July 02, 2012, 9:14 PM — If you rely on Research in Motion's BlackBerry smartphones, it's time to prep your exit strategy. RIM is in serious decline, and the slide has accelerated dramatically in recent weeks. The company has made massive layoffs, its stock price has plummeted -- a sign of investors losing faith -- and most analysts doubt very much its repeatedly promised BlackBerry 10 OS will be the Hail Mary that outclasses Apple's iOS or Google's Android.
The likelihood of RIM going bankrupt or becoming a skeleton of itself jumped significantly late last week when RIM revealed that BlackBerry 10 has been delayed yet again, now to early 2013, a year later than originally predicted. By then, iOS 6 and Android 4.1 "Jelly Bean" will be well established, and Microsoft's Windows Phone 8 will have debuted, offering for the first time enterprise security and management features that may finally near what iOS and Android offer. It seems unlikely users will desire the BlackBerry 10 in those circumstances.
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"RIM's potential financial troubles, weakened reputation, and so much effort into a tablet the BlackBerry PlayBook that has not caught on are all good reasons to look at other options," says John Pitts, president of managed services provider Tekcetera.
So what steps should companies take to prepare for the demise of RIM, if it happens in the next year or so?