Thorsten Heins' first official phone call as CEO of Research In Motion goes to... CrackBerry Kevin!

First Official Call
By Kevin Michaluk on 22 Jan 2012 09:59 pm EST

No BS.... at 9:36pm EST tonight, just minutes after the news became official that Thorsten Heins was appointed the new CEO of Research In Motion, my Bold 9900 rang with an incoming call from a 519 area code. Knowing 519 = Waterloo, I answered (good thing!), and within seconds was put through to none other than Thorsten Heins himself...

"Hi Kevin. I know you've been wanting this position for a while now, so I just wanted to let you know the news personally that I'm the new CEO of RIM..."

Seriously. I don't think I've ever quite felt so honored and completely speechless/stunned in my life, and in this case both happened at the same time. Thorsten and I spoke for a couple of minutes - I congratulated him and expressed my enthusiasm over the news. As you can imagine, he's in a whirlwind right now, so for him to take the time to reach out means a lot. And in talking to him it's clear that he is excited to lead Research In Motion and is as passionate about BlackBerry as I am. He also expressed his appreciation for our enthusiasam over BlackBerry and told us to keep it up (Absolutely!!).

It's hard to express just how big of a change this is for RIM. Let's put it this way. Since launching in 2007 I have been wanting to get an interview with RIM's CEOs. It has never happened. With Thorsten, it happened in literally minutes, and it was the CEO who made it happen, not the blogger. I have nothing but the utmost respect for Mike and Jim and all they have done for BlackBerry over the years, but it's clear that for BlackBerry to thrive again RIM needed a shake up, and I think Thorsten is going to do an amazing job leading the way. 

Questions for Thorsten: On the call Thorsten said he had time for two quick questions, but honestly, my brain was too in la la land to come up with anything quality. I'm going to connect with Thorsten again in the morning for a short interview, so if you have any questions you want answered CrackBerry Nation, let me know in the comments and I will ask RIM's CEO first thing.

UPDATE: RIM's CEO kept his word and followed up with us later in the week. Check out CrackBerry's First Interview with RIM's CEO here.

Reader comments

Thorsten Heins' first official phone call as CEO of Research In Motion goes to... CrackBerry Kevin!


Hi bbpandy,

Alex, here from RIM. Really! Our team was in the room when Thorsten hopped on the call with Kevin. We’re excited, and we’re glad you are, too.

Alex, RIM Social Media Team

Hi Alex, great to see you guys from RIM actually interacting with the CrackBerry Nation. Big ups for that !

Can I ask you just 1 quick question? Do you count on USBhost support in OS 2.0 final? I know it may be difficult to deal with security and other issues, but I wonder if you are planning to enable USBhost at all.

I'd rather see CrackBerry nation going hands in hands with RIM, not playing mouse-cat games with DingleBerry.

LOL... RIM changes it's CEO and Chairman and all you can think about is USB host support on your Playbook. I can think of at least 20 questions that are more relivant at this point...

Hi Farokh,

USB Host isn’t enabled in PlayBook OS 2.0 at this time. This feature will be added when proper controls are in place for business customers and there’s a great experience to help users really understand what this feature offers.


Alex, RIM Social Media Team

Thanks Alex. It's great seeing you & the rest of the BlackBerry team spending time on these forums with your fans. It creates a sense of community, and makes us feel appreciated. That in turn makes me more determined than ever to "Be Bold" and tell others what a great company RIM is & how their BlackBerrys are one of a kind.

btw I saw that drunken "interview" that TechCrunch gave you at CES. I was impressed by how you handled yourself. Good job :)

I keep hearing how blackberry needs to be BB, and not an Iphone or Android. Is that not the whole issue ? BB was ahead of its time at one point which is why it was successful. It is not today because others have "evolved" and BB has not. Yes, there are a couple of full screen handsets but it does not compete with what is out there. If BB stands still then they deserve the market-share they have. BB fans need to get that in today's world a smartphone is not just about email.

I want to see BB do well and hope they evolve and compete ...yes, w/Iphone & Andoid

lol!!! really? Kevin you MUST ask Heins if BlackBerrys will now come with Ketchup or not.. YOU MUST!

What an honor! Good for you Kevin!

So if you have time please ask him when BB10 and PlayBook 2.0 are going to launch (Exact dates)


Congrats Kevin! Ask him what he plans as first order of business to bring RIM back to the tech giant it once was.

Seriously, an excellent question would be "what are RIM's two biggest problems right now, the two biggest things you HAVE to solve? And don't say 'image' because that's a way to deny having any problems."

It is a bit pointed and might be uncomfortable (rude?) to push this question, but it would be a very telling question.


What can we expect with BB10, is it PB 2.0+, PB3.0 or will it change the way we look at smartphones today?

We know what is in PB 2.0, we want to know what will be in PB 3.0??

Seriously, we are very excited for the major changes coming, but what will be added go the NEXT go round of the PBOS and the BB10 OS?

Here's a question: 17,500 (or whatever) employees. WTF are they all doing? Given how some absolutely critical components of their ecosystem, such as App World, perenially have serious problems (especially as seen from the developer side), maybe he can help us understand just why it looks like they've got only a part-time junior programmer on the job sometimes.

For Thornsten: Will Waterloo get out of its shell and actually collaborate with IT Industry leaders to provide BB Users with a better eco system of business and consumer friendly applications that allows usage of our hardware at their fullest capabilities?

I don't get why they won't do this!!! I'd kill for that king of feedback with my company. They could get or for free in a heartbet and they aren't taking advantage of it!!

You know what my question is gonna be about :) themes on BB10? I don't care that people say they aren't important because to me they are. I know apps are #1 but come on there has too be room for some themes. Themes are just a part of what makes BlackBerry a BlackBerry and I love that.


+1 I think this is a great aspect of current handsets and I thoroughly enjoy using a variety of BB themes. How are they going to be integrated into BB10 ?

I am curious to know when we will be getting a Theme builder for the os 7 devices. It has been a long time coming. If they can't fix it, give the developer the one that was used to make the stock theme that came on the phone.

We have been patiently waiting and nothing. Themes are big part of personalizing your phone and we need it now...not mid 2012.

2.0 exact drop date


if he could please advertise the heck out of bb for every apple commercial i want to see 2 bb ones. lol

you guys do know that if you call playbook technical support and ask them that they'll tell you its coming out Feb 17th right?? Its no big secret. Or maybe I'm one of the few people who do know this??

Marketing, Marketing, Marketing! This speaks volumes. He "gets" it. I've been having a hard time trying to figure out where this is going. But after watching the YouTube video and reading this news I believe the right man is at the helm. Having a German influence is a good thing. Being on time takes on a whole new meaning.

yeah... go to the Blackberry channel on you tube. The new CEO speaks out about several subjects there. Explains basic strategy and his outlook on things...


I agree about the Marketing, but first you need a strong brand to ensure the marketing is heard. I hope he understands where hi brand is right now, and seeks a plan to make it become a leader once again.

I'd like you to tell him that BlackBerry needs to maintain its own identity...and stop trying to be like an iphone. People like BlackBerry because of what they can do...the security, the fabulous email service, the workhorse capacity. They made a major mistake with the 99xx battery life...i.e. not letting that phone make it from wake up to bedtime, because they put form ahead of function. BlackBerry should be the workingman's phone that can do all the other nonsense too, if you want it to. Make it pretty if you can, but it's gotta work first.

agreed +1.
I'd like to know what makes a Blackberry a Blackberry and sets it apart from all the rest?

For me it would have to be the "get it done" attitude.

Will the BB 9900 ever get OS 10/QNX or will there be a QNX version of 9900 and what are the first 3 things he intends to do to turn things around :)
Is android player coming to QNX / OS 10 phones too

props ! kevin :-)

thats soo epic congrats Kevin.

Ask him roughly when 2.0 will be out for pb and if we can expect blackberry 10 phones sooner than 1st reported.

They have been without a dedicated CMO for a while now (despite the evidence that RIM needed one ASAP.......What are they doing to recruite someone, do they have someone in mind? How long do they expect it will be B4 they fill the post?

How about....Given the delay until late 2012 for BB 10, will other hardware specs be upgraded to help keep the new handsets relevant in comparison to others that are releasing at that time. Or if as stated, the delay is for a new chipset, will the only change in hardware be the chipset or will they add other upgrades as well?

Seriously Questions I would ask

What Changes to the management style does he intend to bring?
Does he plan to be a hands on in every department kind of leader, or will he appoint VP's to control shape departments and over see them

I'd ask if he is familiar with the Allan Mulally Style of Management, but I am a big fan of Allan he did for Ford, what Thorston must do for RIM.

Next question I would ask would be more light hearted
What does he read his emails more on, His BlackBerry, or His PlayBook, does he prefer the Keyboard or the Touchscreen

I for one think this is great news that the new CEO of RIM is contacting A company that keeps in touch with it's customers/fans is a great way to kick off 2012.

NICE! This is your chance to GET HEARD! Don't waste your questions by asking when 2.0 is launching or when BB10 is launching. Look at the big picture and GO BIG.

MARKET! MARKET and MARKET the brand. Tell him whats up.

Yes don't ask questions about BB10/OS2 etc. The answer to these peoples questions will come in time. In about a month actually.

How long until we see BB10 phones?

What about just switching over to an Android based platform with RIM's awesome hardware being able to take advantage of the app ecosystem with some of the BlackBerry goodness baked in?

And cross-platform BBM?

Congrats Kevin! You deserved the honour.

I don't have any specific questions, just want to hear Thorsten talk about BB's future and how bright its going to be.

Congrats again.

That 2nd question is Easy. CB has great real high ranked contact's at RIM (not like BGR's mysterious & often completely out to lunch anon contacts)

Alex from Rim is often hanging around the blogs & I'm sure he's not the only one. There were probably a couple people in that room that had Kevin's number on their phone.

With the past events of Open Letters to RIM from ex-employees.

How does he feel about that, what is his perspective of that, how is he trying to remedy the situation, and if he feels that the points in the letters have been taken care of?

Sorry that's like 5 questions in one. But since you're more of a journalist and are better in words, you can word that question however you want. But I'm curious about something along those lines.

Or may be too quick to ask that. But either way, before reading this blog post I was a little hesitent on the change. But CONGRATS to Heins'!!

Wow, congratulations on some excellent steps by the new CEO.

Can you ask him if he thinks the currently BlackBerry handset portfolio is marketable in North America and if he truly thinks BlackBerry 10 powered by QNX will bring change to the game, if so, how?

Remind him how high the hopes are for PB 2.0, and we hope it blows our minds. Also, while you are focusing on BB10, Please For the love of all that is holy, can you please fix the 9900/9930 issues! Also, dates are important. Things may happen, but missing dates kill public opinion. Return RIM back to the workhorse devices that are more then just a pone. Don't be a I clone.

I hope the communication can continue between RIM and the Crackberry addicts through the fearless leader!

Awesome. What this shows, and what he also said to the Globe and Mail, is that marketing is going to be a huge priority. How better to spread BlackBerry news than calling Kevin?

What about asking if his call to you is apart of a bigger plan to be more interactive with the CrackBerry Blog and the BB users?

Congrats Kev, honestly I think you should be offered a position there with RIM. Other than 2.0 coming out, I would like to know if they plan on giving everyone there money's worth in the devices we invested in (2011) . All of the os7 devices and the playbook. The few free apps that were given for the outage was nice, but really i have invested in blackberry for some time now, and just want the quality I paid for.

First of congratulations Kevin. Makes you definitely feel that this is a CEO "listening to the market"...

Now for your questions. Honestly ask him at least something along the lines:

"Rim has an image of being behind the times and slow to react or invent. Whether it has been failed marketing to highlight strengths of innovation at RIM or just ignoring the competition, what are his plans going forward? What, as a CEO does he plan to do to regain Consumers, Business and Investor confidence in RIM? Especially as eyes will now be on HIM to pull this company around..."

Great questions, along with your first question i would like some reassurance that BB10 isn't just going to be a Playbook OS 2.0 clone. I have seen great apps demoed but i just really want to see how RIM is going to leapfrog the competition! I know they can do it!

Personally I'd rather the new CEO retract that statement as nothing in Tablet OS 2 shown at CES leapfrogs the competition except maybe the PIM functions thanks to GIST integration. But that's not enough to blow anyone's socks off lol

They really need to capitalize on delivering a rock solid user experience and BB 10 needs to come out of the gate with full BIS/BES support and really needs to just work

It takes a bunch of great UI ideas from other platforms and weaves them together into one really nice UI but it's hardly Earthshaking. Don't set expectations that cannot be delivered.

Great Questions...They have my vote.

Oh & also end the call by inviting him to do a CrackBerry Podcast. If not him, then Alec Saunders, or Alex Kinsella. Or even a QNX podcast with Dan Dodge

Congrats Kevin!

Ask him:

Does RIM intend to go after users it lost to android and iOS or does it look at them as lost for good and will focus on gaining new users and expanding its global reach?

Ask him what is his view on opening BB Stores in North America where consumers can get hands-on with RIM products and educated by dedicated RIM employees. This is the main reason Apple is so successful with their products because they have their stores for people to go play with their products and dedicated Apple staff to educated the consumer on Apple products. Retail partners dont give RIM products the attention it deserves nor do carriers.

Congrats on getting that first call btw.

If he is this willing to talk/be available, you should suggest he do an AMA over at Reddit. Seriously. That sort of exposure would really help bring RIM's image back from obsoletism with the younger generation.

Great news Kevin. I would ask Mr. Heins about RIM's future company strategy in terms of marketing. If the company will try to take a more "open" and proactive stance when it comes to information, good & bad. To get in front of issues that face the company in the court of public opinion such that it would positively affect the company. This would help to reflect RIM's position in a more positive light in the market & the share price, vs. what seems to have been a reactive & more negative one in the recent past.

Congrats. This really augurs well for a new relationship between RIM and Crackberry.

The key questions are

(1) Was he given the role with a free hand or have Mike and Jim given it to him on the promise that he wouldn't be selling the company?

(2) If he has no intention to sell then surely the stories of a possible selling of OS 10 to other hardware manufacturers are nonsense?

Finally, (3) Blackberry made the best device for what Smartphones were (communications devices) but now Smartphones are primarily multimedia consumption devices. Will Blackberry ever be able to compete in the new (keyboardless) market and still be recognizable as Blackberry? If so, how?

Honest answers to any two of those three questions and the stock price of RIMM will rise (making me happy and I'll give you 10% of any rise that comes from your questions :) )

Congrats again :)

Congrats Kevin, another notch on your CrackBerry belt.

I would ask him what changes he had in mind that made him feel comfortable enough to take on RIM's current situation.

also I would ask, What does his ideal BB phone look like in two years.

awesome KEvin, thorsten seems to be more of a fan of you than you are of blackberry!

what are your strategic goals for RIM in the next year? 2 years?
Marketing has always been an issue for RIM, what is going to change?
How do you plan to bring back confidence to the shareholders after the last 2 unbearable years?
what do you plan to do about the delays in product launches?
is HTML5 the future of blackberry?
what is the direction of the company for NFC?

OK -

To differentiate itself from Android (which I leaped to instead of the iPhone as I loathe the "cult of Mac") from my 8520 - why not consider pushing out a device or two with a modified Android system and the blackberry hardware polish?

And for crying out loud - don't ever, EVER put out another playbook without email functionality out of the box. I mean - really, that is just plain embarrassing, especially when email is your trump card over every one else. And for crying out loud - undercut everybody. Obviously Android OEMs still don't get it - and since BB is able to control the manufacturing side - why not undercut every other android tablet out there and take a nice chunk of the tablet market.

Are you going to take the tablet market away from Apple. No, of course not. BUT - it would raise some eyebrows and have some people rethinking about using iPads/iPhones in the workplace instead of Blackberry - and THAT is the big picture, isn't it?

What about webOS? It's open-source now. You could go crazy on that. Why not play around with that a bit? There are a bunch of developers that are chomping at the bit to work on a webOS device. Maybe by opening up the market to non-suits (the younger crowd views BB as a status symbol now for example) - you can really expand the market.

Maybe with the new CEO - RIM can go in a direction they never had the courage to go into before?

Not saying quitting on QNX or BB10 - but let's face it - what's the harm in diversifying, right?


Congrats Kevin very smart move on his behalf. More pro BB people like you are needed. We are with you! Keep up the great work and ask him for the PB 2.0 date!

Agree with forgetting about the PB OS2 and BB10 questions, leave that for the "market analysts." Ask questions about potential future licensing of the OS to other hardware manufacturers and plans for turning around the perception of the brand identity as outdated. Also ask about deeper QNX/BB10 integration into the automobile and embedded technology sectors.

What an honor to get, way to go CBK!!
i know you will ask him proper question not something silly like when is the BB10 phones coming out 'cause he wont know that. Get to the heart of the matter as in management and the overall attitude/feeling of RIM. Get people to want to work there and wipe away the doom and gloom feeling that, im sure, is in the building....oh and make sure that he leaves a position open for me in management in five years when i get out of school.

Hi Kevin,

Could you ask him what plans RIM has for bringing BBM to the playbook. Do they have a timeline in mind? Also, are their plans for 3G Playbook.

Just want to say congrats Kevin. Campari is in order for such an occasion! Ask him on what he plans on changing to deliver "perfect execution" of product launches?

Congratulations again, Kevin.

Could you ask Mr. Heins in a more educated manner if he can pull this off?

My first and most pressing question would be:

"When is BIS going to sync Google tasks, and when is complete IMAP support going to be included in BIS."

In this day and age, it seems completely ridiculous that I would have to pay extra (BES) for functionality that is included for free with iOS and Android.

I believe you will see that with BBX.

Playbook OS2 comming out in a few weeks does that so I don't see them turning around & going backwards with BBX

PREDICTION ... Kevin becoming the official spokesperson for RIM and the voice for all blackberry addicts on CB!!

First let me congratulate Mr. Heins on his new position. We are excited that he is going to take RIM to the next level. And Kevin, congratulations to you also. You have been our standard bearer for many years and you certainly deserved that phone call from Mr. Heins. I'm sure he follows CrackBerry and your team and will continue to reach out to the CrackBerry nation.

It will be one thing to catch up with the technology but what will be the plan to stay with or ahead of competition/technology? It seems blackberry's higher ups pockets got fat with cash. Complacency set in and years later here we are... What will he do to make sure that doesn't happen again?

Glad you got that call Kevin. You deserve it.

That is so FREAKIN' AMAZING!!! CONGRATS KEVIN!!! I bet you're not gonna get any sleep tonight! I bet Mr. Heins will get you that Porcshe BlackBerry you wanted. Good things are coming our way and for Kevin! Woohoo!

Of course he got the first call: they're the SAME PERSON. Look at that photo!

(Congrats Kevin. That really is quite an honor. It also shows that Mr. Thorsten has some surprises up his sleeve, I think!)


This is why i think Rim will survive. In exception of Apple only Rim has so devoted user base that stands behind the company in good and bad times. So new Ceo has Kevin on speed dial ! I am impressed ...

I want to know what device the new CEO is rocking. Hahaha. 9900? Torch? Can't be a curve.

Yeah, I'm a geek! hahaha.

-Donald Kelly

How cool is that kevin?... Pretty freakin cool that what, I agree with some posts above, don't ask when OS2 and bb10 are launching but how he plans on keeping the company profitable and how he plans on growing the company

What a great footprint for Crackberry! and Blackberry users alike!! It's not just Kevin that should feel honored, we all should....because the fact that Thorsten acknowledged Crackberry, this speaks that he knows how big this community it is and that he needed to address Kevin and us all. HUGE CONGRATS Kevin and to us all for the appreciation this man has to hear from us. And of course that Kevin pays mad respect by advising any questions we want answered. Big BIG UPS to you all. - Peace

WOW, seriously Kevin that's an extreme honour and congrats to you! Also awesome is that Alex (Kinsella) wrote the second comment!

As for questions: 1) What is the level of influence a site like CrackBerry has with RIM. With feature post on conceptual DreamBerry's and request/demand features and options, is RIM willing to keep an eye open and keep their ears perked to listen from its actual users (and abusers)?

The DigitalHomeBoy
My DreamBerry is coming soon. The TK2 Victory

First, Is Blackberry conscious about the HW and SW disadvantages against other competitors?
Second, Is the main objective of BB10 to leapfrog the competition or just to catch up?

Boxers or briefs!

Then I would ask how he got your number.

Seriously though, I want to know his intentions for PlayBook. Didn't HP change bosses, and first order of action was to drop their tablet?

Congrats Kevin !
You are now getting due recognition for your outspoken support for BB.
My 1st question will be ...Would Mr Heins offer Kevin the job as his advisor [just like that fat guy in MoneyBall to Brad Pitt] to turn around this struggling operation and now an underdog to iOS and Android.
Thst would be the icing on the cake for you


PLEASE TELL THORSTEN THAT THE REGIONAL OFFICES OF RIM ARE NOT WORKING WELL... For Example.. Here in the Philippines.. Blackberry is a hit! im not saying there arent alot of Iphone users here.. but being a developing country.. not everyone can Afford an Iphone.. thus makes Blackberry in the position to be the number 1 Mobile handset here.. Yes there are already ALOT of BB users here currently.. but i dont feel the BB Vibe anywhere.. I dont even think there is a Blackberry Philippines. No support for Handset.

WHO IS INCHARGE OF SOUTH EAST ASIA??? There is a Big Market in the Philippines and the people on top are not taking it seriously!

I have Been trying to contact Rey Gillenwater Director of Blackberry Philippines although he resides in Singapore. but he doesnt seem available to reply.. Im doing my Part as a Blackberry Fan to market and pull people in the BB scene.. but theres just so much i can do by myself.. RIM PLEASE STRIKE BACK!

This is really wonderful news - Thorsten projects an aura of calm steadfastness with a passion for RIM in the video, and I believe him. The fact that he called you, Kevin, is the strongest possible signal that he intends to keep his eye on his customers and also his constructive critics.

Please ask Thorsten how he will reposition the PlayBook as it was originally described by RIM, as the first professional tablet. For me that means: WiFi is solid; PB can be backed up consistently; Bluetooth is opened up for audio, video, headset, printing from PB, solid bluetooth keyboard experience; USB adapter; professional apps that support using the tablet for business, videoconferencing with any device; full-featured remote desktop access/control for BIS. I'm looking forward to seeing the improvements in Docs to Go with 2.0 and the robust-looking email/calendar/contacts integration.

On the consumer side, it would be interesting to know how he plans to bring Skype, Netflix, Hulu, and other really popular apps to the PB.

I agree with previous posters that marketing is critical.

Just want to add that while I see what's missing, I love my PlayBook - just upgraded to 64GB and my husband now has the 32GB.

Very cool, Kevin. For me, I'd like to know what he considers the soul of Blackberry to be, what sets a Blackberry apart from every other communications device out there? And how will RIM build on and expand current strengths to make Blackberry a market leader once again?

I've said in various posting on Crackberry & other tech blogs that RIM's biggest issue was lack of leadership, vision and the corporate culture that the executive management team cultivated (or more accurately suppressed).

1. What does Mr. Heins plan to do to turn RIM around? How does he plan to reinvigorate RIM internally to revive RIM?

When the 1st Gen Torch was introduced, then Co-CEO's went on the record saying many, many times "we partnered with carriers to develop a world class phone...etc"

2. Does Mr. Heins plan to the right thing and partner with RIM actual customer base and listen to their feedback? (or simply join Crackberry and READ THE FORUMS)

3. When will we see BB 10?

4. Why does it seem that over the last 3-4 years, RIM is always seems to be behind the competition regarding innovation? The Torch 9800 seemed a year behind its competitors and the Playbook, while boasting amazing hardware was release incomplete with no native email & no BBM (technically while demonstrated @ CES, has still not been released)

5. RIM's App store is severely lacking - What is being done to attract developers & make developing apps for Blackberry platform as easy as possible?

Correct me if im wrong- didn't AT&T sponsor some contest @ CES where developers had to build an app on site and 2 of the top 3 finalist were using Playbooks?? and the winner used a Playbook?- where's the commercial for that???

Finally Mr. Heins- Congrats & good luck

Awesome Kevin!! I am super excited about this and even more stoked about the transition!! The big question i want to ask is how BBOS 10 will stand out from Playbook OS 2.0 or will it simply be a cloned version for a QNX phone? I figure you cant get specifics but just some reassurance that when it is previewed that we can easily see how we The RIMpire have leapfrogged the competition!

I'm very excited to see another CEO reach out to the community (John Rubinstein, Steve Jobs(discretely)) but I will say even more so than BB10 and Playbook 2.0 is where this new CEO see the direction of the company going. Its okay to finish out the plans that have been lied out and even double down on them. I really want him too. But I really want to know where Mr. Heins' vision with take the company and the Crackberry Nations.

You could always ask him if he has any aspirations of going after an NHL team (*cough, phoenix coyotes, *cough) and bringing yet another franchise back to Canada like Balsillie attempted. Could potentially be a huge marketing venture.

Well now that Balsillie has more time on his hands, maybe this time he will succeed ;)After all the Coyotes are still a big $$ hole in the desert

Awesome! Thats really cool. As for the question.... well I am a webos refugee who was also promised by a certain company that they were "doubling down" on webos and even re-iterated that statement after a ceo change..... and then....well you know what happened. Can he at least show something that this will not be the case with BB10? I do not want to have to choose between windows phone and android, please tell me I'm not once again backing up the wrong horse.

Also, I'm trying to buy an app in app world and it is not accepting any of my credit cards, keeps coming back with error ID 10000, tell him to get on that, will ya'?

CONGRATS KEVIN!! Hopefully this is a true turning point back to the mountain top.

I would suggest that you skip the launch date and small tactical questions and ask some revealing strategic questions. The one I'd like to know is since he talked about innovation, what are 2 ways that they plan to add innovation that truly differentiates Blackberry product functionality from their competitors. Push email is no longer a differentiator, BBM is for the moment, but that can only last so long.

I personally hope that the answer for this has a correlation to Blackberry's past core strengths, such as communication, organization, and getting things done, as although I want to see them continue to improve the fun factor, not to the point that they forget their loyal utilitarian fan base. I don't want to hear, they will be 'whimsical' devices, and I don't think core fans or business want to hear that either.

Hey Kevin, that is amazing!

Could you ask Thorsten if he's still driving his Red Mercedes-Benz SLS? hehe, I worked for RIM as a co-op/intern and I ran into Thorsten a few times... great guy, very easygoing and nice. Anyways, let him know his car is amazing and a more serious note could you ask him, "What does RIM plan to focus on going into the future now that this switch is seen as a turning point for the company?"


Congratulations Kevin, you deserve it for all the hard work you do for the Crackberry Nation.

You can ask Mr. Heins:

1. Since we are hearing big words like "innovation" "integration" and "prefect execution". Will RIM by bringing new kind of products to the BlackBerry brand like QNX based BlackBerry Laptops or PCs therefore expanding the power and reach of the platform?

2. Is RIM going to sacrifice they data compression methods they use for NOC after the new platform is implemented? (in other words: With new platform, BlackBerry will become a data hog that will keep BB10 away from developing markets?)

and last but not the least...

Will he keep all the vague talking that Mike and most of spokesman have shown us over the years or is he willing to become the true RImperator the company needs?

The number one question that should be asked is the number one problem that Rim faces right now. There are some big name apps that consumers demand for their devices. So!

Is Rim willing to contribute monies to developers to accelerate the growth of quality apps for the OS2 (BB 10) ecosystem?

They had better be. The new SDK, the Android App player and the contribution of great new toold out of RIM Sweden (TAT) are all well and good but RIM needs to recognize that ignoring Apps is no longer an option and RIM needs to court developers like their existence depends on it (cause it does). The competition either has a huge existing app market (Apple and Google) or they are willing to throw any amount of money at developers to gain ground (microsoft). RIM simply CANNOT be left behind on this vital aspect of it's ecosystem. RIM not only needs to educate developers and show off the fantastic new tools that RIM has made for them to make the best apps in the world with, RIM needs to incentivize them in the same fashion the competition is.

After what i had yesterday,i would like to ask if RIM would ever fix the memory leak issue with OS 6 and 9700 )

That is truly an honour. I don't have any questions but maybe you can let him know that despite the mass appeal for all touch devices, there are plenty of people who value and appreciate full QWERTY keyboards. I hope they don't abandon that and they don't abandon the slider form factor.

Also, it would be nice for BB ads to show the human connection. For example, my cousin in Vegas just had his first child he shared photos with all of us in the family BBM group. The PB may not have skype but I was able to connect with a friend this weekend through video chat. I think this is the change that should be made in their future marketing campaigns.

The second question I think should address the new BB 10 phones. BB is famous for it's hard keyboards!

Since there is a delay in delivering the new phones, can we expect that a hard keyboard phone will also be ready when the phones are released?

I'm surprised no one has mentioned the segmented store experience on the BB platform. I would ask has RIM explored streamlining their customer buying experience instead of the current ( buy apps in appworld, music and videos from a third party) system? Customers like simplicity.


After having 30+% growth in global users, how can they market the company to dispel the public mentality that RIM is a dying company?

What are the biggest strengths of BlackBerry devices that the general public isn't really aware of, and how can you structure market to correct that?

Yes, they are both on marketing because I truly believe the hardware is good enough to compete,v it's just under hyped.

Ask him how you would get a Porsche Model Bold and if you could share some of the concept designs for blackberry.

ps congrats - that is awesome!

Well the questions I would ask are:

How do you plan to leverage the assets that RIM has acquired in the past two years to their fullest potential? RIM bought the right pieces, TAT, Gist, QNX, yet they have not yet woven them all together cohesively into the BB 10 platform that we all want to see RIM deliver. Plus, I watched the CES coverage and the QNX Porsche looked fantastic. How do you plan to leverage QNX's strengths in Automotive Infotainment to strengthen the BB 10 platform. Your competitors are leveraging their strengths in other industries: Nokia in maps and Microsoft in Gaming to carve out interest in the Windows Phone Platform. Apple is leveraging the iPhone's popularity to sell Mac's. Google is leveraging their services to build Android. RIM has a unique position with QNX in infotainment, RIM needs to capitalize on this especially for it's tablets to generate consumer interest in the platform.

How will you remind the buying public of all the reasons that the BlackBerry Platform offers a unique solution and already has been doing things for years that competitors are just now doing and yet they are making them look new and innovative?

Be Bold is a great tag line and ad campaign if the only phone in your line up is the bold 9900. How are you going to sell curves and torches? And speaking of Torches, why are there two phones of completely differing form factors named Torch? the 9860 has to be the most forgotten phone in RIM's line up just because the torch name is so associated with the sliding form factor in the general public's mind.

How do you plan to make the line up more consistent? RIM upset OS 6 customers with no upgrade path to OS 7, and RIM was schizophrenic in it's implementation of hardware features in OS 7 devices. Why does the 9860 have 4GB when other high end models have 8GB? Why to the two curves have NFC when none of the Torch phones do? There should be one MINIMUM CORE FEATURE SET defined and all BlackBerry phones in the range should offer that same core experience. If you want to advertize NFC capabilities as being a great differentiation compared to competing platforms, then you have to execute it across the line rather then by using a blindfolded guy and a dartboard to select which models get it.

You're in a Unique position, like Apple you control the entire ecosystem from end to end. You must execute like Apple. The vision has to be defined and the path followed. Are you the man who can accomplish this task and actually prove to the buying public that RIM and BlackBerry deserve to be among the top 3 platforms in the world?

Don't ever change the 9900/99030 style key bored.
Battery life needs improvement.
And stick with simplicity. simple UI. This is a communication device not a Play station. RIM should stick to its roots and not fall for those media phoneis like BGR and the like.

Kevin. Heins stated that RIM will not -focus- on licensing their software to other companies but that they are open to discussions. Could you ask him to elaborate ? thanks. cdm

Can u ask him if he's going to hire ham sandwich as his co-ceo ? haha
seriously though, if you could ask what his thoughts are regarding better training employees and improving instore displays for RIM products at retailers such as BestBuy, Staples, Etc

i think kev is behind all of this. honestly. i think he's masterminding all the moves simply to get in. i mean did any1 see this ish coming? don't think so. the only thing ya'll have to know from now on is a three letter word. Kev. that's it. Cause that's all that matters from now on. Kev will save this brand. i shit'chu not my berry brothers and sisters. #KEV2012. The year of The Michaluk. let's go!!!!!!!

I would really like to know where he stands on product diversification. I strongly believe that to be alive and thriving in 5 years, a company like RIM cannot only produce phones and tablets... an ecosystem needs to be everywhere the consumer is.

- will we see blackberry computers or laptops/convertable tablets
- will we see tv set-top boxes(or integrated) that stand on their own as well as allow other blackberry products to effortlessly stream to tvs
- will we see a true blackberry experience in automobiles SOON
- blackberry is well known for managing the access and delivery of email... but why hasn't a full-scale email hosting solution been developed similar to gmail? Why just deliver email when you could handle the whole email experience from start to finish?
- will we see blackberry tackle non-hardware related software to compete against other giants? Software such as web-based email, calendaring, e-commerce, social networking... Shouldn't there be a bbm social networking website similar to facebook/google+?
- will we see blackberry home(and business) automation solutions
- etc.

One key question to ask is what are the strategies RIM will deploy to close the content gap for Blackberry. The technology that RIM will be bringing to the table over the next 6 months is solid but that is not where they are getting beat in the market place. Their music, book, movie, magazine and app content are all well behind Apple and Android. Even if Blackberry 10 is the best technology out there it will not be a sales winner if there is no content. Rim has 6 months to solve this issue. Is this Thorsten's number 1 priority? If so what is his strategy over the next 6 months?

PS: Just so you know the proper pronunciation of his name in German is “Torstan” “Heinz“

Wow! Awesome news. This is a good indication. Calling Kevin = Wanting to be closer to the consumer and get their feedback. I think a lot of good questions were raised here so I am sure Kevin will figure the best ones to ask!

PS I was just in Bavaria over Christmas and it is a beautiful place... Good luck to the new president! and hope he manages RIM the same way the other Bavarian leader manages BMW! I am so glad the duo are out.

Mr. Heins, 1) how many changes of clothing would you pack for a three hour boat tour? 2) with only a single throw, whose head would you pick off with a conch shell: a) Jim Balsillie b) Mike Lazaridis or c) Berti Vogts?

Can you just get him to make sure RIM releases a new version of the 9900. One with an auto focus camera, 4G data, front facing camera. You know the things that everything else coming out this year has.

Thanks much

First of all Congratulations and wishing all the best to you n the whole blackberry family hoping for a miraculous turnaround to all the negatives.. My urgent request to you sir is to improvise on the bb os 7 as well as 6, also I m in country Sultanate of Oman where there is high charges of bb plans per month and NO APPWORLD access and all downloads are linked throught appworld n hence can't download anything ??? Rip off here just surfing,email n bbm !! Please take some interest here as well, as buying a bb is expensive n the services but not worth at all.

I see this as a great first move by RIM's CEO; getting in touch with your fan base (when you talk to Crackberry Kevin, your talking to us!) It tells us there's a NEW captain on the ship and that the die hard fan base is important to RIM.
My question would be; Do you see the Bold style QWERTY device as RIM's flagship? And where do you see the concept going?

@CrackberryKevin sometimes, one deserves his faith to be rewarded.

Congrats Kevin, this truly is amazing and I am sure you feel proud of it, as we, the Crackberry Nation, is proud of out fearless leader! Keep it up!

Just skimming the site today about the new CEO, and thinking yea, yea, yea, blah, blah, blah. Typical things to say and do for the new guy.

THEN I saw this post. Very impressive for both of you. This guy seems in touch and more importantly able to reach out and express it.

Question: I have been one of the stay the course guys because I am a long time user and proponent and saw what RIM was trying to do with 7, 10, playbook, love the torch etc. So I was finally seeing some improvement, albeit slow. How does Mr. Heins see that same recent period and determine which pieces, parts and programs of RIM that can be capitalized on and which parts must be discarded?


If you only get two questions, here's what I'd ask:

1. Do you believe that RIM is more hardware or software focused? And which of those two entities has more opportunities for RIM going forward?

2. You've lost a number of personal consumers to iPhone and the Android-based devices, and in turn, those customers have convinced their businesses to move away from BB for their corporate Smartphones as well. How are you going to get those customers back, both from a personal and a corporate Smartphone perspective?

Personally, Blackberry both won and lost me with my original Storm. That was the first personal BB I owned, and while it had some unique ideas, I feel it got orphaned by both BB and Verizon with updates in software, and then quickly replaced by BB in hardware -- and then completely overcome with better consumer products from both Apple, and the Android family.

Once enough people in my office had iPhones and Androids, it eventually tilted the IT folks to support those devices as work phones as well. A couple of years ago, that was unthinkable -- but now, RIM and BB are almost an afterthought. I'm not sure that the genie can be put back into the bottle, so how will RIM compete now that their once protected consumer base is now completely open for competition?

As for me, I've gone to an Android phone and an iPad combo. I swore I would never go back to BB until they made my Storm-experience right, and I'm not sure that's ever coming. I'm hoping that this might change with a new CEO. I hope that RIM can say/do something to make this happen.



Ok Kevin, I want you to ask Thorsten a favor instead of a question. Can you announce new products / Software as they become available, not 6-18 months before hand, not a fan of anticipation (yes I said it) being dragged out for so long.

Q1 - When will you start producing better hardware than Samsung and Apple?

Q2 - What new innovations can you come up with that are better than Android and Apple?

What an honour. I hope this openness continues for yourself and in the future.

Questions? Well, I would ask:
1. Hardware. Currently BB devices lack the hardware specs that other flagship devices have. Google Galaxy Nexus, Apple iPhone, Samsung Galaxy S II, etc.
Will the RIM a) have future ready hardware when the first BB 10 launches?
and b) Has RIM considered a reduction of the number of devices it launches?

2. Software. Knowing BB 10 is coming out later this year, will current BB 7.1 devices be able to upgrade?

Questions for Rim's New C.E.O

Question 01) When will we get Access to App World in so many countries where BB services and carriers and data plans and handsets and playbooks are already readily available ? (eg. Pakistan)

Question 02) Are there plans for any Landscape Qwerty Slider Formfactor style phones ( like Nokia E7, Htc Desire Z, SE Xperia Pro )

Question 03) When do we get Skype for Blackberry ??

Please Kevin Ask these questions !


Ask Thorsten Heins:

1.) How RIM is going to change the perception that the Blackberry is a dead antiquated system?

2.) How they are going to repair the relationship with early Playbook adopters that purchased their product only to see it sold a very short time later for half the original cost?


Kevin, you deserve it.. and we all deserve to know the plans Heins has to crush the competition? The dates, the technology & new killer features? We don't want to wait any longer, we are getting tired of the tech bloggers showing the middle finger on everything BB does.

how about just a simple:

1) what kind of handsets will be delivered to market in the next 6 months?

2) what are the plans for the tablet this year?

if the answer if NONE to both....well we got some problems here. what are the problems? cashflow? lack of innovation? lack of vision?

So one of my questions would go something like this:

It seems that a few device manufacturers, namely Samsung, have made inroads with the Android operating system against Apple's devices and iOS. How does RIM plan to quickly change the playing field and elbow its way back to the big kids table knowing that the market simply can't stand to wait until 3rd Quarter for Blackberry 10 devices?

2nd Question

With OS2 coming soon for the Playbook should consumers expect another tablet release from RIM in 2012, perhaps a 10 inch one?


I listened to the call this morning and I heard specific mention of the consumer base and vertical markets, and I understand the need to grow/expand both, but what is RIM going to do to regain the enterprise market and solidify it's base?!

Internally 3 years ago, we were 90% Blackberry and 10% we're about 30% Blackberry and 70% iPhone and the iPhone install base grows more with each iPhone release. This totally derailed our efforts to bring the Playbook into the enterprise as a business tablet.

Many other businesses we interact with are seeing similar numbers.

I'm sure you'll get many good questions Kevin, but slip this one in if you can.

I'd be interested in knowing what sort of ideas or plans he may have for making BlackBerry "cool", popular, and competitive again in the US consumer market. I want people to be jealous of my BlackBerry again, not mocking me for it.


There are tons of questions to ask, but in light of what I see out there in the business world today. I would most likely ask him how he intends to address/revive the brand. From what I see, there are not many brands as weak as RIM right now. In this day of the connected and aware consumer, if your brand is under attack , it needs to be dealt with post haste. You cannot turn around fickle consumers without a strategy for dealing with the perception that the company can't get it right ( even if they are doing things mostly right). Read any tech or consumer article and they go right for the negative, the momentum has built up, and there has been very little conversation from RIM to thwart the activities of the groups who are creating this perception. Outside of a CMO it's about a company culture shaped to meet this challenge head-on with a plan for winning again, and letting everyone know it. His answer to this challenge will speak volumes about what the future holds. IMO

Case in point to end this long, drawn out post: Apple is reporting that 350K textbooks have been downloaded in 3 days, so what?? out of 20MM students?? why not 2MM? but the strategy is; put the news out first, and spin it positive. Oh and let me add this, people lined up for the 1st Iphone before they even had a chance to see if it worked well. So this game is not about hardware/software alone;Branding!

Go RIM!!

I can speak for 109 people that WERE Blackberry users within the USA on the east coast since ’03 that purchased Verizon 9930 last Aug '11 and NOW are Verizon Apple phone 4s users within the last month. RIM has been left behind with platform and CUSTOMER SERVICE issues how can you for from 78 BILLION cap in May of ’08 company to a 8.3 BILLION cap Jan '12 company and say you are hiring a Chief Marketing person to head up US marketing when you are losing people already there were customer and you think they are going to come back! NOT!!! It’s CALLED NOT listen to your customers and BIG CO-CEO's with BIG HEADS! Best of luck when an Asian company buys your north of Border Company!!!

Also new big head CEO thinks that platform 7 is going to carry them(Blackberry) for the next 12-16 months because in his words will take two quarters for the new platform 10 to take effect when and if it comes out in late '12. You think that Blackberry will be still around? NOT

Ask him about the ideas we put on this website. Also, once a new device comes out, and as a current use of Bold 9930. Please let us know if there would be another upgrade that would boost not just RIM shares but also owners capabilities. The focus on new and not so old devices. If the new phones would support QNX, at least an upgrade BB10 for Bold, Torch, Curve. well Im not sure if they are the same. But the loyal fans would surely appreciate it...


Ask TH why does he think he'll be the one to lead RIM to success? And what does he envision to be the future of RIM? Playbooks? BBs?

Man this is so cool!!!! Even though I carry a Samsung GSII (Not by choice) I long for the day when I can get back to a Blackberry....I wouldn't even mind getting into a 8310....congrats on the call Kevin and congrats to the new CEO as I know he will lead Blackberry into a very possitive direction!!!!!!

Why didn't we see a huge marketing push for the PB when the tablets were first released? Today we don't see a real presence as well. Will we see more commercials as we start to see more commercials as the upgrade approaches? I feel like I didn't see much of a push when the tablet was launched. At least I didn't see aggressive marketing for it.


Watching Heins' interview I was impressed by the way he came across and sounded determined in improving the Blackberry persona to those wider than us Crackberry-ites. Heins being German and as that famous line goes vorsprung durch technik I'm looking forward to seeing if he can create RIM products along the same as well as substance.

For him to phone Kevin is great. Heins obviously wants to get Crackberry onside from the very beginning as he begins his stewardship of RIM. Very exciting times ahead I just hope he delivers a great product!

Look forward to hearing the phone conversation if not too hear Kevin's voice to go up an octave or two but to see how Heins stands up to Kevin's scruntineering on his vision for RIM!

JUST DO NOT DO AWAY WITH THE KEYBOAD WITH TOUCH DEVICES!!! WEe need an OS that's second to none and up to date affordable gaming apps that keeps us not only entertained during leisure time, but also keeps us excited about our devive of choice!

request more than a question...

I love using blackberries, but it has fallen so far behind, especially with app development, that I had to switch to a different platform. my iphone is my scapegoat until i find a better OS (maybe WP if/when it matures, but i would love to go back to BB)

My hope is that BB doesn't alienate what makes BB so unique from the user perspective. I would love my BB device, and would go running back to one if we simply took a 9900 and had BB10 running the show... and I need the buttons! lol. I don't care for gestures. I just need a quick and efficient device that I can use with one hand that doesn't need hard resets, can store apps on gigabytes of space, and doesn't skimp out on getting the job done like putting in small battery or using fixed focus camera. Add a front camera for video chat!. lets combine the NOS with carrier data network! Who wants to have to register with BB everytime you switch sim cards? not me.

When you think about it, what android/iphone today doesn't come with all that... and why shouldn't BB?

Not really a question but a recommendation. The sales floors in so many of the store fronts are extremely RIM/BB hostile. It is crazy how much sales people try to dissuade you from buying RIM/BB products. I think he should experience that, on a weekend when he's bored with nothing to do (as if that is coming any time soon!), just go into some of these store as joe regular and ask to look at a bb bold, or to a best buy and ask to look at a may be an eye opener for him if he hasn't experienced it himself. I have a few times, and am shocked at the level of anti RIM sentiment I've encountered from sales people.