RIM’s Plans for You: Car + BlackBerry

Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM) has been making acquisitions in the GPS navigation and car software lately, but what is the company’s master plan? A new little app called “Traffic” is in beta at the moment, and its creator is none other than RIM. While right now the app is very simple (it gives details on travel times and things around you), it shows that RIM does have something under its sleeve. What exactly is under that sleeve is up for debate.

An integration system for your BlackBerry and your car is an idea.  A GPS/dock setup that reads your emails aloud (BMW is putting the email reading feature in for BlackBerry owners already), lets you compose emails with only your voice, and offers standalone GPS quality navigation would be quite a product. A slew of new phones are coming out soon, a tablet in the works and the company’s recent acquisitions lead me to believe that it would be in RIM’s best interest to start offering a full line of products for cars: both standalone and connectable to a BlackBerry smartphone.

The car market is of course the perfect place for BlackBerry to harness its brand name. Everyone has heard of and seen the ubiquitous smartphones, so why not give everyone another option for their cars? The BlackBerry option.

RIM would be foolish not to want a touch screen unit in every car possible. Consumers conceivably could start buying BlackBerrys because they like their in-car units so much. Smartphones have opened a whole new world of possibilities when it comes to connected devices, so why should RIM not seize an opportunity? Devices for cars could be exactly the footing the company desperately needs to be able to stand up to the wicked beatings it has taken on the stock market and from all of those disgruntled analysts as of late.

While BlackBerrys for cars might still seem a little farfetched, the idea certainly is plausible. However part of me worries that RIM will keep plodding along like it has, and not try to invent a whole new market despite the resources that it has available to leverage.  RIM, please show us that you can still innovate.

Think that RIM eventually wants to take over your car? Are BlackBerrys for cars a pipe-dream? Would you think about buying one? Let me know.

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