Or risk being a footnote in mobile history in the 'Apple and Android scalps' section...
Are RIM's best years behind it? Once the apple of the business user's eye, the BlackBerry maker has struggled to adapt to mobile's new world order. After RIM's shares took a battering earlier this week - and the company cut its sales forecast for the PlayBook - silicon.com's Natasha Lomas weighs up the challenges that lie ahead for the company.
1 - Managing the difficult switch from its legacy BlackBerry OS to a new platform
RIM's BlackBerry OS has been showing its age for years. Even before the launch of the iPhone, the writing was on the wall for a software platform designed and built at a time when the 'email phone' was a revolutionary concept - and true mobile computers were more sci-fi than reality.
As far back as 2006, analysts were heard proclaiming BlackBerry hardware needed to shape up or lose out to more fully featured rivals.
"RIM's challenge is the software that powers the BlackBerry phones is old and is increasingly uncompetitive with Android and iPhone particularly," Ian Fogg, independent telecoms analyst, told silicon.com.
"The issue for RIM is the future. They can't keep going with the current BlackBerry OS - they need to transition, to switch to something new, something modern, something that supports apps, delivers a much better internet experience, that's much more media-centric and much, much more modern to be competitive in 2012, 2013 and beyond."
RIM's BlackBerrys may have been great email devices but email - and phone - pretty much summed up the feature set on offer, and the mobile world has moved on spectacularly since the birth of the iPhone and Google's Android platforms. Switching from its legacy OS is going to mean serious upheaval for RIM - and therein lies the risk. RIM needs to build a compelling mobile user experience on top of an all-new OS - QNX - and do it in record time, all while keeping existing BlackBerry users happy and loyal.
There is also the thorny question of what to do about backwards compatibility with the installed base of BlackBerry users. "They risk losing compatibility with all of their installed base if they don't execute well," said Fogg.
"This is a critical year," Roberta Cozza, principal analyst at Gartner, said. "The loyal BlackBerry users know there's going to be new devices based on a new platform so we might see them either wait if they're really loyal, or unfortunately go with the other platforms."
And in such a crowded and competitive mobile marketplace, the ability to gain a new generation of BlackBerry users can't be guaranteed.
2 - Designing a compelling user experience with touch-centric design at its core
RIM's DNA spells the letters QWERTY. Physical keyboards were great in the age of email phones but can look outdated in an era of touchscreen smartphones. The BlackBerry OS was designed to function in...