• Boy Genius: RIM is Dead

    Attachment 34580

    Jonathan Geller is the original BG at BGR. He posted a very provocative article today that RogerG mentioned in the comments section of the RIM Financial Statement press release (link to it here). We have special interest in the fate of RIM since back in Dinosaur days PinStack was a BlackBerry site, and we have a lot of BlackBerry lovers reading in -

    Here's the Geller article:


    I saw from the inside and outside how RIM transformed the mobile landscape, and how the company even battled its own inner demons throughout the years. Here are my thoughts on the companyís worst quarter in five years:

    RIM grew incredibly fast. It grew faster than the company knew how to manage, and RIM slowly ó and then quickly ó slipped as a result. This is the company that used to make users choose between a device with Wi-Fi and no GPS, or GPS and no Wi-Fi, just to have two products on the market instead of one. This is the company that refused to take the consumer market seriously for a number of years. This is the company that couldnít see the future when it was right in front of them.


    One of my high-level Research In Motion sources who Iíve known for a number of years wrote an open letter to the company a few months ago that I published on BGR. Looking back at it now, here are some of the most intriguing and timely quotes:

    • Letís obsess about what is best for the end user. We often make product decisions based on strategic alignment, partner requests or even legal advice ó the end user doesnít care.
    • We need some heavy hitters at RIM when it comes to software management. Teams still arenít talking together properly, no one is making or can make critical decisions, all the while everyone is working crazy hours and still far behind.
    • The publicís questions about dual-CEOs are warranted. The partnership is not broken, but on the ground level, it is not efficient. Maybe we need our Eric Schmidt reign period.
    • Just because someone may have been a loyal RIM employee for 7 years, it doesnít mean they are the best Manager / Director / VP for that role. Itís time to change the culture to deliver or move on and get out.
    • Strategy is often in the things you decide not to do.
    Whatís so interesting is that RIM has actually started to implement most of what the open letter said the company should do. The company isnít releasing BlackBerry 10 until itís happy with it, the end user has been more of a focus, the company has gotten rid of a number of executives, and the dual-CEO structure is gone. Unfortunately, itís not enough. RIM has a fundamental problem with what the company can offer, and what the company can do best.

    RIM CEO Thorsten Heins even stated yesterday during the companyís earnings call that RIMís best-in-class enterprise integration, security and push email are no longer a huge selling point for the company. Really? It took five years to figure that out?


    The enterprise loves the BlackBerry Bold 9900′s keyboard, but most BlackBerry customers want a full-touch smartphone and RIMís all-touch smartphones are poor excuses for a phone. In fact, an iPhone 3GS or prepaid Android smartphone is a much better option for the majority of people in the market for a low or mid-range smartphone compared to a BlackBerry Torch. RIMís average selling prices have taken a nosedive since the companyís products canít compete on features, only price, though competitors like Huawei and others have seized this opportunity to introduce lower-priced Android smartphones.


    Something I have been told from another senior source at Research In Motion is that the company is considering ditching their system access fees for all carriers. This amounts to more than $1 billion in revenue each quarter for RIM, but the company thinks it might be a way to drive BlackBerry 7 sales before BlackBerry 10 finally hits the market. It would be a radical move that could help the company sell more units in the short term, but would get them nowhere in the long term. In fact, all it would really do is buy the company time to try and get BlackBerry 10 out of the door, or buy time while it explores other options for the companyís future.


    I spoke with the same inside source who wrote the open letter to RIM we published last summer, and here is what this person had to say: ďRIM only has one hope. Ditch the QNX bullshit experiment that will be the exact definition of a 1.0 operating system ó it can not compete.Ē The source went on to say, ďTake on Windows Phone and negotiate with Microsoft. You need BBM on Windows Phone, get a royalty fee from all the others. Then build out the BES story with Exchange ó beef that up, now thereís an interesting and unique value proposition.Ē


    BGR exclusively reported in January that Research In Motion was pushing for a sale of a part (or entire) company to Samsung. Those talks were real. RIM has talked with a bunch of companies about licensing its software and OS, licensing BlackBerry Messenger, licensing the companyís network infrastructure, and even selling different parts of RIM flat out.

    The RIM we know, is dead. The company has 12 to 15 months until itís either acquired, or broken into pieces and sold for parts. Iím not even sure why the company still plans to launch BlackBerry 10 smartphones at this point.
    Comments 16 Comments
    1. srl7741's Avatar
      He must have been reading my mind while I was asleep over the last few years

      On a serious note tho, there are soo many more things left out of this article that have impacted where they are today. Good read, just makes me want more of the facts behind why? To all the questions people have.

      If Windows Mobile takes off with Nokia RIM can kiss that boat goodbye too. RIM is in a real pickle and I think they will have to get themselves out of it. A buy out or partial sale is not the answer, it's too late for that too.
    1. Mark Stone's Avatar
      Hey Roger, the software says you've posted two comments - but I don't see them -
    1. lak611's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by RogerG View Post
      Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

      If you follow BlackBerry on Twitter you'd notice that they are giving a lot of stuff away via contests and such. They are giving away BB10 devices to developers and like 70 9900s in 70 days.

      They are really trying but it will definitely take a miracle to turn things around for them.
      I think the big issue is that these developers are small potatoes, like the guys who create knock-off Playbook apps such as Angry Farm instead of Angry Birds. Yes, I know Playbook now has the real Angry Birds, but that took a long time. Most of these knock-off apps are not something that consumers want.

      Big companies like Netflix are not going to create BlackBerry apps if RIM gives them free prototype devices.

      No developers are going to bother developing for the OS7 devices, since those will be dead or only available in 3rd-world countries once BB10 is released.
    1. PapaMag's Avatar
      Third world countries is where it is at for my themes. My sales are increasing and selling in 29 countries. I'm hoping RIM hangs in there long enough to release 7.0 theme builder, that will help me even more
    1. jfcooley's Avatar
      Am I representative of the average consumer? I just don't care....

      Don't get me wrong, would be pleased to see RIM bail out and become as successful as they were. On the whole though I feel that blackberry would have to offer me (as Joe Shmoe) something that Android or iOS doesn't. Thats where my interest wanes.

      See, I liked the bb I had, but never really got into them as you guys did. I had 2. So I look at it as I guess the average bear out looking for a new device would.

      I don't forsee anything amazing, know what I mean? If I owned a smartphone before, the odds are good I am going to stay where I am. If I haven't then I will go on either price, or what someone I know is using. If I compare a bb, android, and iPhone now....well I just don't see the bb coming out on top.

      Basically one of the points made in the article, I know.
    1. srl7741's Avatar
      ^^ That's true as more current BB users contracts expire they are not looking at another one. They are finally getting a chance to see what the buzz is all about with Apps and Touch screens.

      Companies are still shoving BB devices down the employees throats but that is changing where they are handing it back and using their own (BYOD). RIM is battling numerous things which I just don't see them winning.
    1. PapaMag's Avatar
      RIM has a slim to none chance of winning back the companies that have chosen to move on. Sounds to me from what I've read is they are figuring a plan to hold on to whom they have, and that only chance is the BB and the Playbook connection. Because the only talk on the street is the playbook, no one is talking about BB phone Devices. JMO this comes froma devoted BB addict who can't even sleep cause I'm so happy playing with my SII
    1. lak611's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by PapaMag View Post
      RIM has a slim to none chance of winning back the companies that have chosen to move on. Sounds to me from what I've read is they are figuring a plan to hold on to whom they have, and that only chance is the BB and the Playbook connection. Because the only talk on the street is the playbook, no one is talking about BB phone Devices. JMO this comes froma devoted BB addict who can't even sleep cause I'm so happy playing with my SII
      I have yet to spot a Playbook in the wild.

      I've seen many iPads, Nooks, and Kindle Fires. I've seen one HP Touchpad.

      I've even seen an HP Slate 2, which is a tablet PC, not a tablet (it runs Windows 7 Professional).

      That's it for tablets so far. I've never seen the Playbook, Xoom, or any of the other not-so-hot selling tablets.
    1. srl7741's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by lak611 View Post
      I have yet to spot a Playbook in the wild.
      I have not either, it's odd. Everyone has the kindle or iPad
    1. PapaMag's Avatar
      I'll just stick with my Nook running ICS
    1. lak611's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by PapaMag View Post
      I'll just stick with my Nook running ICS
      That's smart.

      When I was in school, one of my classmates rooted his Nook and ran Android on it.
    1. lak611's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by srl7741 View Post
      I have not either, it's odd. Everyone has the kindle or iPad
      Nooks are popular here too. A former classmate had one.

      My cousin also has a Nook.
    1. dushdavj's Avatar
      PlayBook are around just depends where you live, when I was on the rig there were at least 6 people using them (no other tablets out there), in my office in Calgary there is an assortment of IPads and PlayBook being used, no Android tablets. I know people in Houston and UK that use them as well. Obviously there are more IPads around but there are a large number of PlayBook as well.
    1. lak611's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by dushdavj View Post
      PlayBook are around just depends where you live, when I was on the right there were at least 6 people using them (no other tablets out there), in my office in Calgary there is an assortment of IPads and PlayBook being used, no Android tablets. I know people in Houston and UK that use them as well. Obviously there are more IPads around but there are a large number of PlayBook as well.
      I'm in Cleveland, OH. I tend to visit local coffeehouses. I am also a member of both the Cleveland and Akron LInux User Groups.

      No Playbooks in the coffeehouses or at the Linux User Group meetings.

      When I was a student I never saw Playbooks either.

      The only Playbooks I've seen were the demo models in big box stores, but the demo models did not work anyway.
    1. Delfim's Avatar
      I'm late to this discussion - been away. We're all looking and predicting the final nail that will get hammered into the coffin. The prime undertakers have either resigned, or have been removed from the board of directors at RIM. I still see Mike hanging on to all. But here, I think, he may continue as a figure head, a ceremonial add-on for what once RIM represented.The near future (and I say that 2012 ends in the 3rd Q for RIM) will see if the chosen path is the correct one. I have one great fear, and that is if the new CEO will persist with the (we know this) defunct management system, the development of products and software which the public (in general, both private and enterprise have moved on...), the marketing strategy and the whole retail conditioning that RIM used to be able to control. From his speeches he shows that he's mainstream. He even wants RIM to go into the niche market... goodness, if a failing product now chooses to go "niche", that's not a nail in the coffin. That's like a final sealant...Niche is good if your main product is a hot seller. It's then that you start creating specific market oriented products, and usually at a higher cost to the consumer. The price to pay for a differnt product. But the back bone remains your general sales etc. etc.Going this route I do foresee doom in the future. And here BGR may be right.Courage, a shake down, a real re-invention of what made RIM's products great, and going with a wanted NEW system that will call old customers back and invite lots of new ones in.And for that to happen, RIMM/BB must offer something better than what iOS, Android and now Windows are offering to all.So let's see what RIM comes up with until the end of this year. If it doesn't come up with anything tangible, yes, then lets have the casket lowered and covered up with soil.
    1. PapaMag's Avatar
      I only see a revival when RIM sells, and I think we will see that in 2012. the only way it will survive is with fresh minds. There is no one in position now to save their downfall. Hook up with someone who knows and run with it would be my suggestion, but then who am I
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