The good and the bad from RIM’s Annual General Meeting in Waterloo

RIM 2012 AGM
By Chris Umiastowski on 10 Jul 2012 05:05 pm EDT
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** UPDATE ** When I wrote this story I gave RIM a hard time for cutting off the Q&A session too early. There were a few reports suggesting that many people were still lined up at the microphone when RIM ended the meeting. After speaking to a few more people and reading commentary from people who were in the room, I clearly reported incorrect information. The only people left at the microphone were repeat questioners. And when you read the post, you'll see how little value came from those particular questions. So, to RIM I apologize for an incorrect accusation. *

This morning, in Waterloo, RIM held its AGM.  We did a live podcast (we'll post it up shortly) while piping in the audio feed from the meeting, and in all honesty, it was mostly a non-event.  Not a heck of a lot happened of interest.  Nothing particularly new was brought to the light, and RIM management mostly spent time reiterating information that was already communicated in the past.

Thorsten did a reasonably good job of expanding upon the reasons for the delay in BlackBerry 10.  It boils down to what he considers to be an exceptional job by the software team in coding a large quantity of new capabilities, thereby making the integration of code a much bigger job.  Whether or not this is the entire truth, one thing is for certain:  the entire CrackBerry team agreed that RIM is doing a good job of owning its own delay rather than passing the blame onto a supplier.  Remember the last time that Jim and Mike blamed the delay on chipset availability?  Thorsten doesn't pull that kind of stunt.  

The Q&A session was, in my opinion, the most interesting part of the AGM.  Unfortunately one guy kept wasting time by asking about the risks of RIM computers getting compromised by Chinese hackers.  Had it not been for him maybe someone else would have asked two other intelligent questions.  But it is what it is.  

I blame RIM here, because they cut off the Q&A session very prematurely.  There were, by estimate of people present, about 20 more people lined up to ask questions when RIM pulled the plug on the meeting.  That's bad form.  When your stock is under significant pressure and investors are publicly calling for the resignation of board members, you should take shortcuts with your AGM.  Let people rant.  More importantly, give plenty of frank answers.  

Not to mislead you - RIM did give frank answers, and I think Thorsten comes across as very genuine.  But they shouldn't have cut the meeting off with so many people still looking to ask questions at the microphone.  

The stock market clearly wasn't impressed by RIM today.  The stock ended the day down almost 5%, putting it within spitting distance of another all-time low.  

RIM's market capitalization is now a mere $3.7 billion, which includes $2.2 billion in cash.  Another metric to look at is current assets minus current liabilities, which stands at positive $3.4 billion ($3.7 billion if you include cash that has been invested with a +12 month time frame).  On top of this, RIM as property, plant and equipment worth $2.7 billion on the balance sheet, most of which consists of land & buildings rather than quickly depreciating technology equipment.  

Any way you slice it, RIM should be worth a lot more than its current market capitalization.  But investors, on average, believe that the company will not be sold, not be broken up, and will burn cash as it shrinks towards irrelevance.

We anxiously await the launch ... as does Kevin's barber.

Reader comments

The good and the bad from RIM’s Annual General Meeting in Waterloo

168 Comments

It was a very very sad moment for Research In Motion today at the AGM! They clearly have a governance issue, but now they don't even want to listen to their owners (the shareholders).

As many of you know, I'm a huge supporter of RIM and their BlackBerry devices and I have been for well over 10 years. I believe in the future of RIM with their new QNX-based BlackBerry 10 OS. And now that they are clearly making steps to reduce their manufacturing division, this will open up opportunities for them in the future.

However, not listening to shareholders, and even at times ignoring them was very concerning.

Chris, you pointed out that here was numerous people still waiting to ask questions when Barabara said the meeting is done. Not only that, but there was an older gentleman with some great comments during the Q&A. He said how did the board let the company lose so much value so fast, and how can the board re-elect half of the directors that were part of these in addition to a director that still sits on the board that was there during the 'options backdating' fiasco. Barbara Stymiest in respond to him said "Do you have a question?" And moved on! I was very shocked and so was majority of the room.

BUT THAT WAS NOT EVEN THE BIGGEST NEWS OF THE AGM!

Chris, not sure why you didn't mention this.

RIM IS REDUCING THEIR MANUFACTURING DIVISION! They confirmed that they are 'consolidating their manufacturing from 10 external sites to 3'. This is what I have been saying for a long time now, and you know that! They need to reduce their money losing hardware operation, and have complete focus on QNX-based BlackBerry 10.

ALSO, Thorsten said that they are evaluating licensing options for BlackBerry 10. This goes HAND in HAND. And in my opinion, these two pieces were the BIGGEST NEWS OF THE DAY!

Nope, they did not say that they are reducing their manufacturing sites from 10 to 3 during the Q1 conference call. They said they are streamlining their operation, but they did not provide details.

Think Forward. This should be RIM's new motto. Change is necessary. Mistakes happen. RIM must move forward. But this time, trudge carefully.

RIM's shareholders must understand that back in 2007, Apple caught everyone OFF guard, including Microsoft. Apple's mobile software was 5 years ahead of everyone else, and Android was really a reincarnation of the iOS software. It isn't easy to create a brand new operating system from scratch.

We must understand this. NO ONE should be blamed at RIM. Blaming doesn't solve any problems. RIM employees and shareholders have to stick together and help promote the upcoming Blackberry 10.

Hopefully reducing manufacturing sites translates to reducing overhead expenses. Another step to the right direction.

Surreal - I believe this was announced over a month ago. I seem to remember a press release from on of the companies (I believe they were in Ottawa) that said they were ending their relationship with RIM. Hopefully they will reduced the # of devices down to a handful and reduced expenses in the process.

Yes, we knew that relationship was winding down, but there was no specific mention of RIM's reduction target.

In fact, it was the partner (Celestica) that made the announcement, not RIM. I think many took it as a sign that RIM couldn't pay its bills or something.

Are you referring to Celestica? This is bigger than just ending a packaging relationship with Celestica.

Actually, since you brought up Celestica. Many news outlets reported that Celestica 'broke their relationship' with RIM. Actually, it was the other way around. I was tweeting this from Day 1 (Twitter: @SurrealCivic).

RIM is in a transition period. We all know that. However, their transition includes reducing their manufacturing capacity, a capacity that was able to ship over $13M units per quarter or approx. > $50M units per year. This is being drastically reduced. A company doesn't just reduce their manufacturing capacity due to short-term plans. They reduce their capacity due to long-term plans, or in RIM's case a complete strategic shift to software and services. I say this because it takes a long time to bring plants up to speed, it takes years for a manufacturing plant to be producing a market-ready product. RIM has invested a lot of money, resources, and time through-out the last decade building their manufacturing capacity through these plants. This is coming to an end. And the reason for this is because they are transitioning into a SAS (Software and Services company).

Actually, it does not take any where near "several years" to start the process of making a product like a cell phone. In less than 6 months, foxcom can be slamming bb's out. Apple makes changes well within this timeframe. Bb will be making hardware, but using a third party to do it for less than they are able to. This is and has been what Apple and Samsung have been doing to control costs and production swings and changes

personally, I hope you're wrong and RIM continue to have control of their hardware division. Slimming down production costs goes hand in hand with their announcement of tightening product lines and fewer models.

"Barbara Stymiest in respond to him said "Do you have a question?" And moved on! I was very shocked and so was majority of the room." She said was their a question in there - which was good of her because as soon as he finished I was like.. what that is a statement ... anyway it seems she asked him and then you heard him say it was a statement.

It's old news. It was announced in June that Celestica (originally IBM) would not be manufacturing BlackBerrys. They have manufacturing plants world wide.

Thorsten has also been saying for six months that they were evaluating various options - including licensing.

Personally I think it's just spin to satiate the hungry shareholders who have lost a fortune.

Reading between the lines (and the news release at the time) RIM approached its contract manufacturers and asked them for a price reduction. Celestica refused and will wind down operations over the next 3 to 6 months.

You don't turn down a big chunk of your business over a little bit of profit. Would you tell the people you're supplying to that you don't want their business? (you give me a job and money, but in the shadow of the greatest recession since the last depression, I don't want to work for you) RIM is moving to at least three handset models. They don't need a dozen different plants making a dozen different models. It's a Henry Ford thing

"Would you tell the people you're supplying to that you don't want their business?"

Sure if it means manufacturing at a loss. Not a sustainable process. And bear in mind they're a contract manufacturer and may well be able to take on other work in the massively expanding smartphone market (even in a recession).

And multi-sourcing is an important part of supply management. If you can get two people to make the same product at the same price without incurring additional cost why wouldn't you.

Especially if they're in different markets. That way you can reduce distribution costs.

The board was elected by the shareholders. I dont see how saying to them how could you be elected again is at all relevant. These jaguar guys should propose an alternate slate if they arenthappy

Alboni/Jaguar had 3 Directors that they wanted to Nominate but they couldn't get the support of any REAL shareholders & as such were unable to nominate them. Becuase despite all that Alboni claims, he realy doesn't have that many shares in RIM. He's an annoying poodle with a loud yappy bark.

....I wonder if those 3 people he wanted to nominate even knew he was mentioning their names lol

Sounds as though Jaguar has lost a fortune. Not really a surprise.

Sadly their CEO hasn't a clue about the smart phone business (or investment evidently). He's crazy enough to talk to reporters looking for bad news. Thereby generating more negative PR and pushing the value of his shares lower.

The major investors talk behind closed doors. They're not so stupid as to talk down the value of their stock.

He only gets press because of his Jaguar association. We have many a troll on CB who don't get the press time Albino does. Oops. My bad. Alboner... Damn it! AlboneDick... Um... I give up.

Jaguar is worth 4 cents a share. So is the other company Alboini owns, Northern Securities, where Sameet Kanade is the top analyst, and has had a sell recommendation since last December. They used to be worth a lot more. Four-Cent Alboini is called an "activist investor" in RIM, despite the sell recommendation of Four-Cent Sameet. Ethically speaking, Vic should be shorting RIM on behalf of his investors, and for all we know that's exactly what he's doing. Meanwhile, BNN and everyone else in the MSM is giving him a soapbox to tell the world what's wrong with RIM. Another question: Why are guys whose investment companies are worth 4 cents a share being treated like rock-star investment analysts?

The REAL SHOCK of today's meeting is just how quickly Thorsten Heins has become as "DISRESPECTED" in his articulation of what is going on at RIM as Balsille.

The difference is that it only took him 6 months to get where Balsille was after years of hyperbolic hype and overpromising.

Thor has already become not credible in the eyes of the investment community. No need to call me a "troll", children of this board, just take a look at the stock's price action.

I understand that in the world of "RIM IS GREAT" and anyone who takes a counter position is a bashing troll - trust me, having owned 7 BlackBerrys in a row and being ONE OF YOU - I get your angst, teenage and otherwise. I, probably, lost a good deal more money than most of you, as well, but I digress.

And for those of you that don't understand that RIM's stock going from $140 per share to $7 per share "doesn't matter" than you don't have the intelligence to understand why it does.

And for my friends at Crackberry who are judging RIM exectutives for "cutting people off before they can ask a question", trust me on this also - you have censored more than your share of people who have taken an opposite view to yours. Glass Houses anyone???

I, for one, am glad these guys "look tired" - they should be tired and disgusted with where we are. Hopefully, they can do something about it. GET TO WORK!!!!

Why do you always mention Balsille in every one of your posts? Did he do something to you? He's ancient history now. Let it go.

The only child on this board is you. You know how I know? Because you whine and cry like someone took away your toy and won't give it back. "Buh buuh buuuut whaah whaaaah"

By droider... Next stop...Android Central

If it's that easy to you should put tim cook in that boat also. Apple competitive nature has been a big joke ever since cook took over even with a book filled with jobs future plans. Thor stepped in to control a company that was a complete mess, it's easy to say something when you don't have to make calls Thor shoes.

If Thorsten Heins does what the noisy people want, there'd be no RIM left in 6 months. Most people have no clue about how the smart phone industry works (it's about the carriers).

He is actually doing a very good job.

By this time next year, RIM will have reduced costs by $1000,000,000 dollars. Reduced it's over complex management structure. Introduced a completely new marketing approach. Reduced it's product portfolio. Introduced BB10. And added one or two interesting technologies if the spin is to be believed.

If they restore a little market share next year (or absorb some of the growing market) then the cost savings should see RIM's margins leap back to somewhere near where they were in the good old days. And their stock value will follow.

Keep the faith. The guy is making the right noises and more importantly taking the right actions.

It's pure Peter Drucker (the first management guru I ever learned from). A products and B products. The entire current series of phones is B products: Make what you can sell, fix the problems, don't actively sell or promote in your main markets, just operate in maintenance mode so as not to piss off your customers, who you will need later. BB 10 is the A product, but it is not out yet. Once it is out, if the margins are half way decent, you can run down the B product quickly.

The sensible approach, therefore, is to start getting out of B product manufacturing agreements right now. Which seems to be happening.

Some companies devote 80% of their effort to things nobody much wants. If they just kept the 20% of A products, they would make more money. But getting rid of the drag is a hard job.

I had to abandon BB 10 as a development platform (too late), but I'm still here for the insight into managing a company in transition. It's fascinating.

I'm not defending RIM's board far from it but that old man gave a speech and a strong one, I was one of many who applauded, but to the Chair's point there wasn't a question to answer.

with regards to numerous people waiting to ask questions well that isn't entirely true. For some reason RIM scrutineers and other employees were standing along the wall next to the microphones that gave an impression there were many still waiting to ask a question there might have been one or two on each side. The Chair should have allowed those people the time and when done she should have asked if there were any more questions before ending the Q&A.

RIM at $7.29 in after hours trading. Shows how much credibility senior management has at RIM. They are a much of tired looking jokers.

Hey Poopware... I understand just fine.. you are just another armchair CEO on this site... like Spin and a few other morons. We get it.. you hate RIM management and feel the need to come out here and talk sh_t about it like your comments will have an impact on the RIM Board and Executives. Note to Poopware... stop your b_tching and moaning Mr. Armchair CEO... there isn't anything you can say in these forums that will change anything what has happened with RIM in the past...or what their strategic plan is for the future.

Your point is 100% bereft of logic. Why should he leave CB just because he doesn't love the current crop of directors?

Thanks. These idiots don't understand that criticism and staying on the forum have nothing to do with each other.

I am a supporter of RIM products, but not of the current board or management team. These jokers on the forum are part of the reason that RIM is in the shape it is.

They would probably extend their full support to the direction of the company and be pleased with the current share price.

Fools!!

Actually, Poopy.. they do. You are talking sh_t in a forum that will have NO IMPACT WHATSOEVER. You don't like the way RIM is being managed, buy some shares (if you aren't a current shareholder) and go to the next Annual Shareholder Meeting. Until then, quit your b_tching..

Actually you belong on the board of directors!! You are very wise in your comments. Your Mommy should reward you with an ice cream cone!!

If someone does not agree with you it's time to attack. You are very mature.

Grow up!

No Assurances

Still, Boulben said he couldn’t guarantee the January timing for the first phone because wireless carriers’ testing of the device could run late.

“The testing process of our carrier partners can take up to eight, 10, 12 weeks,” said Boulben, a former executive at French carrier Orange SA. “So we are also dependent on them.”

The company said last month that the first BB10 phone wouldn’t be released until first quarter of 2013, an announcement that sent the shares tumbling. At the time, RIM wasn’t more specific.

The company doesn’t want to release the software before it’s ready, Heins said today.

“BB10 is not just another OS -- it’s a whole new mobile computing platform,” he said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Hugo Miller in Toronto at hugomiller@bloomberg.net; Dominic Chu in New York at dchu16@bloomberg.net

I recall Barbara saying that time for questions was over. However, she also stated some other forums where people could express their comment or ask questions. That is not the same as "not listening".

About 3 of the questions were decent. The rest were crap. 2 questions about Chinese hackers and Nortel, 3 life stories, one rant about not finding an accessory (led into a good question, but took forever), one rant that didn't have a question (Loved the response from RIM "Do you have a question or is that just a comment?" "Comment." "Next person please."), a question about putting a follower of Islam on the board, and one complaining about why Heins gets paid what he does compared to what Mike and Jim took.

It was a worthless Q&A for the most part. Yes it would have been nice if there had been intelligent questions, but they weren't for the most part.

As an aside, it is possible there was a fairly firm time stop on the meeting due to other scheduled meetings (eg: Media).

Listening to this made me believe that shareholders have an average age of 105, like to rant about Nortel, and should never be trusted with $100, let alone a company. I know this is not the case (especially in light of holders like Kevin) but it was the impression.

SurrealCivic: I disagree with your take on the man's comments. if he made a quick question about the board considering the past behavior, it would have been good, but he didn't. He ranted about a variety of issues and didn't ask a single question. He deserved the be kicked out.

I wonder if the shareholders who asked these questions are these the Blackberry people that 'Do' and 'get $hit done' which we've constantly been hearing about... LMAO

Well I was one of those questioners, and I assure you that I took a few hours of my day of doing and getting stuff done (something my Blackberry helps immensely with) to both support RIM and get a question that has been bothering me for a while answered. I asked Thorsten to clarify what is meant by BB10 being delayed due to "integration" and he answered the question to my satisfaction. Indeed we can expect the same sort of integration between apps and the OS on BB10 that we currently have, even though such a thing is sorely lacking on the Playbook. Considering the effort it takes to develop these APIs and *keep them secure* it isn't surprising that BB10 is delayed a little. However it is bothersome that the term has been tossed around to the media and during the earnings call, without it actually being explained until I asked. This is a fundamental communications issue with RIM and a major problem. They need to learn to speak on an analyst level. Short, non technical words that are easy to pronounce.

It is a shame that the gentlemen whom has obviously watched "Sneakers" (still a great movie) too many times was allowed so much floor time, but he's a share holder and has a right to speak just like the rest of us.

Your question was relevant, however the quality of the remaining questions was absurd and leaves me with the impression that the event was attended primary by clueless retirees holding irrelevant share numbers with nothing better to do on a tuesday afternoon.

I am confused. Did these people have to keep their shares? I sold mine when it hit my bottom threshold. I am currently buying again as it is below the company's asset value. I do know of people with the attitude of not wanting to sell to incur a taxable vehicle, however, there were plenty of times to sell all the way down. Most people own very small amounts of stock. And if you're not in that position, and were to heavily weighted in a technology stock, give your head a good shake. I Bet it rattles.

Go buy Apple, then moan about no gains there too. Or like wise investors, spread your money around in all asset classes. Preferred shares, bonds, and some nice dividend Stocks, like say banks. Enough free information.

Cheers

"I sold mine when it hit my bottom threshold. I am currently buying again as it is below the company's asset value."

I say that's the most reasonable thing to do for investors, unfortunately I have the feeling that there are lots of people who want to sink the stock price more, so they can buy it way more cheaper than it is now. that's one of the most reasonable reason I can think of why people keep on bashing RIM. lol.

Thank you both, Tenkawa and ElGusta. With every interview, article and during the earnings call I was hoping Thorsten would clarify if "integration" meant on the device side or if he was referring to BES/BIS/ActiveSync. I was concerned that BB10 would be much like the Playbook OS in the sense that it lacks true app integration with the OS. And the example as I brought up with Thorsten was notifications. The Blackberry has always had (and I can say that with confidence, because my first device was a 957!) a powerful notification engine which allowed full customization. That speaks volumes about the power of app integration within even the antiquated Java BB OS vs. all the other mobile OSs. Features like that are what keep Blackberry users committed to the device. If BB10 didn't have this out of the box, it would sadly be a non starter. I'm now far more optimistic about BB10 after having my question answered, however I do believe that BB10 is RIM's last chance after the delay was announced and if BB10 doesn't deliver as promised, we will be looking at a very different RIM this time next year. And we won't like it.

At the time I asked the question I had both my fully functioning 957 Internet Edition and Storm 9530 clipped to my belt. And yes, that was a Playbook in my pocket...I just wasn't *that* happy to see Thorsten. It's too bad that Thorsten left early and neither Jim nor Mike were anywhere to be seen because I had intended to get all three signatures on the screen of the 957 and to hopefully see their shock as it vibrates in their hands with a blinking message LED while they are signing.

As I exited the building, both CNBC and Global stopped me for an interview as they were quite interested in the fact that I've been a BB user for over 10 years (as I mentioned in my introduction to Thorsten). While I flubbed a little (it was jarring having a camera and mic thrown into your face with no prior warning!) I believe that I gave both upbeat and realistic answers about the importance of BB10 as RIM's future.

You should have attended the BlackBerry Jam session in Toronto, or gone to BB World.

RIM outlined the integration mechanism (in brief) during some of the presentations.

It will actually be a significant improvement over legacy BB OS - though it might be a while before you see the full power.

Great question by the way.

I would have liked to, but my schedule did not allow it and tickets sold out so quickly anyway. I'd expect this information to be given to developers however I'm disappointed that RIM didn't define "integration" to the public and shareholders when they presented it as the reason for the BB10 delay. It does point to the communication problems that RIM has.

There's a paradox between giving too much information away and alerting your competitors, and providing too little and frustrating your partners.

RIM has never really lost it's control obsession - though it's having to move further than ever before.

Thank you for one of the few good questions. Yours was the best of the bunch (although probably too technical for most of the audience to understand).

Aaron - yours was the best question, and the most clearly worded.  Well done.  We talked about it afterwards when wrapping up our live podcast.  

Thank you, Chris. Looking forward to listening to the podcast when it is released. With all the negativity surrounding the delay of BB10 due to integration, no one has asked the simple question "What is meant by integration?". To say I was shocked that such prominent and skilled financiers did not ask this question during the earnings call was an understatement. It just goes to show that they are wholly unqualified to judge the future of a company since they don't have even the most basic understanding of what an enormous task it is to build a system like BB10 from scratch. BB10 will be the first new mobile OS in what, 5 years? RIM is betting everything on it, as it is a true reinvention of the company. I'm not saying the Playbook OS is poor, but BB10 must be a TRUE Blackberry OS, and not just Playbook on a phone. Like building a house, while the foundation is important, what goes on top and what the occupants interact with is where the labor goes. Playbook is the foundation and on top they must build a richly integrated OS. Not a simple task considering the work it takes to develop the APIs. Oh, and don't forget the documentation and SDK! Documentation is HUGE. These are the types of things that analysts and individuals alike don't understand when they criticize RIM for delays.

I think I learned more about what's going on with the challenges they're having with BB10 than anyone affiliated with the organization has communicated. Thank you Aaron.

THANKS for asking it. It's something I believe needs to be perfect on bb10. Adroid is getting to a point where integration of apps into the notificatition system is getting better and even apple is starting to twitch a little to but from my understanding thus far, the bb10 will take this step further and integration will flow throughout. Appreciate your time to explain your thoughts!

it frustrates me no end as a dedicated user who sees comments ridiculing RIM on other sites about them in general and the apparent lack of respect for a company that has brought so much before it. even analysts seem to be jumping on this ridiculous band wagon. Some of it, is understandable especially when there's a valid reason behind the negativity.

I kept waiting for him to call for a vote of non-confidence in those board members who have been around for a long time. Now that would have been highly entertaining.

agreed,

the best question was by the young man in long hair (not you Kevin) regarding the BB10 delay due to integration issues, and Thorstein gave a good answer.

Stressful week with the Media blitz. The Media is running them down as they're trying to climb back out of the mess the company has itself in.

Think I'd be pretty knackered and maybe... a little fed up.

I thought the accessory question was absolutly valid! I'm STILL waiting for the Playbook keyboard to be "in stock" in the UK!!!

I did as well, lol. Why isn't there stock available for people to purchase. Sure, I poked a little fun at the question but like you, I thought it was very valid.

Not only that I still want a HDMI + charging dock. Oh RIM C'mon make a dock with the connectors :P Please don't make me get my Dremel and epoxy out!

Well guess I'll start buying shares now. From what I've heard these idiots don't know what's going on but rather look for the big cash out and doing the exact same what the media is doing. (bash the brand they invested into)

with the CEO coming out and point blank commenting on the expectant Q2 losses, coupled with RIMs notoriety with product release delays waiting would yield better value at this point

The q & a portion of this meeting was horrible in my opinion. Bb10 has got to be fresh. We definitely need new lively people to invest in this company. What I heard were grumpy old farts with little to no knowledge of what direction bb is trying to accomplish.

"But investors, on average, believe that the company will not be sold, not be broken up, and will burn cash as it shrinks towards irrelevance."

I rest my case.

@mnhockeycoach99: contribute ...

I'm sure you've read that before, but you insist to keep on sniffing the blackberry powder my junkie friend.

With $RIMM trading at $7.29 my target is, in Chris U. words, within spitting distance.

Keep rooting for the losing team. It's your choice.

Hey moron.. you related to Birdbrain the blog nanny? Funny how you say "contribute" yet the only thing you contribute to this site is a bunch of douchey troll comments. You don't like RIM ... fine.. why are you here? From the sounds of it, you should be hanging out with the other RIM trolls over on iBGR.

Last time I checked, RIM isn't playing a game to be part of a "losing team". The only ones that will lose if RIM goes under are its customers.

ps. If only you were within spitting distance.. I have a big loogie with your name on it...

A few weeks ago the RIM statement (in Orlando) was BB10 phones will be released before the 2012 holiday selling season.
This week the RIM statement was BB10 was delayed until 2013.
Staff is being laid-off. Are these the same folk who are needed to fix OS10, or advance marketing and sales people not needed due to no new product release?
Here in New York City today RIM began a big marketing expo (at Chelsea Market, opposite the Google NYC HQ). The target is Playbook. Alas, it is almost impossible to find a NYC retailer who has them for sale.
I was waiting to upgrade my BB9000 to BB10, but is it even worth waiting for?
I wanted to buy RIMM stocks, now at a low, in anticipation of a blow-out success of BB10 phone, but is that a dream too?

Truth be, I am very happy with my 9000. I have no real reason to go for full touch screen. My 9000/Playbook combo is great. But, there are other reasons to go for BB10,namely better processor and faster network (I am on TM with only EDGE).

You gonna recommend people take Hooked-On-Phonics like you do? Like I said before, somewhere there's a village missing an idiot. Let me know if you need help finding your way.

I am surprised everyone is harping on about the Q & A. If the cross section of crackberry visitors even represents half of RIM shareholders (plausable if you keep coming back here) then it is hardly surprising few can string together a meaning question.

Chris not true. I was there and yes there were maybe two or three waiting to ask a question (two of them has asked a question earlier and were going for seconds). There were people standing along side the wall that gave the impression there was a line up of people.

but i do agree the Chair ended the Q&A very abruptly and I will be sending an email to investor relations. I think she owes an apology.

I don't get the Chinese hackers getting into RIM computers thing? That was out of left field, but I would feel concerned as well, we all know those Chinese hackers are pretty crafty.

It really was out of left field, but it did give rim a chance to tell us that the reason they dont send there phones to china to get assembled at a cheaper price

Blackberry problems:

qwerty keyboards are getting smaller,
small screen,
confusing list of models,
not affordable,
complicated setup,
WiFi disabled on important functions,
Android does it better,
iPhone makes it easy,

Did I just read you right, CNBC, they're asking a bunch of bankers
for opinion on your business? They should ask lawyers input too,
because those guys have great ideas on user experience
and purchase decisions, http://www.cnbc.com/id/48141077

But, ... but, .... but, ...

Blackberries are known for:
- LED notification,
- Removable battery,
- Alert, Ringtone and Profile setting,
- The best battery life,
- The best email and messaging,
- The highest standard for security,
- The best keyboard,
- Data compression,
- .....

What happen if BB10 platform (as the only RIM's product) would not take off in 2013 to stand up against Apple (which supported by a very heathy financial from its desktop and mobile platform with so many products), Google (which is still a king of Ads) and Microsoft (with its money maker from Windows and Office).

Uh Oh ....

With that kind of shareholder response, it's no wonder there has been a lack of accountability!
However, I also heard a commentator on BNN saying that the board members are all large shareholders, and something about them being in control of their own positions on the board.
Anybody know what this means?

It means that they can vote for themselves to stay on the board, because the board is chosen by shareholders, and they are significant shareholders.

(Assuming that what you say is true and they are all large shareholders)

Mike and Prem Watsa are the biggest investors on the board.

Jim has a similar holding to Mike though Mike increased his holdings recently.

Other than that, there is one investment company that owns over 5% of shares.

So if Mike, Jim and Prem vote for each other you're looking at 15-20% of shares and that size of vote is just about always going to beat the rest unless there's a collective action.

What is difficult to understand is why people think the board would act in a way that wasn't in the interests of the shareholders. Someone with 400 million dollars worth of shares is probably going to want to do the right thing for shareholders.

And if they're controlling that much cash, there's a fair chance they know what they're doing.

Mike and Jim excepted of course. They knew how to start a company, but not how to run one.

Well good to know that Crackberry fans can bitch and moan about anything. Not only about RIM, but about the people asking questions of RIM....

If Higgs Boson was found by RIM all the people here would say, who the hell cares, it must be wrong, we hate the Higgs Boson, whatever it is. If it's touched by RIM we hate it.

I mean when people come to Crackberry to say BB10 sucks and no one has even seen 1/100th or likely even 1/1000th of it, it's just totally rediculous.

After the AGM today, it was the first time in a long time that I heard a somewhat positive report on CBC radio today, although the only person I heard comment was from Jaguar Financial.

Another point i heard, maybe wrong as my wifi was crapping out but I thought i heard him say to date there has been 25000 apps submitted for bb10

im not sure his exact words, but paraphrased it was `25k apps submitted for playbook, of which most will run on BB10`

I have almost 150 apps on my PlayBook.. none of which are ebooks and there is only maybe 2 map apps. All are real apps.. .Conqu, Wunderlist, Slacker, Utrack Pro, Proinsights, Splashtop, Print To Go, GroovyNotes, etc......

Don't bother responding to the idiot -- he's just baiting you. Eventually he'll go away when his Mommy realizes that he's using her computer!!

The board should have been much more patient and accommodating and prepared to face some difficult questions. On the flip-side--and I don't mean to disparage anyone--shareholders should have asked better questions and also recognize their accountability for not being frustrated years prior--especially institutional investors. A couple of the questions/comments could have been re-factored into more compelling questions.

1. Instead of the question around Chinese piracy (which is not unique to RIM), the foreign-market questions should have talked about RIM's market share in developing countries. RIM's brand, while tarnished in the U.S., remains strong in emerging markets, but that success has not translated into greater profits. How does RIM plan to capitalize on its brand equity in these price-sensitive markets?

2. Instead of focusing on Thorsten's compensation (unlike MikeL and JimB, Thor was not a founder), the question should have been around the fiscal responsibility of the board. First, there's the golden parachutes given to the former CEOs. And now two banks have been hired (i.e., they're not working for free) to explore alternative business options. While the golden parachutes may be unavoidable, what is the status of the banks' review? Is there a time limit on the review? And what decision point from the board is pending the banks' review? Is the board prepared to act on the recommendation of the banks, even if it means a break-up or sale of the company? If not, is this money well spent?

3. The frustration around the precipitous decline in value is certainly understandable and some venting is appropriate. But rather than rhetorically ask how it got to this point, what I'd like to know is, what has changed between the 2011 AGM and now? What reasoning, or reassurances, did MikeL and JimB provide at last year's event that prevented the sounding of alarms then? If the board and shareholders were reassured that BB10 would launch this year and that it would "right the ship," was nobody skeptical about the potential of a completely new, unproven platform? And when it was clear the situation was only getting worse, why didn't the board take more dramatic action sooner? Promoting Thor, while not a radical shift, might have been the right move. But what I find baffling is how MikeL can be the Chair of an Innovation Committee when lack of innovation is a huge part of why RIM is in the position it's in?

Wasn't the price around $50 last year. Down from $150, but still a reasonable price.

Compared to todays $7.29 at least.

"lack of innovation is a huge part of why RIM is in the position it's in?"

Not really. RIM is innovating, they're just not executing.

It took Apple three years to bring the iPhone to market. And without the good fortune of AT&T being in a hole, and Apples superb marketing department, the device would have crashed because it was pretty - but useless - and the carriers didn't want it because they knew it would cost them profits.

No wonder Jim and Mike didn't think the threat was that great. It wasn't.

The lesson for RIM is that selling product is about persuading people you have something they need and not just the "build it and they will come" model of earlier smart phones. RIM could have innovated a device that would eat the iPhone for breakfast and they'd still have lost market share.

By the time they realized what was happening they were three years behind.

You know, I thought the same thing regarding the stock price... It's entirely plausible that the board and shareholders reconciled themselves to the notion that RIM was transitioning from being a dominant incumbent in a small market to one of several competitors in a much larger market. So, maybe at $150, RIM would be overvalued in this newer market. But still, $50 is a 66% decline in price...

"Not really. RIM is innovating, they're just not executing."

Now, maybe, but I was talking about the past. Consumers in North America would not associate RIM with innovation; it's product lineup the past few years has been iterative. RIM is innovating NOW, but perception is reality, so it if that innovation isn't hitting the streets, it's not impacting the market and is not influencing consumer behavior.

"No wonder Jim and Mike didn't think the threat was that great. It wasn't."

True, but part of the reason Apple was so disruptive--and why Google was able to respond relatively quickly--is that these companies were not encumbered with the legacy cellular business models. Apple flipped the script on the OEM-carrier relationship. In Apple's New World Order, the phone OEM had near-total control over the customer experience and essentially made the carrier a dumb pipe. As for Google, it doesn't rely on selling devices for revenue. Rather, it's aim was to make it easy for OEMs to make smartphones, which would commoditize them while enabling Google to monetize their usage by driving traffic through its services. Contrast this to the relationship in the past where OEMs basically built phones for carriers. RIM was very ingrained in this model, which gave carriers too much influence over its product roadmaps and engineering efforts.

I get what you're saying, though. But, that often is the plight of market incumbents. Once they achieve their initial vision, they shift into a maintain-sustain mode instead of constantly pushing and challenging themselves to define the next vision. But as soon as you get complacent, you leave the door wide open for someone else to come in and set the vision for the market while you play catch-up.

Apples problem is that the carriers hate them. Carriers have seen their business models devastated by Apple - who bully the bully boys.

As soon as someone comes up with a product consumers prefer (admittedly that'll take some doing), the carriers will turn the tables and Apples margins will collapse.

Little wonder they're tying consumers in knots with iTunes and other proprietary services.

RIM has innovated, just not in ways that make sense to consumers, and not fast enough. Their internal development processes were entreprenuerial and they appear to have been consumed by bureaucracy as the company grew to 20,000 employees from 2,000 in five or six years. So they became resistant to change as an organization if not in R&D.

Take the security keys for signing apps. It's taken RIM 4 or 5 years to make the process user friendly. Probably bogged down by the legal department - but I notice thats another factor Thorsten has overturned.

i can still hear jack and larry saying all these words with sounds, but then again blackberry 10 will still leave even the most wack of nerds astounded

in the time of your life, live so that in that good time, there should be no ugliness or death for yourself or for any life that your life touches, seek goodness everywhere

No Assurances

Still, Boulben said he couldn’t guarantee the January timing for the first phone because wireless carriers’ testing of the device could run late.

“The testing process of our carrier partners can take up to eight, 10, 12 weeks,” said Boulben, a former executive at French carrier Orange SA. “So we are also dependent on them.”

The company said last month that the first BB10 phone wouldn’t be released until first quarter of 2013, an announcement that sent the shares tumbling. At the time, RIM wasn’t more specific.

The company doesn’t want to release the software before it’s ready, Heins said today.

“BB10 is not just another OS -- it’s a whole new mobile computing platform,” he said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Hugo Miller in Toronto at hugomiller@bloomberg.net; Dominic Chu in New York at dchu16@bloomberg.net

off the topic, RIM is pushing the new 9320&9220 in my country. They have the moment right, they push it hard before the biggest holiday in a year here. let's see how media here welcome it and how many can be sold ^^

The picture says it all...those guys look like they are being sent to the plank lol. RIP RIM for not caring what the consumers want and when they want it.

Chris, great point about the "chipset availability" excuse we heard last year (!!) as the reason for delaying BB10. Why was there no question to Thor about that?? It seems like we were all lied to last year about the reasons for the delay... If software is the delay now, then it must have been software then too, and not hardware.

I was the one the asked Thorstein on how they planned on upgrading bbm to service more social networking. I got a fair enough response, that they're basically keeping BBM the same, but they're adding additional features such as video chat. Thorstein also stated that they were discussing licensing bbm to other platforms, and how it had a higher activity that any other social networking service. As they provided us with insightful information with my question, I feel like we could have gotten more with proper questions. Wish they could've filtered out the dumb questions, but I guess that's why the Q & A might have ended as early as it did. I think Thorstein would've gladly shed more light, if the proper questions were asked.

I couldn't believe the stupid and unthoughtful questions some of the other shareholders asked, neither why they there were so many that waited until the very last moment to cast their votes.

I really wish there were more questions asked in regards to what else RIM has up their sleeves.
-They brought Blackberry Mobile Fusion earlier this year, was there anything else that they were working on, aside from BB10. When do they plan on announcing and advertising the first BB10 devices.
-Will we be able to access media through other markets/stores, such as Google Play, Amazon, Apple, as they can somewhat already.
-RIM originally announced that their first BB10 device would be released during Q1, of 2012. Has the hardware of those intended releases been updated since then?

Chris, while they may not be news to some of us, I noticed several points of interests (incl. those you mentioned) that have been stated/confirmed, as far as I understood well :

0. Q2 will result in operating loss (stated)
1. BB10 can be licensed to third parties, not focused on phone devices
2. BBM will NOT be licensed and will get video features (implicit: it will be shipped with BB10).
3. BB10 devices range will focus on high end devices, with few (is that 'fulltouch+keyboard+slider' ?) devices.
4. Devices will hit Europe first (did I hear it ... not 100% sure)
5. BB OS7 will still remain for a transitional period (no mention of 5/6 ?)
6. Production will be streamlined with fewer units (3)
7. BB10 success is the only way, other alternatives will be considered only after launch

A really great photo, Chris. Faces say it all. I bet I would not be the only one who would welcome publishing more photos from the AGM.

To the BlackBerry 10 delay reasons. I don't want to defend founders, but Mike Lazaridis in 2011 said: "This chipset will not be available until mid-2012, and as a result of this and certain other factors, we now expect our first BlackBerry 10 smartphones to reach market in the latter part of calendar 2012." I would like to draw attention to the formulation "certain other factors".

What these certain other factors may be? To be a successful platform BB 10 has to offer services what other platforms/smartphone producers offer and something more. Other vendors offer services including Netflix, Skype, Facebook, voice recognition, Swype and NFC.

There could be a problem that NFLX, FB and NUAN may have a very special relationship with Microsoft or RIM direct competitors (RIM potential acquirers). But RIM management simply has to do everything in their power to bring its customers best applications as soon as possible. The negotiations may be (and probably are) tough, but RIM has to use all available legitimate means and arguments. One of the arguments could be that MSFT, NFLX, FB and NUAN are not ordinary market players. Because of their certain market power they probably have a special responsibility not to allow their conduct to distort competition.

By the time blackberry releases their OS 10, the world have already buy for months milions of new iphone 5 phones. This phones will have IOS 6 and amazing OS with new features that has been around for over 5 years to fix any bugs.

Do you imagine how could blackberry OS 10 could be better than IOS 6 if it is a new OS?

It is impossible that blackberry 10 is better than IOS 6 because as I already say IOS has been around too many years so they have fix and build new features.

Also another important thing is the hardware, if you compare any blackberry phone to the iphone 4S you could see that the iphone 4S is a lot way better built phone, from the design to the glass, to everything is better built than any blackberry phone.

I still think that the only way that blackberry could be saved is by releasing an Android phone with exclusive access to BBM and push mail.

They can hire samsung or htc to build their new phone and install their own modified version of Android that will have BBM and other great features that they plan to install in Blackberry 10.

People right now want a good hardware phone ( look at the new samsung phone and look at the coming iphone 5 phone ) and also people want thousands of apps to choose with their phones, because blackberry could not use IOS they only have the option to use Android.

If I were RIM I could keep developing blackberry 10 and the new phones, but I will also use some of the money they have in the bank to build a new Android Blackberry phone.

In the end you will have too new Blackberry phones that will compete to be the best. You will see that sooner or later the Android blackberry phone will be the winner and this will save RIM.

please tell me you're trolling..you're trolling? right? if not, I lose all trust in human kind for this is one of the most mongoloid comments I have ever read... (at least for today). sheesh

iOS6 has nothing "new", no revolution here, a simple software update.
iPhone better built quality? Just drop it once and you'll get the point.
Again and again, RIM does not target APPL nor GGL/droid as their primary target. They want somehow to be back in the 3-4 position, this is what makes the strategy viable.
IF I want a Droid, I'll jump ship immediately to Samsung, the RIM/Android wedding would be nothing than a "carp and rabbit" one.

So, in the last 4 days I've managed to drop my Torch 9800 three times. Once "in" its falling-apart leather sleeve; twice, "naked," and each time from "about" waist/table height.
ALL I have to show for it is some slight chipping in the metal plating at the point of where my beloved impacted the asphalt or paving stone (ironically, it never seems to happen on thick, or shagg-, carpets - huh!). But that's IT.
Now, we've all "SEEN" the results of similar drops with other "phones" ... (I just googled "cracked smartphone screen" and the FIRST mention of a BB was the LAST post on the 4th result page) ... so DON'T knock the build quality of BBs and DON'T overestimate the fatal flaws & weaknesses in "other" devices.
As for their "other" fatal flaws & weaknesses, read the article and watch the video linked from here:
http://news.cnet.com/8301-13506_3-57333652-17/android-handsets-secretly-...
The key bit of data is how deeply embedded in the O/S and firmware, this really is ... i.e. "by design, not by accident."
IF only enough "thinking people" knew about AND understood the seriousness of this gaping privacy and security hole across the ENTIRE droid platform (and let's face it, if it's open source, ANYONE can add their own security exploit to the O/S or an App), the whole droid platform would probably collapse in a heartbeat.
How else do you think Google (and others) know/s exactly what advert or other info to throw at you, even on a mobile screen??? DUH?!
Don't believe me? Check this: Google Chairman Eric Schmidt said: "Android is an open platform, so it's possible for people to build software that's actually not very good for you, and this appears to be one."
(http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/08/us-google-carrieriq-idUSTRE7B7...)
Need more? ... Read the WHOLE article: "Android glitch allows hackers to bug phone calls" (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/11/30/google_android_security_bug/)
Using "ANYTHING" Android is like dating a beautiful woman who your best friend KNOWS is the prostitute sister of an ex-con drug lord. She's beautiful, fun-loving, always around, will do "ANYTHING" for & with you, and brings you cool stuff - ALL for FREE & without asking anything in return!
But, after unusual & otherwise inexplicable things have started happening in your life since you met, you suspect 'funny stuff' is going on deep within and in the background, but even just asking what's going on is very difficult and proving anything is impossible, but doing something - anything - about it will definitely & absolutely destroy your über-exciting and addictive user experience.
And if her syphillis hasn't started messing with your head yet, her overlords will take you for all you have and are.
But hey, knock yourself out with a little droid experience. It probably doesn't matter anyhow, because we're all just living in the Matrix ... right?

OK, so in the last 4 days I've dropped my beloved Torch 9800 three times; once in its falling-apart leather sleeve, and twice "naked," each time from about waist/table height.

ALL - the ONLY thing - that's happened to it is some chipping of the metal finish-plating.

Compare that to some of the things we've all heard about & seen when "other" phones get dropped, and I think your argument for "build quality" in BBs is somewhat of an easy way out point.
I WILL note that the "all-touch Torch" and some other (Curve?) models feel rather flimsy, so I can't extend "my" point to ALL BBs either.

Still, I just googled "cracked smartphone screen" and the FIRST mention of ANY BB didn't appear until the last post on the 4th results page. PLENTY of iPhone and Droid posts first, so "not too bad" for BB, then.
I'm aware that the number of devices in circulation on those platforms is greater than BB, so the posts-ratio sh/would correspond ... but who's heard of cracking screens being a problem with BBs like we have with the others??

A friend of mine's thrown his BB (also a 9800) at the wall more than once, and only the case is scratched/banged up: slider & screen still fully functional!!

Now, about your point of adopting or moving to a droid-based phone, "build quality" is probably the least of your problems.

No "bashing" intended here, but the facts are there are numerous gaping security flaws in the droid platform, and some mfgs are easier to bug/hack/crack than others.
Here are 3 points for you and anyone else to think about re: Android:

1: Keystroke logging ...

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13506_3-57333652-17/android-handsets-secretly-...

You'll note how deeply this is embedded, so it's "by design" & NOT accidental.

2: Android glitch allows hackers to bug phone calls

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/11/30/google_android_security_bug/

OK, calling it a glitch means it "should" be fixable, but that usually only happens when enough people demand a fix, and the mfg has lots to lose by not fixing it ... I don't see it happening here, but won't rule it out. Question is, i) was this "just" a glitch (vs. by design) and ii) is THIS the "only" glitch ...?

3: Droid is open source, "usually" a good thing ... or is it?

Google chairman Eric Schmidt said: "Android is an open platform, so it's possible for people to build software that's actually not very good for you, and this appears to be one."

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/12/08/us-google-carrieriq-idUSTRE7B7...

OK, so there's the "starting" point for ditching BB10 & moving to an Android base. But the appeal of all those big-screend & well equipped (apps) samsung phones IS irresistible(right?), but there goes the security certificate!

And there are theories that iOS isn't 100% immune either, at least from the 1st example. Apple got caught running location tracking too, after all.

Of course, the official droid counter-argument is that
1) ALL these threats & prblems are just made up: they never "really" existed & never presented a security or privacy threat to anyone, or 2) that it's all done "to improve user experiences and for YOUR benefit," or even 3) that they've all been fixed or have gone away.

First step in a cover up is "move on; nothing to see here!"

Now, here's the whole rub, isn't it?
YOU are NOT told that it's even happening, what is being taken or when, you're not given the choice to opt out, and you don't know how the info is used or by whom, where and for what purpose.
If you bank online, using your phone ... "______ ?"
In a world where ALL proprietary information is fully subject to copyright and where BIG biz goes after 12-year-olds for downloading a dozen songs, YOUR copyright is being stolen right from underneath your eyes & fingers without your knowledge and consent in return for a "fun, slick little phone and its apps" you got free or "real cheap."

Reminds me of one Star Trek TNG episode where everyone began playing a FREE, extreme endorphin-releasing, game that was designed to hypnotize everyone to become remote controlled drones.

I can wait for BB10, but droid or iOS: "no thanks!"

Stock was down to a new low in afterhours trading - $7.12 - Heins and the board have no credibility with the market. Heins had some but he blew it with that frankly delusional "everything's fine" talk he gave last week.

As the CEO and face of the organization to the public.. to his employees..., what is he supposed to say? "Man, everything is totally f_cked up here and we are going down fast.. Hopefully this hail mary BB10 we are throwing up results in a game winning touchdown"? Cmon, use some common sense here.. Plus, we don't know what it is like inside of RIM. Everything could be great.. the new structure he has put in place could be "breaking down the silos" and making the organization more nimble. I certainly don't know.. and I'd be willing to bet you don't either.

Its like buffet say, he prefer to have a bad manager in a good and big working company , but not to have a good manager in a bad working company..... In this moment i can putt also my child as an manager of apple and it works, sorry but is like that.... In rim case it is very hard for a manager finde the way out....good luck rim im here for the next device...fore shure but i need qwerty keyboard too..sorry for my english once again

Once again...why all the other bands bring out qwerty devices.....???? Because they are thinking soon blackberry close the doors.....no no no rim...never...go with qwerty and OS10 .....huawei, motorola, nokia, etc... All bring out now devices with qwerty because they know that blackberry this year no device on the market and because they have android on it....that maybe is a problem for us rim ..that no device is comming out 2012...

These devices are low grade ... BB10 devices will be high grade flagships. Can't compare. QWERTY will come almost simultaneously. The only device segment that has significant grow is full touch phones.

As Thorsten said in one of the recent interviews, there were four main pillars for RIM: battery life, typing, security and compression.To be honest, RIM's approach to one of its pillars of success (Qwerty devices/typing) is little bit disturbing.

How many types of QWERTY devices will RIM release? When and where will they be released? What will they look like? How much will they cost. Right answers to these questions can be in context with strong competition crucial for RIM to survive as hardware maker.

See how is RIM doing in growing (smart)phone market.

Devices shipped:

Quarter ending Nov. 26, 2011: 14.1 million
Quarter ending March 3, 2012: 11.1 million
Quarter ending June 2, 2012: 7.8 million

Well... as of tomorrow I am trading in my BB9930 (they're giving me $95 for it), as part of my upgrade to the Samsung Galaxy 3s running JB 4.1 on Verizon. Can't resist playing with all the new features on the 3s. HOWEVER, when (not if) the BB10 comes out, I'll be all over it. Until then...