Can RIM Win With Apps?

Research in Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) is trying hard to put the rocky past a few years behind itself, and is exhausting seemingly all possible options to get life breathed back into the company. RIM’s current focus is ensuring its ability to be competitive in the mobile applications realm.

For several months now, RIM has been living off the hype of its BlackBerry 10 software and devices, which are launching at the end of this month. Soon, hype won’t be enough to keep it in the running, as RIM will have to prove that BlackBerry 10 has the best apps, features, hardware, and software to go head-to-head with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT).

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Hitting the business world

One of RIM’s first big moves in ensuring it gets BlackBerry 10 out of the gate quickly was to offer up trials to business and government officials. Through the program, more than 120 officials were set up with a sneak peek at BlackBerry 10 that might have won them over with BlackBerry’s special dual-persona feature that lets companies know their data is safe and lets employees carry around just one phone. The move could help RIM snatch up a chunk of the business market, as companies and governments think about how to outfit their workers technology-wise…

Hitting the consumer world

While the business world is big for RIM, the company isn’t forgetting that simple consumers are the ones really showing the love for smartphones. RIM knew it couldn’t do much to succeed with the new devices if no one could get their hands on them. So, the company reached out to carriers to ensure they would offer the BlackBerry 10 devices, and responses were good. Numerous carriers in the U.K. and U.S. will be offering the devices when they launch, and the Canadian carrier Rogers has already begun offering pre-orders on the devices.

But one thing users love nearly as much as their smartphones themselves are the apps that go with them. RIM has been working extra hard recently to ensure that BlackBerry 10 launches with a full suite of all the apps people could want. RIM’s Built For BlackBerry program drew the attention of more than 19,000 app developers by offering special marketing to successful participating apps. Now RIM says the BlackBerry 10 launch will have more apps immediately available than any other mobile operating system launch, though fewer than are currently in the Android and Apple app stores.

While RIM is doing everything it can to make sure BlackBerry 10 puts the company back on strong footing, only the time after the launch will tell if the company has what it takes to regain its old standing as a mobile technology frontrunner. RIM may even be prepared to sell its hardware manufacturing and port its software, similar to Google, if that’s what it takes to bring the company back out of its rut.

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