Partners: BlackBerry 10 Delay Could Be 'Lethal' For RIM

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David Felton, RIM partner and owner of Connecticut-based solution provider Canaan Technology, also said BlackBerrys are accounting for an increasingly small portion of his business and that the delay of BlackBerry 10 will position RIM to lose even more users to Apple and Google.

"Honestly, it does not impact us in anyway. Blackberry has been inconsequential to our business for almost two years now," he said. "As far as the company goes, I’d say [the delay] was a lethal decision. My guess is they do not have the resources in talent or money to stay on schedule, so they push out the date, which, in reality, just makes RIM more irrelevant."

In the days leading up to RIM’s first-quarter earnings release, reports emerged suggesting the struggling BlackBerry maker is considering a move that would split the business in two. According to the London-based Sunday Times, RIM is allegedly looking to separate its services division from its hardware division, and then sell the latter off.

For Felton, RIM’s services division, which encompasses its BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) licenses, was always the most lucrative BlackBerry product for his business. Losing the hardware unit, he said, wouldn’t necessarily deal a major blow to him as a partner.

"I believe it would help my businesses, as the handset side of things is not only commodity, but too much trouble to deal with when I can simply redirect end users to the local Verizon or T-Mobile store," he said. "We made our money in the past selling the server and the BES Software/licenses. The phones were always thought of as loss leaders."

Rick Jordan, director of mobility sales and strategic alliances at Tenet Computer Group, a Toronto, Ontario-based solution provider and RIM partner, also believes RIM’s service offerings, particularly those centered on its BES and Mobile Fusion mobile device management platform, would still hold value regardless of the hardware unit.

"If you look at RIM from a security standpoint, they are on top. I mean, they have the BlackBerry Enterprise Server and Mobile Fusion for mobile device management," Jordan told CRN. "They have a lot of incredible technology they just need, what I think from an ISV perceptive… they need an ecosystem to make sure all that kind of falls into place."

NEXT: RIM Loyal To Providers

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