Silicon Alley Insider's Dan Frommer is never afraid to speak his mind or suggest the unconventional, but he may be going too far this time.
In a Friday column, Frommer suggests that Research In Motion
He's not the only analyst who sees the smartphone market eventually being carved up by Apple's
Give up that Windows Phone 7 dream, Microsoft
I'm not going to argue against the inevitability of Androids and iPhones cornering the smartphone market in the coming years. I just can't see RIM throwing in the towel for a couple of different reasons.
For starters, it's not as if the BlackBerry is dead. Revenue grew 24% in its latest quarter, shipping a whopping 11.2 million BlackBerry devices during the period. Among iPhones, iPod touch media players, and iPads, Apple recently hit 100 million devices using iOS. Well, BlackBerry also crossed the same milestone during its latest quarter and had 46 million active BlackBerry subscribers.
Throw me into the camp that believes RIM will be less relevant in three to five years than it is now, but there's no point in pulling the ripcord on a popular operating system now.
It also remains to be seen what would become of RIM if it throws its hat into the "me too" ring of Android devices that seem to be outdoing one another on a weekly basis. There's nothing wrong with hardware. HTC and Motorola
Perhaps the meatier reason why RIM shouldn't go from brand name to generic is that porting over its strengths in enterprise email and mobile security isn't just some back-end server tweak. In fact, RIM should be terrified if it's even possible to easily re-create its experience through Android because it would mean that it won't be long before it finds barbarians at the gate.
There is still a premium to be paid for the proprietary. Hewlett-Packard
After all, RIM's grip on the smartphone market is a thicker slice than Apple when it comes to computing. Is anyone suggesting that Apple do away with its operating system and embrace Windows or any of the growing open-source alternatives?
Of course not. Frommer has gone out too far on a limb this time. He better come back before it snaps.
Would you buy a BlackBerry phone powered by Android? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a satisfied iPhone user but is envious of the BlackBerry keyboards. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.