BlackBerry ban

BlackBerry under siege

August 16, 2010: 11:01 AM ET

Research in Motion's biggest assets face enemy fire: one by foreign governments demanding more control, the other by cutting-edge tech.

Saudi Arabia and the app economy -- the two don't usually have much in common. But recently they've taken to delivering a joint beating to RIM. And it's been painful to watch, especially when you consider RIM's (RIMM) history as a tech leader. More than a decade ago, the company launched the first BlackBerry, building its reputation on the security of its enterprise servers and that oh-so-usable physical QWERTY keyboard. The message was obvious: if you wanted a corporate-strength smart phone that just worked, go BlackBerry.

But it's 2010, not Y2K, and safety and a solid user experience are feelings millions of mobile users take for granted, whether they're tapping away on a BlackBerry, a Motorola (MOT) Droid 2, or an Apple (AAPL) iPhone 4. The innovations that once propelled RIM to the top of the smartphone chain now seem to be locking them in place: lose the keyboard and they alienate their users (witness the heavily criticized Storm and weakly reviewed Storm 2); loosen the security and they alienate the corporate market. When it came out that the company will reportedly provide Indian officials with technical solutions to access encrypted data from its messenger and enterprise mail services, big customers like JPMorgan (JPM) and Goldman Sachs (GS) demanded explanations, according to Bloomberg. More

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