Don't worry, RIM CEO Thorsten Heins isn't going to bust up BlackBerry handset and service businesses

Thorsten Heins, photoshopped onto Thor, God of Thunder
By Simon Sage on 23 Jan 2012 02:20 pm EST

Another tidbit to come out of this morning's conference call was the position of newly-appointed CEO Thorsten Heins on splitting up the company. Some investors were suggesting RIM break up into separate handset and services entities, not unlike the Motorola breakup a few years ago. 

"My view on RIM is a very, very clear view. Guys, I've been in device-only businesses before, and I know what it means to be in that segment. Frankly, if your value proposition is a device alone, it is a cutthroat price and cost business. My view on RIM is very, very clear. We are strong because we have an integrated solution, we are vertical, we have our network, we have our services, we have our enterprise servers out there with more 250,000 enterprises connected to it, and we have fantastic devices and a fantastic ecosystem that we're building. I want to build on that. I will not in any way split this up or separate this into different businesses."  

You might recall that in addition to ousting Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, splitting up RIM was one of the calls-to-action made by some shareholders.  When put in this light by Thorsten, it's easy to see why RIM isn't interested in destroying one of their major competitive advantages. Chris has already gone on at length about how the switch to ActiveSync in BB10 is a necessary move, but they won't be axing the existing NOC altogether. Apparently the margins on this kind of service are huge, and RIM would be missing out on significant profits if they were to give it up and instead focus exclusively the high-stakes hardware game.

Personally, I agree that RIM should keep their end-to-end strategy, but what do you guys think? Would a separate entity be able to operate more efficiently?

Reader comments

Don't worry, RIM CEO Thorsten Heins isn't going to bust up BlackBerry handset and service businesses


I like the platform as a whole. It works on many levels in terms of brand and identity. I think Android (with what it is and represents) is made to be on multiple devices and manufactured the way it is. Same goes for the windows mobile platform. I think the fruits should remain as is.

I agree. Keep everything as one. The nay sayers keep trying to make BlackBerry like Apple and Android when they aren't even used by the same demographic.
I like Ford and asians......some like Chevs and blondes.....there are those that even fancy Dodge and brunettes.....(although I don't understand the Chev thing)

I think BlackBerry is doing just fine in it's own little market place. If they tap into the gaming realm by use of it's NOC, they could open up a lot of potential.
With Playbook 2.0 coming, I think we'll begin to see a shift in the tablet world.

Later on with the move to LTE devices bridged to a playbook with some amazing games????? oh the future looks gooooood!!

everyone on here has probably posted the same list over the course of the past few months & years
first, why is the iPhone so successful, why does everyone have to have it?

second, how did android become so popular so fast?

what are we(blackberry) doing wrong that people are leaving?

1-apple wasnt a success overnight, they make 1 phone, & it's not really that great. but, it's simple, easy to use (mostly) and seems cool. everything works together, & they continue to meld all their hardware & software together.

2-the droid OS was given away to everyone. the power of the dollar for advertising & cool internet stuff, apps, web browsing, etc gave/give it appeal

3-the worst browser in the business. b/c it has to go thru a security process, it takes forever & people dont wanna be standing w/ their friends & get made fun of over something as petty as "my phone got to the website fasterthan yours." BUT, that will cause someone to jump ship in a heartbeat!!!

a little better hardware, much better web browser, and be Cool!!! thats all it'll really take to be honest.

I've always said that RIM was too busy worrying about the 20% (business) and forgot about the 80% (general public) and got left behind.

BlackBerry is the cutting edge business device based on its legendary physical qwerty keyboard that fuels you with confidence when typing an email or document and precise timing is critical. The Bold 9900/ 9930 and the Torch 9800/ 9810 has the best of both worlds: full qwerty keyboard with the entertaining touch screen! All that's needed is an OS to fill our browsing and gaming appetite, not one that cause us to "second guess" our device choice, leaving us hoping and wishing for better things next go round...

I expect him the make RIM beautiful enough to get a good price.
Now is a good to time to buy RIMM shares. I expect a good revenue in couple of month when RIM will be sold. In the video clips released by RIM I did not see an executive that know how to tackle to problems.


In short...

When you create a new product, the next step is to schedule a migration plan, then replace it with something new...etc


If they continue to cling to the old services model they are doomed. The technology has shifted, and the benefits offered by the famed NOC services have failed to keep up with these shifts.

If RIM steps back and evolves to address the fact that their famed Push services are no longer required (due to ActiveSync, Push IMAP, etcetera) and instead look for other ways to leverage the NOC and their services capabilities, the Blackberry platform might survive and again thrive. Otherwise, the death spiral will continue.

The reason for the price drop in the stock today was the fact that wall street had the door shut in there face, from the position of Prew Watsa being apointed to the board. After becoming the forth larges share holder, this move vertualy stops any hostile takeover attempt. Now many wall street insiders decided to take their money else where.
All the above was done with the pretence of not breaking up the platform!

That is very interesting. I am happy to hear that the chances of a hostile takeover are again thwarted. Prew Watsa took over from Mike as the Chancellor of Waterloo. I wonder what the relationship between Prew and Mike is like...