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Service outages, slower than expected consumer pick-up of the Playbook, a disappointing showing at the 2011 Consumer Electronics show, a Executive shake-up (sort-of), and countless articles speculating on the viability of the company.

Not good times for Research In Motion (RIM), makers of the Blackberry line of products.

Last week, Reuters reported that Oil field services company Halliburton plans to stop issuing BlackBerry smartphones to employees and switch over to Apple’s iPhone, which it said was better suited to its needs, marking another setback for Research In Motion.

But heres the interesting thing… RIM has nevertheless recognized the threat and in November announced it would offer security features for iPhone and Android from within its existing BlackBerry service for corporations.

SO! New Blackberry hardware may get more critique than critical acclaim but if they sell their much-loved-by-business services and security on devices that employees prefer, they could set themselves up for long-term stability. Selling services in perpetuity ( la Bell, Rogers, utility companies, etc) guarantees income and, on this scale, could potentially make up for any losses on the hardware side of things. That could calm the shareholders, silence the doomsayers, and enable the company to do some serious soul-searching before stepping back into the ring. Or they may opt to get out of the hardware game altogether.

Then again there are those iHaters and Android-o-phobes who refuse to hold anything but a RIM device…

Its OK. Dont fear the on-screen keyboard. See, its a full QWERTY too. There you go.

Read the full Reuters article on the Vancouver Sun site here.

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