January 16, 2011 at 3:35 PM #174533
I saw this piece in Business Insider this morning giving its top 10 tech acquisitions of 2010.
Guess what was #1?Quote:
Research In Motion bought QNX, a software division of Harman International, in April. The QNX team is already making a huge impact creating software for RIM’s PlayBook tablet, which looks promising. QNX is also platform of the future for the BlackBerry phone lineup.
RIM also acquired TAT last month to help with its UI work on upcoming QNX phones. So RIM has gone for external help for both the OS and the design elements of the user interface. QNX has impressed alot of people, and I’m sure TAT will do some very cool things. Is there something missing?
How about an Industrial Design firm? Now I’m sure RIM has an in-house team that it has had working on hardware design for a long time, but as I noted in my other thread about the so called “Refresh” moniker, there is still a perception out there that all of RIM’s phones just look the same. I remember when CISCO made the move to consumer electronics and purchased a small industrial design company. (article here: http://www.engadget.com/2010/05/18/cisco-buys-moto-development-group-to-beef-up-consumer-design-cho/)
Not knowing much about the field myself, I did a quick web search and turned up companies like RKS Design, whose clients include Apple, HP, and even Gibson guitars.
They had an interesting concept for a phone shown here:
Now that doesn’t really match the subtle toned down looks of RIM phones, but I think bringing in some outside talent could bring some new life into the designs. While all of us like the professional simplistic look of BBs–the design of the new Dakota is very nice–the new phones are very familiar designs, which invoked many a comment on websites noting that RIM just releases the same darn phone every time. (Again a theme I touched upon in my other thread).
What do you think? QNX, TAT…. RKS?
Man this is crazy. You are dancing with the entire McPoyle Family. These people are freak shows, man...freaks. But you're keeping your cool. You're keeping your cool. You know why? Because you are the Green Man. Green Man is saving your life right now, bro. Just go with the flow.January 16, 2011 at 6:30 PM #183815
Adding a “design firm” would have good and bad consequences. RIM still has a very large percentage of it’s user base that wants function over form (business, military, and some of the new overseas markets). They all want a battery that lasts,a phone that is reliable, and something that just works.
So trying to go with a “crazy or revolutionary design” to please a small section of users might not be worth the $ RIM would spend.
Not the right move right now…
My two centsJanuary 16, 2011 at 7:20 PM #183816
Like i said the picture shown I agree doesn’t match RIM’s current look. But I think it could bring in some innovative designs that still appeal to RIM’s user base.
That “small section of users” is the one that is buying Apple iPhones and the like in droves, the one that is growing and RIM has been behind in for the last few years.
If they were only invested in function, I don’t think they would have acquired TAT. Why not extend that desire to improve the UI to the actual hardware design? It doesn’t mean the battery nor the reliability has to suffer.
Man this is crazy. You are dancing with the entire McPoyle Family. These people are freak shows, man...freaks. But you're keeping your cool. You're keeping your cool. You know why? Because you are the Green Man. Green Man is saving your life right now, bro. Just go with the flow.January 16, 2011 at 7:32 PM #183817
I agree that RIM needs to “spice” up there design but if there is to many options you get the Android problem. Developers have way to many variables to worry about, screen res, button placement etc.
So the people buying Apple products buy function first then form, oh right they only have one option of form iPhone 4 or iPhone 4…
TAT is a company that makes very functional UI’s that also look amazing. And that will help RIM a lot!
So RIM has so much potential building right now but a design firm still doesn’t make sense to me.
Hope that all makes sense.
Once again my two centsJanuary 16, 2011 at 8:12 PM #183818
Adding innovation to the hardware design doesn’t have to mean having more models. You could add innovation to your existing line-up.. You can have the new Storm remain simple and professional, but also stand up against the sleekness of the iPhone or the Xperia Arc for example.
You can have functional + “crazy and revolutionary design” I think at the same time.
I just figured, RIM was already heading towards tapping into this market with a very flashy UI like QNX and upcoming things from TAT.. why not innovate their hardware design as well?
Man this is crazy. You are dancing with the entire McPoyle Family. These people are freak shows, man...freaks. But you're keeping your cool. You're keeping your cool. You know why? Because you are the Green Man. Green Man is saving your life right now, bro. Just go with the flow.January 17, 2011 at 2:51 PM #183819
I thought QNX and TAT were great buys but don’t forget that they also recently bought software companies Viigo and DataViz. Supposedly the Viigo team helped with NewsFeed app but I don’t think we’ve seen anything from DataViz yet.
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