QQ Tech News reported that RIM China President, Greg Shea will officially retire this month and hand over the reins to the Asia Pacific Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Alex Lambeek, a former Nokia executive. Shea will remain in China and continue to serve as a consultant.
RIM and its flagship brand, Blackberry has faced fierce competition in recent years. It has lost much of its prestige and cool factor to Apple and a wider range of Android phones. I wrote about the challenge RIM is trying to tackle, in moving from the enterprise to consumer market back in September.
To address the challenges RIM will make major adjustments in 2012. Firstly, rather than rely on Chinese operators to push sales, they will focus on establishing a strong brand by constructing its own retail outlets and experience stores in China. Secondly, they will reportedly lower their prices and offer new Blackberry customers free six months to a year worth of Blackberry Internet Services (BIS).
According to ReadWriteWeb, RIM lost 5% market share in the United States from 24.7% to 19.7%, while Android jumped 5.6% over the May to August period. To take advantage of the Android’s rising dominance and open philosophy, RIM is rumoured to create a virtual application layer that will allow Android apps to run on Blackberry.
In China where brands and looking cool often means more than being practical, Blackberry needs to get in touch with Chinese consumers to really give them what they want and make them look good. Will Lambeek deliver?