CrackBerry Podcast 083: RIM is NOT dead; Kevin wins the internet

Listen Now!




By Kevin Michaluk on 30 Mar 2012 08:34 pm EDT

As promised, we recorded a CrackBerry podcast today to discuss all of the news and fallout surrounding yesterday's Q4 earnings announcement by RIM. We've seen a lot of straight up bad news reporting over the last 24 hours since CEO Thorsten Heins spoke on the investors call which took a lot of statements at partial value (no, RIM is not abandoning the consumer market and no, the company is not getting sold off tomorrow - reporters need to learn to wait until a call is done before writing their stories).

We've also seen a mix of reactions on the blogosphere today at both extremes, with titles ranging from RIM is Dead to It's Time to Believe in RIM Again. Fun stuff. On CrackBerry we gave a straight up assessment of RIM's weak results, and appreciated Heins' matter of fact way in speaking about them and the challenges ahead.

We spend the first half of the show talking about why RIM isn't dead just yet. Between yesterday and today nothing has really changed for RIM. The challenges and work to be done are the same as they have been for the past several months. They need to keep the RIM boat afloat on BlackBerry 7 and service revenue streams for a couple more wavy quarters while they bring BlackBerry 10 to market. With cash in the bank, despite slowing sales they still have time to execute on their already in motion plans. BlackBerry 10 phones are going to need rock solid hardware, software, apps and some carrier love to make a splash and set things up for a comeback, but even if things don't go quite to plan we think RIM's Plan B can keep them fighting in the mobile space. You'll definitely want to listen in.   

Following up all the State of BlackBerry discussion, I give my podcast review of the Porsche Design P'9981 BlackBerry, and from there I "WIN THE INTERNET" by guessing at how RIM is going to incorporate "tiles/widgets" into BlackBerry 10. We start looking forward to BlackBerry World and BlackBerry Jam as well, and talk about that sexy BlackBerry 10 alpha hardware that RIM is going to give out (guess who's already touched it?!). 

Adam, Chris Umi and Craig join me for this one. Hit play and let's Rock & Roll This! Enjoy the show.

Listen: iTunes Audio | iTunes Video | RSS Audio | RSS Video | Audio Download | Video Download

Reader comments

CrackBerry Podcast 083: RIM is NOT dead; Kevin wins the internet


You guys are in denial or living in a bubble!

Rim is not dead, yet!

They will fade sooner than later.

I can't wait to hear " bb10 is pretty good"

Like the playbook, over a year old and the thing is a pos!

How can you use the playbook? The thing is not smooth and crashes all the time.

Wake up guys!

My PlayBook works great and has never crashed once. It has been 110% more reliable than my girlfriends ipad. Everyone need to get off of the "we hate rim" bandwagon, it's getting old.

Torch 9860, Playbook

My friend, if you think it it works great, I must be using a broken playbook with 2.0 on it because this thing is smooth as sandpaper!

Compared to an iPad the playbook seems to be broken and sluggish.

Not 9/10 but 10/10 people will tell you an iPad performs silky smooth, all you bb fan boys are in denial.

Proof is in the pudding!

3 m iPads sold in a weekend and Rim can't move over a million in over a year?... not even with super deep discounts.

Time to let go fellas!

Btw you are using a to the storm that's the worst bb ever!

Took long enough!!! But I'm glad you guys finally recorded one. Looking forward to hearing this one.

The problem is OS10 needs Apps to get any semi Consumer-Business traction, and certainly any traction from the BYOD crowd who will hopefully be using balance.

But the Playbook still suffers from a horrible lack of apps - exemplified by Skype, and the 'Android' solution has not brought enough over.

Jesus. Give it a rest. RIM is dead. Deader than disco. You can fight all you what but they're done, at least as you remember them

RIM may not be dead but they're on life support. Shipments down over 80%!
No one besides true BB fanboys think there's light at the end of this tunnel. They are way to far behind iOS & Andriod. Corporate customers are leaving in droves.

I enjoy using my 9930 but I see the writing on the wall. This should be a case study in how a few "idiots" can take a good product and brand like BB and run it into the ground.

Where are you pulling the 80% from? They shipped 11 million Q4 and 13 Q3. I may be wrong but that doesn't look like 80%

sent from my olskool os5

How is Rim dead? they sold? o ok then stfu already! :)
looking forward to blackberry10 :D thx Kevin

You can hold your breath for BB10 but you'll be dead before it gets released. Late 2012? I bet a Benjamin that it's an early 2013 before we see widespread release of devices. RIM missed the boat and no matter what they do now they will never be anything more than an "also ran."

Hmm why are you talking about late 2012 an early 2013. Aren't they dead? Dead means bankrupt the doors are closed there is no more RIM no blackberries or playbooks that is it, closed shop nothing happening gone.

So no BB10 devices, 2012 or 2013. Because RIM is dead.

or maybe not...

I think Adam dies a little inside Kevin mentions his P9981... good job guys. i really enjoyed this podcast even if kevin talks too much ;P

RIM will not die, it will become something new. As big as it was, or could have been? Not likely but it will survive in some form.
NOC, 250k BES and 75 million users...there is business value in that.

PS - no one knows blackberry better than blackberry

Good show and I agree there's too much pre-disposed negativity on RIM. Their outlook hasn't changed much even though it did confirm that they are really in the gutter and need to work hard to get out of it.

However I couldn't believe you've actually said RIM can easily make Android phones that'll outsell incumbent Android vendors like Samsung. Sorry that's just delusional. RIM has shown they are so far utterly incompetent of making great touch screen phones.

In the Android world where specs and large displays rule, RIM will get killed by someone like Samsung, and utterly so. RIM makes great keyboard based messaging phones but in Android, it's all about latest displays and fastest chips in the slimmest package possible. Those aren't RIM's forte. I sincerely hope RIM doesn't have the same delusion about their strengths as you do.

RIM sales down 21%, revenue down 19%, Q4 net loss, burning cash now.

Yet the Torch 9810 is not being sold in parts of Asia, and amazingly stilling selling the 21-month old Torch 9800 at FULL PRICE.

Is this how RIM/Blackberry treats its loyal customers, while RIM is desperate to increase its sales ???

Burning cash? RIM increased cash flow by $610 million during the quarter.
Where do you people come up with this garbage?

I know there are two more earnings reports before BB10, it just kills to say it.

I will say this, if TH isn't on stage at BBWorld with a working BB10 OS it'll be a huge mistake. This is not time for RIM to try to pull an Apple an show BB10 like 2 weeks before it is released they need to do all they can to hold back the damaging front page press they get with every earnings report (and we know the next two will likely be worse than this one).

If it's true that the OS is in such bad shape now that it can't be shown then let me know because I'll be likely getting a new phone early summer and I won't wait for BB10 if it hasn't been unwrapped by then.

I really liked the segment about developing a more too the roots device, without all the bells and whistles. The iPhone screamed into the market riding the back of the iPods monopoly on the digital music industry and and the love it created in the next generation of electronic consumers.

Even now after all the realization on the importance of content, the ecosystem, the development of the playbook and support for development, BlackBerry is still missing that first device.. the must have gadget that all kids beg parents for.

What I would love to see as a bare service device would be RIMs version of the iPod, a BB Jam Multimedia player, a device suitable for my 10yr old who wants the Discman of her generation, a device where she can have access to mobile communication such as BBM, long before I would want her to have access to the world that is the full blown social media culture.

The iPod is still hooking the next generation of electronic consumers on the Apple ecosystem before they even get to the Smartphone or Tablet game....As much as they don't need another distraction right now, I think its as critical to get the brand into the hands of the younger generation to generate traction in its popularity with that type of device, as it was to make the playbook to give reason for developer to further develop for that mobile platform due to the table trend.

As said, the device needs to be affordable without the need to subsidize with contracts. Allow addition of basic features like BBM, sms, email for reasonable fees. RIM has to focus on the ecosystem and content management, and now with BB Jam in the mix it and hardware development focused on all touch devices, it is not a stretch of direction to work on a device tailored to music and other basic core services.

I fell asleep listening (have two jobs). For the most part I'm not worried. I just wish people would stop comparing them to apple and android. BlackBerry is not elite anymore. It can be again but it has work to do. The only competition it has is itself. Catching up to the other powerhouses will happen when they are relevant again.

Kevin, you actually think running those type of widgets you mentioned on a blackberry phone and you didnt even think about the battery life hit that would take. All the BB users bash Android on their battery draining widgets but when BB10 gets it you think its the greatest thing in the world.

Andrpid don't have sexy tat widgets tho.... Why is anyone who is not pulling for RIM even on this site?
This is Crackberry! Berry berry berry!

If your not a fan ,why are you here?
Does your life suck that much?

You sign up and make an account just to troll and talk sh!t?

So very lame and your probably a virgin unless you paid for it.

I mean really. If you don't have faith in RIM ,delete your account or stay over at Android central or imore.

Why are you here?
Look in the mirror as you troll and tell yourself you don't feel pathetic.

I'm a BlackBerry fan. I love the devices and that's why I am here.
I don't go to Android or imore because I like BlackBerry products.

Sooooo why the fuch are you here?

Let go the pathetic you and grow.
Do yourself a favor.

Wow. That Kevin likes to talk. He will talk for 10 straight minutes about pie-in-the-sky ideas for RIM and the rest of the guys look like they're thinking of an excuse to leave. "Oh, something's burning!! Nevermind, it's just RIM." Compete with Samsung?!! Are you kidding yourself? Some of this talk sounds like sheer desperation, which is why the other three have little to say.

RIM is in serious trouble. They need a buyer. Or sell it off for parts. I can't see them turning it around on their own. BBX seems like it's miles off in the distance. RIM's biggest problem is getting things to market. They talk shit and then take literally YEARS to follow through, and then when they do it's just ho-hum stuff, already trailing the competition out of the box. That's a confidence killer to me. Don't talk about a great new product and then take more than 2 months to get it out there. The PlayBook made RIM into a laughingstock. I had one. It was a good device, tho sorely lacking. A year-plus of hype and look what they put out to market? An unfinished product. Very sad.

Good going ....... Kevin takes the internet.
Can't wait for the BB10 !!!!
Our BB work phones are up in Dec .... and I will be switching the lot of them to the NEW BB10 phones !! ( we took on some new 9900 ... and the guys are really happy with them )

On another note ..... Kevin has lost a lot of weight !!!!

Is he going to pop the question to Mrs. CrackBerry soon?

I still stand by the idea that RIM should consider Toyota/Lexus business model and keep Blackberry as enterprise/communication device and start new brand that's more consumer/communication oriented, be more flashy and sell at higher price point. Same OS but slightly different feature sets between the two. Maybe have BB sell with keyboards and second brand without.

This is the exact same model they've been running and it's failing them....

The have low end Curves (Toyota) for those who don't have as much money to spend and then they have the Bold 9900 (Lexus) which is the high end luxury device.

Unfortunately, the Bold 9900 as a high end device doesn't even compare to what an iPhone can do. Yes, both phones can make calls, send/receive emails, send text messages... all the basics. But then when you compare media like music, video, web browsing... the iPhone has it beat.

You say that there should be a basic device and an enterprise device but that would just ruin RIM/Blackberry more. Businesses are accepting the iPhone now because not only can they get them all hooked up with business email, security, etc... but workers also have access to the nicer things, ALL IN ONE DEVICE.

Personally, I believe the days of carrying around 2 devices were gone a while back. The only thing the iPhone is missing is a physical keyboard for those who don't like change and can't deal with typing on glass.


My kid's girlfriend has an iPhone and she loves it, my kid has a Bold9790 and he loves it.
His 9790 streams music, videos and surfs the web just as good as the iPhone, his experience not mine.

RIM is an awful story teller, they failed to communicate the greatness of the Bold 9900 and 9790.

Personally, I think it is wrong to say that RIM is dead. I think an accurate way to describe this situation is that RIM's window of opportunity to bounce back is shrinking at an exponential rate.

Porsche Carrera S 997.2
Porsche Carrera S 991 (Coming soon)

RIM is dead. That is why they added 600 mln in CASH this Q. Dead billionaire with 2.1 bln in bank account and growing.
And it's so dead that it jumped 7% yesterday on 5X daily volume.
Well Elvis is also dead and Michael Jackson too! But they still make money and will make money even after you all are dead and forgotten.

I bought my Playbook in december.. impressed by RIM quality, I sold my iphone 4 and got myself a shiny 9790.. so far Im happy with RIM.

Plus I dont really understand RIM is doomed in the media lately: Blackberries are EVERYWHERE here in the UK. And 50% of the people with smartphones I know have Blackberries.

Dear Kevin ! You talk and talk and talk and..........!! Do you actually believe what you say ? Or are you just acting a NR 1 BB- Fanboy everybody wants you to be ? Come on ! These things are just fantasies !
Rim is in deep shit ! They will never come back to the top. Reminds me more and more of Palm.
Very sad ! Somebody must buy them before it is too late ! Why not Apple ?

Again another stupid comparison of RIM to Palm. Palm, never had the customer base that RIM has, not even close. Palm was never financially strong as RIM is today.
RIM is transitioning to another OS, a huge undertaking, if PlayBook is an example, then BB10 will have the best Web browser of any smartphone device, it won't be even close.

You BB-Fanboys who have a neurotic addiction to Blackberry are just too much. You are living in a bubble. We will see who is right !
By yhe way, I have a Playbook and a Bold 9900 but also an Iphone 4s and an Ipad 2 . I use them all.

You predict RIM'S demise, comparing them to Palm. You make this assertion without any facts yet when someone contradicts you the other is a fanboy. Enough said.

You write : " RIM is transitioning to another OS, a huge undertaking, if Playbook is an example , then BB10 will have the best Web browser of any smartphone device, it won't be even close. ".

Come again....? " the best web browser ". ...... " won' t even be close" ..?
These are definitely signs of one who has a neurotic addiction to a Blackberry ! Like I said I have a Playbook and I know the web browser.
" The best web browser "....??? LOL ! ROTFL !!

That's right, best Web browser of any mobile tablet and only getting better. Best $200 that I ever spent.

You apple-fan boys are hilarious. You're very lucky today that global media didn't hammer Apple back in the 90's like they're now hammering RIM when Apple had zero good (app-less) products on the market; Microsoft was running away with the lion share of the market in pcs; there may have not been an Apple company today.

But Apple turned that all around with the ipod and it saved them. So why do you think that RIM can't do they same. Yes, RIM is newer than Apple and they are learning hard lessons right now... but they ARE learning.

To me RIM is in a way better position than Apple was and the have cash in the bank and they are still selling product .. good product.

Can it be better? .. yes.. will it be? we'll just have to wait and see with BB10. Better yet... you fuching BB-haters better be careful that Apple isn't the only one left standing cause there will be no more innovation and you'll be paying top dollar for their garbage product refreshes that offer nothing of real value.

Very informative podcast btw..

You guys are treating this tech thing like a war.. grow the fuch up and get a life... why all the the hate.. what did RIM do to you personally?.. maybe you have shares in Apple or work for Apple. Remember "Competitiion is a great thing..."... you should want RIM to survive!

I couldn't agree with you more. The apple fanboys gotta remember who helped them out in the 90's. ( Microsoft ) because competition is a great thing and apple need to remember that.

Torch 9860, Playbook

I carry the Bold and the Playbook and love the platform. It's over folks; it's just that simple. The tidal wave continues to gain momemtum and move away from RIM. RIM's greatest assets are simply that....assets. I'm looking to add a second phone for personal and Blackberry is not even in the decision making process.
How is the market share going to shift in such great proportions that RIM survives?
How many of the masses are going to see the new format (sometime this fall) and are suddenly going to drop their Apple, Samsung, LG, Nokia, HTC, Motorola family of product? It "ain't" happening.
Like any other hard decision in life, when you are too close to the problem you fail to see the obvious.
Sure, RIM is generating dollars and that is exactly what will sell the company, not a group of people posting on how much they love Blackberry or stating "Go RIM" or how much they hate Apple or Google or Microsoft or Samsung or HTC or Motorola or Nokia or LG...and on and on. The ship has sailed.

People will "drop" their existing phone if they feel there's something better. Once their two or year contract is over they can choose the next best thing whatever it may be.

Can someone tell me what compelling feature iPhone has? What feature does it have that makes it superior to the Bold 9900?

I' have been monitoring this site for some time now and I am impressed with the loyalty BB has in its followers. That said, here is a quick take of Rim and BB.
I head the telecommunication Dept in a very large city agency where we issue over 2300 BB (Bolds and Playbooks). My son has an iPhone and last Christmas received an iPad. It was sitting on my table 1 night last summer when I decided to play around with it. And all I could say is WOW. This Christmas the family received an ipad2 for all to use, even though I have 2 play books (suplied by employer) lying around. Last month I purchased my son, wife and myself iPhones 4s.
To be clear I am willing to pay for phones even though I receive all the BB (with Verizon service) I want for free from my employer. This says a lot.
I hate to say it because I loved the BB community, but myself and others within the city are pushing through the paper work to bail out on BB and switch to iOS devices. I think we gave RIM more then enough time to get into the game.

Re "Kevin Wins the Internet" and widgets: Kevin, glad you've finally figured out what I was telling you in my comment on the "Homescreen widgets make their BB debut" post. As I said, we already have the ability to do this, simply by having the app listen for the event saying it's now in the "thumbnail" view. This API wasn't available at launch but was added around August last year, and people could be doing this already, if they wanted to (and had thought of it).

For the moment no one has ever seen any BB10 device in the real world, by now there are only kind words without any product.
It will need time to place the BB10 device on the market, time that RIM no longer has.
If RIM will release there numbers for Q1 2012, the shareholder will decide if they are still have faith in RIM or not.
All the talks around RIM are "RIM is dead" or "BB10 will be the killer phone" c`mon - both statements are not true... let them make there work and hope that they will get it done - for the users and the shareholders.
By the way TH knows how to liquidate a company in this game...

Cheers from Germany, Markus

One thing that i don't understand about earnings call. If RIM had set lower expectations like 10-11 million units and then sold 11.1 would perception now be different?

Most IT departments never saw the iPhone as a better productivity tool, they just gave up trying to fight the consumer mind set. The hype around Apple was too big that even executives bought into it and said Apple needed to be brought in. Especially once the iPad hit, something RIM definitely does not do better, yet, tablets. So it was a perfect storm really. IPhone and Android still are not the productivity tools BBs were and the apps users complained about, most if not all had little to none added business value. This is where the whole marketing thing comes in. BlackBerry lost the perception thing without even putting up a fight. If they don't do something about that, BB10 will be a flop too.

Kevin, amongst all the discussion about the future of BlackBerry wouldn't RIM want to protect its current subscriber base by offering an incentive, ie loyalty program to Blackberry users? In other words, "Wait for the new BlackBerry 10 phone and receive a special rebate (or discount)." The goal is to stablize the current customer base and stop the bleeding. That has to be priority #1.

The brand loyalty displayed here is impressive. I'm loyal too - a Bold sits in my pocket which I paid retail price for, while a free "company issued" Android sits in it's box unused. But, that said, the earnings call has nothing to so with feelings, it's about *earnings*.

RIMM has failed to generate sufficient shareholder value and is being punished. They have everything they need to produce a turn around. Let's see what they can do....they probably have the rest of 2012 before the break-up value becomes higher than the share price, at which point Thorsten will have to recommend a sale of assets.

I personally think RIM is dying, there is no denying It, sure they still have marketshare but they are loosing it very quickly.. I've always been a supporter of the Playbook OS, and still am..

What people fail to realize is that very few people actually buy a BlackBerry phone because they want one, they buy it because It was one of the cheaper options with the plan.. Thats exactly why my sister and parents own one..

I haven't once heard them say they actually like the BlackBerry phone, point is it's usable for them, but even they think the iPhone is the best thing out there, wether it's true or not is irrelevant.. My parents aren't tech savvy at all and so they don't know the ins and outs of phones out there..

I don't think I have to prove that to anyone, If the vast majority of the users enjoyed using BlackBerry devices or think they are great I think it would be evident in Playbook sales as well..

BlackBerry has 76 Million users? Yet they've only managed to sell about 1 million Playbook's and that is with huge discounts..

You really don't know what you're talking about. Just because you think it's the best doesn't mean everyone else agrees with you.

Not everyone wants an iphone (how presumptuous and egotistical of you) and the reason they're selling is due to Apple's successful advertising and that their product gets pushed by all retailers (once again due to the advertising). Not everyone needs or wants an iphone.. but when the average consumer doesn't know what they want ... they've seen it drilled into their heads by the media and by all the commercials; and because most people know about it .... then that's what naturally gets recommended.

I personally have used the iphone and quite frankly I think the iphone is for dummies - also can't stand the small all touch keyboard. It's an ipod with reception (coupled with bloated/restrictive itunes) and has access to thousands of useless applications/games. No flash.. wtf... but it does have a good camera even though SIRI still can't get it right.

I hope BB10 blows Apple out of the water cause other than key apps being held back for the playbook (I'm sure from pressure by Apple and Microsoft) .. the PB definitely holds it own even to the latest ipad and it hasn't gone through 2 additional product refreshes where Apple has once again brainwashed you to giving them more of your hard earn money.

I was pleased to hear that my dislikes with my BB are similar to you guys, good pod cast.

I finally caved a went a got a Ipod for my music this last week due to my 9930 NOT being the MP3 player I need. While there are 3 Iphone in the house, never really played with them. But now playing with the Ipod, got to say, if the new BB10 phones are not all that, Iphone here I come.

I really like the BBs that I have owned for the last couple years, and pretty like using my PB for web browsing and stuffs.

However, my discontent is also building up simply because it seems that RIM don't really care about very basic user experience.

For example, even in OS2, the very basic and important features such as: Sorting, Renaming, File Detail and Sharing Buttons in the Native Pictures App; File Sorting, Renaming, File Folders, File Detail and Sharing buttons in the Native Videos App etc. are all missing, making it extremely difficult to browse for our image/video collections and makes it almost impossible to share our pictures.

I have more than a thousand of pictures in my library, but the only thing my PB can do with it is to show the pictures in its brilliant display.... But when i want to share a picture? No can't open/pick an image from the image app and send directly from there, because there is NO sharing buttons; ok when I try to get around that by using "attachment" function in the email/facebook apps? Sorry that can't do too, because the file browser lists ALL the pictures in one place, so I have to keep scrolling and scrolling until I can luckly see the pic... May be it can be a little better if I can use the search function right there so I can look for the Image I want by entering part of the file's name?

Oh sorry that can't be done neither, because I don't know the exact name of the file, because PB doesn't name the pictures we take with the shooting date, but only img_0000####. Well may be I could still look for the name of that pic, try to memorize it, then go back to the email/facebook apps to try attach and search.

Oh but hey! The native Pictures App doesn't show the pictures' file name AT ALL! So, what the heck should I do with the pictures I've uploaded to, or taken with my PB?

Hassles like this shouldn't have exist in a "smart" product of this age, it only hurt the users' experiences and, worst, because this is so basic people would need to do this very frequently, that means the lacking of these basic functions actually kill the user's experiences every time they do it... Until they eventually give in/give up.

I believe that alot of other users who love their PBs are also frustrated of the lacking of other basic stuffs such as bookmark folders for the browser, as well as an video editor.

How did the people in RIM possibly overlooked the basic stuffs is beyond me, but what's really frustrating and disappointing is that they don't even show that they acknowledge that and/or willing to fix it, and instead just let the users' experiences to deplete.

If RIM really want to fix their name and stage a comeback, the first and foremost thing they need to do is to improve the uses' experiences NOW, then the current users will still be loyal, and the market would probably start to care about BB10 (which should really ATLEAST have all the cool effects that TAT have teased, plus all the basic stuffs ready and sound, otherwise, don't bother, please)

Thanks, that's very interesting from an actual PlayBook user's point of view...

We sincerely hope that RIM/BlackBerry had learnt from this PlayBook lesson, that the upcoming BB10 OS would be better than this *at*product*launch*.

No more half-baked solutions at launch (where was auto-complete for the first 12 months after PlayBook launch?).

Sad that the RSS Video download for the CrackBerry Podcast can only be used with iTunes. Shouldn't we be allowed to expect to use the PB Podcast app exactly for this?

Sad that the RSS Video download for the CrackBerry Podcast can only be used with iTunes. Shouldn't we be allowed to expect to use the PB Podcast app exactly for this?

All I got to say is BLACKBERRY FOR LIFE! When you believe in something.. you should always stick to it because there is always room for improvement.. Just a matter of time...