BlackBerrys lag iPhones and Android phones when it comes to third-party applications, or "apps." The iPhone's popularity has continued to skyrocket as Apple has developed a vast ecosystem of apps. Now, RIM must persuade developers that it's worth their time and effort to make apps for the BlackBerry 10 platform.
RIM has tried to make phones with touchscreens that resemble the iPhone, but those offerings have largely flopped. And so has RIM's tablet, the PlayBook, which uses the very software that will be in the new BlackBerry 10 smartphones.
RIM is following the same trajectory as struggling Finnish handset maker Nokia and California-based Palm, both of which attracted consumers with trend-setting phones and technologies in their heyday, only to be outmaneuvered by competitors. In Canada, there is fear that the nation's biggest technology company could go the way of former Canadian tech giant Nortel, which declared bankruptcy in 2009 and was picked over for its patents.
"It is a very bad situation for Canada, primarily because this was the national champion," Misek said. "What this illustrates is you have to be globally competitive and you've got to remain globally competitive."
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