money from a customer base that will accept only free stuff. Into this tension Google now pushes Exchange support-for a fee.
On top of this, the device market is highly fragmented, which makes the operating system hard to secure and explains why Android is a malware magnet. A few months ago, for example, McAfee attacked an Android phone, causing it to cycle until it overheated and failed catastrophically. The mere idea that a phone might catch fire in a plane or office, should it be widely believed, would crater Android sales.
RIM, like Apple and Microsoft, operates in a way that promotes apps that people buy and focuses on making products secure. As a result, BlackBerry devices are likely to be favored by those abandoning Android.
Enter BlackBerry 10 to Save the Day?
I've had some time to talk to RIM about its upcoming platform, and it appears to address each one of these shortcomings with a vengeance. BlackBerry 10 is based on an OS that is used to operate machinery. RIM started with a business oriented core and then addressed consumer needs-as opposed to the more common approach of putting a business façade over a device that was targeted first at consumers.
If the market spits up Apple and Android devices for their inability to meet business user needs, RIM stands alone-or will, on Jan. 30, 2013 and the days that follow the BlackBerry 10 launch-as the company ready to embrace them. This is an unprecedented opportunity. As a result, 2013 could be an amazing year for RIM.