Архив метки: BB

The Kicking Of RIM’s Tires Continues, As IBM Reportedly Considers Its Enterprise Unit


The fear and loathing of RIM has been well-documented by this point. At the end of June, the company released its Q1 2013 earnings, which were more than a little disappointing, with RIM reporting its first operating loss in eight years, that it would be cutting 5K+ employees and that the release of its new BlackBerry were again being delayed — this time until the beginning of 2013.

The acquisition rumors had already been swirling around the BlackBerry maker, and since then, they’ve intensified, with some big names kicking the company’s tires. This morning, Chris wrote about Samsung’s confirmation that (again) it was neither considering a buy-out nor a licensing agreement, even though it’s been reported numerous times that it, in fact, it’s been considering both. And, today, Bloomberg has reported that IBM has “made an informal approach” to acquire RIM’s enterprise services unit, which is really at the core of BlackBerry’s business.

While RIM has certainly been hurting, the company still has hopes that BlackBerry 10 can reinvigorate consumer interest in its products. That’s obviously part of the reason why RIM’s board has reportedly turned down IBM’s interest in its enterprise unit — after all, as new CEO Thorsten Heins has said (via The Verge), “enterprise is where BlackBerry lives best.” Big Blue obviously knows a thing or two about enterprise, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see it continue to seek an acquisition in the event BlackBerry 10 isn’t the panacea RIM hopes it could be.

What’s more, Heins has said in the past that RIM might consider licensing BlackBerry 10 to hanset manufacturers, which naturally he believes to be a scenario preferable to one in which RIM is broken up into pieces and sold to the highest bidders. In keeping with that preference, RIM’s board has allegedly nixed the idea of selling its divisions, to both Samsung and now IBM.

There are a lot of people (customers and beyond) both quietly and loudly pulling for RIM, hoping that it nails BB 10. However, as the long wait for its arrival continues, the pressure on the company to produce big innovations in the market and release some sort of WonderBerry may be too great.

It’s increasingly likely that RIM will have to, at the very least, undergo a major restructuring, and if BB 10 should fail, the enterprise unit will likely curry the highest price as it’s really the most valuable component of RIM’s business. So this probably isn’t the last time we’ll hear reports of big names jockeying for first dibs.

Excerpt image from MyBankTracker

The Kicking Of RIM’s Tires Continues, As IBM Reportedly Considers Its Enterprise Unit

RIM CEO Thorsten Heins: “We Will Continue To Make The People That Use A BlackBerry Successful”


Blackberry’s future is the tech debate du jour, with pundits on either side promising either a BB10 renaissance or a slow-motion tailspin. While the jury was still out, we had a few moments to speak with RIM CEO Thorsten Heins about RIM’s way forward and where BB10 was going to put the company when it launches.

He was unsurprisingly forthright and more than accommodating even when we asked him the questions any BB fan would ask today: Why should I buy a new Blackberry device?

TC: In this interview we wanted to see what was in store for the consumer, what RIM is doing to maintain the energy that a lot of the BlackBerry users currently have, especially at work or in academia. What do you see as the best way forward for those folks?

Thorsten Heins: What we are doing right now is, if you look at the installed base, specifically in enterprise, corporate and consumers worldwide, there is still a lot of phones running BlackBerry 5, mainly in Asia-Pacific. So we are still working on a program to upgrade the installed base to BlackBerry 7, which from today’s view and perspective still is competitive, and I think an exciting platform.

So we are absolutely working on our consumer and enterprise base to get us to BlackBerry 7, which is a real upgraded experience compared to 5 and 6, and to a certain extent also 6. That’s the first thing we are doing.

Second is we are working on the BB10 platform to be launched in the first quarter next year. And this is not, as I said, based on a QWERTY device, which is a device type we dominate today. This will get us back into the full touch game, and this is where we will fight hard in the U.S. to regain market share and convince consumers that, well, BlackBerry is not just a great platform for productivity or for business people; it’s a great platform for consumers as well.

We will specifically talk to those consumers that are constantly on the move or need to stay ahead and introduce them to BB10. Given the ease of adoptions for this platform it will be a great gaming experience, a great media experience, and a great content experience.

TC: It seems like BlackBerry itself has always been very specific about the email side of things. Is your vision to bring the company into more direct competition with the iOS/Android situation, or is email still paramount?

Heins: The way I look at this is that email certainly is a core element of BlackBerry, but I would put a bigger frame around this. I think this is about being extremely socially connected.

In today’s world, email is not the only way to communicate anymore: it is Twittering, Facebook, BBMing, and other means of social communication networking.

So what it really is about, I think, is to put a different frame around it and say “We keep you extremely well-connected through your various communication channels and we are making it really easy to deal with and to manage and to respond to notifications.”

TC: In terms of BB10, are you at all concerned that the time involved in releasing this update is going to affect things negatively, and especially with 7-inch iPad rumors swirling?

Heins: First, those are rumors. But as for BB10 I think this is not just a product launch, this is a whole new platform launch with a really new BlackBerry experience. So from that perspective, am I to a certain extent disappointed that we have that delay in BlackBerry 10? Yes, I would say yes.

But on the other side, I just want this to be the best user experience, the best compelling quality that people see on a BlackBerry, and I will not sacrifice this. I just want this experience to be fantastic. And that’s what we are working towards.

So knowing what we are building our BlackBerry 10 on, the product, the capabilities, the empowerment it actually gives to the people that use it, I have no concerns about our success. We will be successful.

Also if you look at the channels that we are serving, basically through the carriers, they see not just the risk anymore, I think they see reality coming that there’s a duopoly of suppliers they can work with and that they can source from right now.

They have a huge installed base of BlackBerry customers out there, they want to protect that installed base. They want them to be successful too. We get a lot of endorsement from carriers and the carrier partners globally on BlackBerry 10. So I am confident that we will make a good appearance in the rest of the world, but I am also confident that we are actually in a position to fight back in the U.S. based on the BlackBerry 10 portfolio.

TC: I guess it seems like people need a pep talk. So what would you say to the folks who say, “RIM isn’t thinking about us specifically, us early adopters, us hardcore BB users, we haven’t put down our BlackBerry since the late 90s.” What will you say to them?

Heins: The pep talk is that we will continue to make the people that use a BlackBerry successful. That is really the DNA. It just allowed people to manage their life and have a very comfortable way of communicating. And with BlackBerry 10, we will take this to a whole new level.

It’s not just about you communicating with somebody else; it’s about actually communicating with the whole network around you. So the strength in this whole social network and the strength is also in other elements that are not particularly BlackBerry elements, like gaming, because the platform supports it. We will not develop our own games, but the platform we are building allows game developers to program and to deliver really fantastic-performing games.

I myself, I use PlayBook a lot to play racing games because I can look at PlayBook from a performance perspective and say, with the highest rendering requirement, with the highest load on the graphic unit, is it a good performance, is it a good experience? And it is.

TC: And how many BlackBerrys do you carry around with you?

Heins: I have a PlayBook I use for work. I have a PlayBook that I use privately. I am on a 9900 right now. And I am using a kind of an ultra device for L-series right now, for BB10.

TC: You don’t have a secret Google Galaxy Nexus hidden in there somewhere?

Heins: What I always do is try be connected with the industry and know what’s going on there. I always have competitive devices on my desk that I check out that I work with, just to really understand what’s going on. I think this is just a good way of understanding what the industry is and where it’s headed. So we constantly do this.

RIM CEO Thorsten Heins: “We Will Continue To Make The People That Use A BlackBerry Successful”

RIMour: RIM Is Laying Off Execs As Dust Settles Post-Earnings


An errant tweet points us to the news that Research In Motion CEO Thorsten Heins is “clearing house” and “SVP/VP-level execs” are being fired. What does this mean? Hopefully a turnaround and, more cynically, an effort to reduce costs. Either way, RIM is changing.

As we just learned, BB shipments were down 21% last quarter, shipping a total of 11.1 million handsets. To compare, Apple sold 17.07 million handsets over a similar period and Nokia sold 93.9 million phones.

This cut could be a clear-cutting operation to help revitalize the sputtering company, a noble effort to be sure. While I’m not bullish on BB’s chances in this crowded marketplace, RIM still has a chance if it is sold or, barring that, changes its strategy drastically. I’ve been bearish on the company for most of the year but the right cuts, the right changes, and the right amount of handset and OS consolidation could keep RIM on the job.

via Engadget

RIMour: RIM Is Laying Off Execs As Dust Settles Post-Earnings

The Fallen King: Apple Outships RIM In Canada For The First Time


Once upon a time RIM was the shining star of Canada. Hailing from the Great White North, BlackBerry phones were the country’s dominant smartphone. But times have changed and RIM has not changed with them. That’s a recipe for failure and it seems that based on data compiled by IDC and Bloomberg, Apple shipped more phones in Canada last year than RIM.

Waterloo, Ontario-based RIM shipped just 2.08 million BlackBerry smartphones last year in Canada, where Apple shipped 2.85 million units. This changing of the guard is a long time coming. As Bloomberg notes, in 2010 RIM bested Apple by half a million units and outsold Apple five to one in 2008.

RIM is seeing sales declines worldwide. BlackBerrys are still popular in the Middle East and Indian markets but Android, led mostly by Samsung phones, is quickly becoming the dominant player. Canada, where the company is based, was one of RIM’s last strongholds.

Canadian sales dropped 23 percent in the third quarter. Even though RIM introduced seven new handsets in 2011, Canadian consumers turned their backs on their hometown team. Now, in 2012, with a new CEO in place, the company is betting that its QNX-powered BlackBerry 10 handsets will stop the bleeding.

RIM’s glory days are behind it. Sheer arrogance led the company down its current path of misery. All is not necessarily lost, however. As long as RIM can produce BB 10 handsets on schedule, it might still be able to save the lucrative enterprise market from defecting to iOS or Android. But “on schedule” is not a phrase associated with RIM lately.

The Fallen King: Apple Outships RIM In Canada For The First Time

New RIM CEO: “I Don’t Think There Is A Drastic Change Needed”


RIM’s new CEO Thorsten Heins has only been at the reigns for an evening, but he did a very “BlackBerry” job of presenting himself to the media this morning on his introductory media call.

It felt a lot like the media calls of yore, with Balsillie and Lazaridis at the helm. Especially when Heins referred to Apple as “the other fruit company,” noting the two companies shared strategy of vertical integration. Unfortunately, vertical integration of software and hardware is about all that these two fruits have in common.

Remember folks, Heins is coming off of a four-year stint at RIM. At the relatively young company, Heins worked under founder Mike Lazaridis and his partner in crime Jim Balsillie. That said, you can basically hear Lazaridis-style hubris in Heins’ comments.

When asked if there was anything Heins wanted to do in the past, but was held back from by his position, Heins confirms that he (along with the freshly removed prior leadership) doesn’t see much wrong with RIM.

“At the time, the company was growing but still acting as a startup,” said Heins. “But startup processes don’t scale. Every company goes through that phase. I had the opportunity to learn about RIM here. I don’t think that there is a drastic change needed. We are evolving our tactics and processes. I don’t feel that I was held back in any way to do what I needed to do.”

So, let’s just parse this out, shall we? Heins, as COO, was never held back in executing operational decisions or strategies. That means that anything he has wanted to do to help grow (and likely save) the brand, he could’ve already done. In other words, don’t expect a brand new BlackBerry or a brand new RIM.

But the new CEO had plenty more to talk about, namely that he has no plans to split the software and hardware businesses. So you can kiss dreams of an Android-powered BlackBerry out the window for now.

No, it’s BB 10 all the way, courtesy of QNX. When asked whether QNX is really “the thing,” Heins responded by saying that “QNX is not developing an OS. It’s an existing OS. It’s used already. It’s a multi-threaded OS. What that allows us to do is true multitasking. You can have many apps open at the same time and really run them real-time in parallel.”

He finished his shpeel by noting that QNX is “an extremely competitive OS today.” Of course, we have no way of judging that until RIM fiddles around with it, makes it usable on a smartphone, and then finally releases it.

Heins also mentioned that he’d be open to licensing BB 10 to other manufacturers, “if it makes sense strategically and tactically.” But again, other manufacturers would likely need to see consumer reaction to the OS before anything like that went down, which brings us back to RIM’s most pressing and important near-term goal: get BB 10 to market quickly.

[via Engadget]

New RIM CEO: “I Don’t Think There Is A Drastic Change Needed”