Research in Motion's efforts to expand beyond its core enterprise customer base are paying off. The introduction of its Pearl and Curve devices indicate the company's interest in tapping into the consumer market, where growth potential is substantial. These consumer-friendly devices have been successful; coinciding nicely with the release of the Pearl, RIM's total number of subscribers in FY2007 was up 63% over FY2006. The Curve's impact is not yet evident, but, considering the success of the Pearl and the Curve's plethora of features for both enterprise customers and consumers alike, it should further increase RIM's viability in the consumer smartphone market.
The reason? Anyone can get a Blackberry Pearl for $99 from almost all wireless carriers. In comparison, when the iPhone was released there were issues of it being too expensive and even though the iPhone is unique, but its features appear in many other devices at a fraction of the price. One can argue all day about the intricacies of those features and whose are better, but for the vast majority of people, those intricacies are irrelevant while price is not. In a slowing economy, people will choose price for a commodity like device.