I thought this was an interesting example of creative destruction. Five years ago, Time and Newsweek were running cover stories about the "Blackberry" culture and how ubiquitous the device was in modern business. Now, people are making fun of it for being outdated tech. If only we could get the average voter to truly appreciate creative destruction. We might have fewer bailouts and more economic growth.
By the way, Canada says it won't bail out Blackberry, which is good, but is interesting given that it did bail out the Canadian automotive sector just a few years ago. In terms of total market value I would guess the Canadian automotive sector is way smaller than Blackberry at its peak. Only a cynic would suggest the difference is that the auto sector is unionized and therefore politically organized to generate campaign donations and grass roots get-out-the-vote efforts, while RIM is not. That would imply that bailouts were due to political pull rather than sound and consistent economic reasoning, which I am sure can't possibly be true.
PS- there are still good and valid reasons for enterprises, like the Administration and government agencies, to use the Blackberry over smartphones. Just because they are out of favor with 16-year-old girls does not mean they don't have utility. Oddly, though, given this particular niche and comparative advantage, RIM seems to be obsoleting its installed base of enterprise servers. I am not an expert, but I think a lot of enterprises would stick with Blackberry for quite a while just out of inertia and lack of desire to change. But now that Blackberry is forcing them to rethink their whole enterprise platform anyway, it seems to allow other competitors solutions into play. Or am I missing something?
Update: Apparently RIM is saying the previous paragraph is incorrect, that the new servers will support all the old devices ... except for email, calendar, and contacts. Unfortunately, this seems to encompass the entire Blackberry functionality. I have had one or two of the devices, and you are a nut if you are trying to surf the web on one as your main usage.