∞ RIM's Blackpad is doomed against the iPad

We all know the market follows whatever Apple does with its products. News of RIM’s commitment to an iPad competitor called the Blackpad is just further proof of that, and proof that it will fail at setting the tone for the market. If I was going to give anyone a chance to give Apple some real competition in the iPad space, I would have chosen RIM. It has a strong, loyal customer base and it is known for its security. Take that and go with it.

Instead, it seems RIM is going to follow as close to Apple as it can in hopes of picking up whatever scraps it can from the iPad market. Forget about the product, RIM even copied the name of the iPad, giving Apple a huge advantage even before RIM gets out of the gate.

Great news for Apple, and I suppose, great for RIM too if they’ve already conceded the lead to Apple and are fighting for second place.

Apple is an innovator in the mobile space and it appears to be one of the only companies that is innovating these days. Everyone else is trying to get to where Apple is today. That is the fundamental mistake.

Nobody else seems to have the vision to say “this is where we see the market being in three years,” and going to that spot. Rather, they seem to be saying, “we need to catch Apple and this is what they have.”

The problem with that strategy is that the current iPad is already obsolete. Part of Apple is focused on the next iPad, while another part is focused on the one after that.

Trying to get to where Apple is puts you at least two years behind where they are going. If your goal is to get what Apple has, you’ve already lost.

There are those that believe that this strategy adds competition to the market — it doesn’t. It gives Apple more mindshare and only encourages further comparisons to the market-leading iPad. That is not something most competitors will want, but will inevitability happen.

Apple is appealing to young and old alike. The iPod, iPhone, iTunes, App Store and iPad are devices that people growing up with and using to enhance their lifestyle. That’s not something they will give up for a company that wants to copy Apple.