Research In Motion Ltd. halved its projections for BlackBerry PlayBook sales this week and cut some jobs, adding to its growing list of woes and causing the blogosphere to blow up in the process.

Navneet Alang, a blogger with Techi.com, said the problem with RIM is that even if it catches up, the company is just too far behind to catch market leaders Google Inc. and Apple Inc.

“Let’s assume that a wizard came along, waved a wand, and tomorrow the Playbook had an e-mail and calendar app and all new Blackberry phones shipped with QNX. Where would that leave RIM,” he asked.

“Well, they’d have products that were maybe on par with some of the competition in some aspects. That’s it. That’s where things sit. Blackberry is months behind simply playing catchup to their competitors. What’s more, with iMessage, their primary advantage of BBM is also now damaged.”

Alang went back to the wizard again later in his post, pointing out that even if BlackBerry magically caught up with its smart phone rivals, the overall vision from the Waterloo, Ont.-based company is still lacking.

“What overall dream is there for the Blackberry brand that will make it a compelling alternative to other devices?” he wrote. “So far, all I can think of is ‘the keyboard,’ and when your key advantage is something very easily replicated, you’re doomed.”

MobileCrunch blogger John Biggs was even more pessimistic about the news.

“Research In Motion is done,” he wrote. “They’ll be bought in the next year or so, their products will roll into whoever buys them – Microsoft, most probably – and they’ll go the way of Nokia, Danger, and countless other mobile platforms. They’ll exist independently for a while and then be subsumed. It’s over.”

Biggs continued to defend his view adding that “there is no money in business phones.”

“BlackBerrys aren’t status symbols,” he wrote. “They’re the real-world equivalent of the thick, heavy IT-department-assigned business laptop. They’re staid, boring, and unwanted but people are used to them and, for e-mail, they are quite capable. But that’s about it.”

Of course, some industry observers came to the defence of the company, with many financial analysts shrugging off the doomsday predictions.



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