It is way too premature to be saying RIM is history.. Jumping to conclusions like this at this point is not prudent and in a way incorrect. Apple also had times where it could have easily been written off but there is resilience in RIM and the products do have a fan following. Also, the playbook isn't all that shabby.. have you toyed around with one yet. If not .. please do and then form your own opinion. Analysts/reviewers are only as good as their own intellect.
I don't think RIM is history. They were a little slow responding to the "iPhone moment" which showed the smartphone would be a Web device, but they have had good iPhone-like phones out for sometime now and NO WAY were they slow getting the Blacberry Playbook out. It is shipping now, software on my review copy is very professionally done and all this within 12 months of the "iPad moment" which showed a winning concept for a tablet. By contrast I STILL don't see an iPhone or iPad like product from Nokia which is waiting for Microsoft to help them deliver them. Nokia IS behind and may become history if it don't start responding to the market and executing really well.
RIM found a niche market in mobile phone market by providing Enterprise grade mobile phone. The way of delivering email by pushing and by partial delivery were indeed innovative at the time. Blackberry has been so popular for sometimes. I still see it as a very good product. Given the functions, the phone can last for a week w/o charging is an excellent features that today's big screen smartphone can't easily beat. If they had an apps store and if they had encouraged mobile apps development, the market might just be different.
The product life cycle inevitably exists - the rise of mobile email to the rise of mobile Internet. What are the next big features that mass market would like to see?