Is it RIMAGEDDON? RIM Co-CEOs lose billionaire status while shareholder resolution seeks to split CEO and Chairman roles

RIM
By Kevin Michaluk on 25 Jun 2011 08:16 pm
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I much prefer to cover happy news stories related to BlackBerry phones, tablets, apps, games, accessories, etc. here on CrackBerry, but as the #1 Site for BlackBerry Users and Abusers we wouldn't be doing our jobs if we didn't also report back on at least some of the business stories related to Research In Motion that are taking place. Unfortunately, in the wake of their Q1 2012 Earnings, it has mainly been doom and gloom stories.

Despite their share price taking a tumble, I still have high hopes on the product development and sales front that RIM will plough through this transition and bring to market some killer new BlackBerry devices that will silence the hateration and kickstart the BlackBerry love again (and hopefully steepen their growth curve - remember, RIM is still growing... just not as fast as the street thinks they should be relative to the competition). But as if the the technical transition RIM is working through were not challenge enough, what I'm worried now makes the challenge even greater is the hostile investor and media environment RIM is now facing. Seriously, I'm not sure I've come across any stories written positively about RIM or BlackBerry in the last few weeks (if you have, drop the urls in the comments so I can check them out!). Heck, I've even coined the term and hashtag #RIMAGEDDON to sum it all up.

And while I do dismiss many of the RIMAGEDDON opinion pieces out there that I've read as simply jumping on the anti-RIM bandwagon which has apparently become quite fashionable (it's an easy story to write and give an opinion on these days), you can't really deny stories that are based on fact that could make RIM's road ahead more difficult. I don't think Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie being downgraded from billionaire status to millionaire status will actually hurt the pair's egos one bit (if anything, they're going to be more motivated than ever), but what may hurt a little more is the shareholder resolution that'll go up for vote on July 12th at RIM's annual meeting that seeks to break up the existing structure. Currently, both Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie hold the positions of Co-CEO and Co-Chairmans of the Board. While this practice may be a little irregular, on the last earnings calls Mike and Jim told investors they grew this company together and the best way to push the company through the transition and into its next phase of success is together.

From what I gather, changing the current structure is not someting the Mike and Jim want to do. If it turns out that shareholders demand otherwise, I'm not sure how it will impact RIM. I typically view change as a good thing, but more change on top of a period of change/transition might be too much change. 

If you're a shareholder or just paying attention to this story and how it will play out, be sure to vote on the poll above and weigh in on the debate in the comments. I'm really curious to see where CrackBerry Nation stands on the leaders of BlackBerry Nation.

Kevin Michaluk Kevin Michaluk "Founder, Editor in Chief " 3922 (articles) 3291 (forum posts)
62 comments

tgellr

First order of the day is to improve Investor confidence - without that, no one will have confidence and it's takeover time!

tuffy100

These guys don't know what they're doing anymore! We need change!

L.berrywiess

I think everyone needs to have a little patience because a lot people have not probably seen what is going on with all the security problems around the world. everyone from android to ipad,lockhead martin,arizona police,congress,playstation,sega,and the list goes on has had personal info stolen and put out on public display from all across the world has been compromised. if a new device is all your worried about to fit in with the rest of the bellybutton phones is all your worried about then go get one. dont cry when your bank account ran dry cause someone hacked your ipad. i dont see rim apoligizing for any security problems do you? i would rather wait another year for rim phone and know my info is safe than fit in with the peer groups of kool phones that can get hacked buy some bored moron. that is what matters to some people. i want perfection and top notch security not megapixels and wow factor. if it takes a while oh well. you wont find me on the news crying about my loss cause i am blackberry till the day that i die

raremage

Apparently you've missed the tumble in market share associated with the growth of all those less secure products into RIM's market, and the associated tumble in stock value.

This company needs a broad change. A replacement of BOTH of these gentlemen would not be inapprproate, given the performance over the past 18 months.

As a RIM stockholder, I already submitted my proxy vote supporting this resolution.

Hamp

+1. Well said and I'm glad I'm not the only one who has had these thoughts!

calyth

Did you really think that there are no accomplice in the state that rim is in? Did you really think this at changing the ceo will instanteously changes things?

There is no contest that they're responsible. But rest assured that the problems are much deeper than the existence of the 2.

If people are truly wanting the better for rim, don't look so much at who to get rid of, but who could bring forth the changes needed for this company. With, their recent acquisition they seem to know what needs to be done, but not necessarily at the pace / given the time to do it right.

Rootbrian

ALL of the devices currently available would have the OS built on the Linux kernel, which would be booted first, then the OS would be loade afterwards from within a JVM once Xorg loads a minimal desktop behind the scenes, with the ability to backup or save settings to the SD card from a small X app, probably titled XBBbackup, so in a case of a 507 or whatever XXX error number was to popup, the OS would quit to the X environment on a small screen, trackpad as mouse and the keypad usable to launch the backup, save the settings, reload the OS from an image on the SD card or on a separate EPROM chip that also gets updates when OS updates do get released or leaked. DM functionality and everything else that interacts with our devices would also work as usual. But i'm not a programmer, nor am I a ceo, nor do I own RIM. But these ideas, if you could, can be shared with RIM employees, to be forwarded to the CEO and developers for consideration. Cause the RAM image (suspected to be initrd) apploader loads before the software, is likely a linux image. hmm...

dweese

I read that too, I'm starting to think the guys over at Techcrunch are just a bunch of Apple fan boys, even the comments posted by their readers its easy to see that site doesn't freely welcome the BlackBerry crowd anymore.

jussimple

I only hope that they do separate the dream team, cause I don't think they were dreaming at all, more like sleeping on the job. I've been a long time investor and even thought about taking a chance on tech stock, my inaugural choice was going to be RIM. I use my blackberry so much that it seemed like a good start since last year the stock outlook was optimistic, yet I waited to see how the playbook effected RIM's projection. I'm glad I waited. Yet I'm now thinking it might be a good time again. The thinking is that it can't get any worse, so an investor might be able to get in cheap and come out well. Truth is, who the heck knows, I think I'm just going to get the Bold touch and ride that to the end. Here's to you RIM, long time user, convicted BB abuser, I'm hoping you change up the management and finally get the lead out.

screamcap

RIM has to stop trying to move forward on so many fronts. It simply doesn't have the resources to stand toe to toe with Apple, Google, Samsung, Microsoft, Nokia, Motorola, etc. It needs to focus on one new phone (not eight) one target market, one world government fight, etc. Both the over-hyped and underpowered Torch and the late arriving unfinished Playbook are a direct result of trying to do too much at once, resources are simply stretched too thin. What if they had, post Torch, just skipped -or delayed- the Playbook and issued a super-powered, next-gen QNX Blackberry 10000 phone that ran both Blackberry and Google apps...

jussimple

In terms of Microeconomics, you're right on point. Over extension, like you put it, never yields positive results. I only hope they already realized that. Seriously, I do...

Pearl9100

agreed. Someone please tell this to BMW

WillieLee

Please break down RIM's financials and detail how they do not have the ability to compete in the marketplace.

Gregory Ryan

BlackBerry Cool has been pretty optimistic. I agree with what you've been saying on the podcasts, it seems the world has decided we will only have a 2 dog race in mobile. Whether or not they restructure the top of the company, they need to execute like they havent done in a while. What was their last good product launch? The 9000, the Storm, the Torch, the playbook all have had less than stellar launches. Im excited about the new devices. Others are too, now get them out there.

Strider2112

Most people are sharing the opinion that those products (the Torch, Storm, PlayBook, etc) failed at launch because they were pushed too quickly; then I read all the time, "bring out the new devices! I want them already!". Normally I'm quiet on these things but I've been reading, and I hope the people wishing for haste on the new BlackBerrys see their folly in that.

Pearl9100

They should aggressively launch more devices. But the problem is that Rim keeps launching phones with a lot of problems (some of them are borderline garbage). What's the point of rushing phones if they don't function well or lag like crazy?

Exiled Bulldawg

I don't think it is the world that decided to have a two dog race, it was RIM. RIM decided it wasn't going to play, and accordingly, its competition is eating RIM's lunch.

RIM hasn't listened and fixed even the most basic problem: the crappy browser. RIM is tone deaf and is paying the price.

disney4life

Didn't this happen a few years(ok quite a few years) that Steve Jobs wasn't with Apple during its darker years of transition. It took them a minute,but ended up with Jobs back in the big Chair.I say they need to stand their ground move foward with this transition. If they rush it they will put out crap. That's why I left samsung products. They put A lot of crapware over the last few years if Rim answers the call of the wild and rushes things to market and hasn't gone full term we all may end up with a disabled product.

schmittdog

Hey Everybody including Kevin. I want to point out this Address before anyone speaks bad about RIM!

Apple iOS and Android took a year to take off - Windows Phone 7 and RIM' QNX need also that much time:

http://www.mobilityfeeds.com/mobility-feed/2011/04/apple-ios-and-android...

Tell the shareholders, even though I am one of them to suck a NUB! Cause if they can't make it in a year with QNX, then I suppose they would have to go BYE BYE... But I don't think that is the case!

Looks like it cuts off the URL in the Post But just copy "Apple iOS and Android took a year to take off - Windows Phone 7 and RIM' QNX need also that much time" into Google or Bing and you'll get the page.

raremage

The problem with this theory is QNX-based phones are at least a year away, probably more like 18 months. Based on the logic in your post, it would be an ADDITIONAL 12 months before they start to regain marketshare.

24-30 months in the current cellular environment is an eternity.

Fortunately, I am not convinced that they HAVE to have QNZ-based phones to start regaining marketshare and consumer interest. But they do need to change their strategy and clearly someone in their engineering leadership was asleep at the wheel. In this case, the Poop flows uphill.

gord888

Typical short-sighted "investors" want a drastic "knee jerk" reaction to what they believe is a dire situation that requires it. Too bad they don't realize their own ignorance.

If Jim and Mike didn't know what they were doing, they wouldn't have bought up the companies required to make a turnaround. Give them more time to complete their tasks, and you'll see a more prosperous RIM in a year or 2. If RIM were to constantly make reactive changes (as requested by investors) to any given situation, then they won't get anything done in a proactive manner and they'll die a slow and agonizing death.

PineappleUnderTheSea

The issue is that they both underestimated the iPhone and Android threat and did not react to it in an appropriate manner. They did nothing for a year after the iPhone was launched, relying on the good old 'everyone wants a physical keyboard' logic; then they did nothing for a year after Android was launched, when it was apparent that people wanted bigger screens and ogles of apps. That's 2 big opportunities right there to react appropriately: the Storm and Torch were not appropriate responses in a world of dual core power phones.

Their statements in the last call made it clear that while they have a new batch of phones coming out, they still underestimated the market and had to start with a new plan for better phones.

So there was no real reactive changes, it's just that their vision was faulty: having a super-extra secure network with so-so phones is definitely not what the majority wants. So why have two guys who basically have the same vision and who don't seem to challenge each other? It just makes it twice as hard to change the culture.

Exiled Bulldawg

Reactive? How do you figure that? This has been coming for two years. One could chart the progress of this "RIMegeddon" by looking into the Crackberry forums. People who cared enough about the device to register here were bemoaning two main issues: crappy browser and crappier apps.

Let's just take the broswer issue: where is a RIM installed browser capable of rendering as well as Android? There isn't one. But iOS has an even better one IMO. Oh, wait, "those are toys." Well, my company is migrating everyone off Blackberry to Android. There are applications providing similar functionality to the Blackberry without BES. Without the expensive data plans and dedicated server.

Some toy, huh? Almost all the functionality at much less cost. Android and iOS aren't toys: they are truly handheld computers. RIM never understood that. RIM's products imply it views its products as "hand held messaging devices." Hence no decent browser and lack of prolific third party apps.

But, oh yeah... Blackberry doesn't use as much data. And that is the problem: it isn't that Blackberry users don't use as much data, its they CAN'T.

EDIT: See RGM's post below mine.

jhanks64

I'm curious which applications provide Secure, instant sync of all the PIM Items to my Outlook. AND not run the battery down.

When iOS and Android supports Secure Email, Notes, Calendar, Tasks and Contacts sync to my Outlook #and# good battery life like my Blackberry, then get back to me. (like never)

Exiled Bulldawg

Ok, fanboy. Let's look at what you wrote:

Secure? From what to what and by how? Your vaunted Blackberry security secures BES transmissions from the company Exchange server to the handheld device. How about from external e-mailer to your handheld? By definition it cannot. Think about it. It only secures communications between one user and another on the Exchange/BES server group.

Instant sync - that's laughable, even on BIS every month I go hours without e-mail only to get them all at one time.

Supports "Secure E-mail," Notes,Calendar, Tasks and Contacts to my Outlook #and# good battery life like my Blackberry.

Touchdown does. There are other apps with remote management capability, too. All without a dedicated server. Battery life isn't as good, but then again letting me spell it out for you fanboys: a year ago, I couldn't find an app close, today, there are several on both iOS and Android. Close your eyes and deny it all you want, the Android and iOS apps are closing the gap. Worse, the OS for both has everything Blackberry is missing.

I have carried a RIM device longer than most people have. When I was issued my first Berry to replace my iPager, I thought it was revolutionary. Where did that go? Why can't RIM understand syncing Exchange boxes to a handheld MESSAGING device isn't going to cut it anymore? All you fanboys can close your eyes and deny it, but RIM has about four quarters to turn this around. One year. After that, their user base will erode to only specialty users.

And the price will go up drastically to have one. But then again, who will WANT one?

rgm#CB

I would hate RIM to fail but the company disappointed me into trying an android phone. Both CEO s are killing the company they built. All I can do is hope for better phones and an improved OS on my Playbook for 2012, if not I will have to move on to a new system permanently. Its really sad when you defend a company in the blogs and have high hopes each year, only to be disappoint over and over. Even worst is having your friends brag about all the endless things their iphones can do. RIM has so much potential to be great again, its a shame the two leaders can't see its time to step back.

travaz

I love my BB and really cant see me going elsewhere as long as I can get a BB. Having said that maybe its time to shake up the thinking at RIM. Why not a android based BBand the QNX based tablets and phones. Do something radical and appeal to a bigger market. Maybe they should bring in a strong COO to really get things going.

J_R_TheMotorMan

Let them stay around long enough to usher in the new Tech and give them 6 mos. To let the marketing and promotions kick in and then make a final decision based onn their actual performance for two quarters rather than speculation................ Maybe?

artman71

They need to go ASAP! Investors are pulling out, consumer interest is nearly gone and lets not forget the half finished products they have released the last 5 years (Storm and Playbook). Mike and Jim need to remove their heads from each others ass*s and see that the competition is years ahead of them. RIM should be looking at restructuring the top, not laying off people! Just my thoughts...

red72

Where are the dye hard fans of BB/RIM? I have only had 3 BB's and I feel I have and always will be a fan. Why all the hate from people who think they know how to do it better but haven't , and most likely won't. I'd hate to see if one of thier kids got a cold or somthing. They would probably assume he or she was dying, with no chance of survival, uh oh got a cold there a gonner. I love the BB platform. It is simple, straight forward, gets the job done, is efficient, sexy too. I got my wife a DINC, works fantastic for her. I know Apple people (Macoples) it works for them.Not me though, but that doesn't mean I will go after them because of their choice. Or the companies that produce the phones( don't particularly agree with some buisness practices). I guess it's like they always say "you can"t please all of the people all of the time, but you can please some of the people some of the time, and some people just don"t want to be pleased. GREAT JOB Co-CEO's . Keep it up. I thought this was a site for BB fans!

deswayze

I think the problem here is that everything is relative. Sure RIM's 1Q results were less than expected. But RIM still made oodles of money and makes a top notch product. For a positive commentary that echoes this practical and, I dare say more sober and realistic approach, listen to this from CBC's Michael Hlinka.

http://www.cbc.ca/radionoonnl/2011/06/21/michael-hlinka-2/

m23haz

Did they screw up and have their heads in the sand? Yes. Do they deserve the chance to make up for that mistake? I believe they do. Look, Jim and Mike took this company to the top and I think they let their ego's get in the way of the change that was happening right in front of their eyes. However, with some of the purchases they have made (QNX, TAT etc) they deserve the chance to see those ideas come to the market. Now if in the next 12 months these products don't get to the market and they do not do well then I think that a major overhaul is needed. I feel like RIM has all the pieces in front of them to be successful (good hardware, QNX, TAT) but its like for some reason they don't put the puzzle together correctly. I for one am sticking with BlackBerry through this transition and I can't wait to get my hands on the 9930 and their future products!

guerllamo7

I agree, they did finally see it tough and to be fair, they have already been spanked quite a bit and even google was surprised as to how fast android grew. So, if RIMM had released their new phones six months ago they would still be rock stars. Hey, they dropped the ball but I believe they can counter and do very well.

BitPusher2600

Is it in fact a "desperate times call for desperate measures" concept? Perhaps it's nothing more than a "let's see what happens if we change the formula" thing.

Strider2112

I'm surprised that so many people think they should split the roles, I think this is a terrible idea. RiM has been run the way it has for years now, this is the equivalent to asking, "should coke change its recipe?" or something like that. The truth is, change is good, but you can't change a company structure like that - especially if it has worked for so long.

n1dym

I have to admit that many of the comments prior to mine are sound. They also sound like BB users who feel cheated on and left behind...very sad. I feel that in order for RIM to advance, the top management should under go a bone jarring shakeup. Start with the Co-CEOs....That's just not working now. One person should be the "boss" . It, RIM, reminds me of the joke about a camel is a horse built by a committee. As a shareholder who sold my RIM stocks a few days ago, I am so disappointed with RIM. I feel that my trust in the product has been damaged. I, several months ago, bought a new 9800 Torch to replace my aging 8300 Curve. I allowed myself to be lulled into trusting RIM. I permitted RIM to update the OS on my Torch and NOW I am the proud owner of a brick. Fortunately, ATT took mercy on me and gave me a new one to replace the brick. From what I understand, this has happened "rather frequently." !!!!! Needless to say, RIM will never update my Torch again.....
My personal feeling is that RIM should produce one or two models - THAT's IT! Apple did it, why can't RIM?? Quit nickel and dimeing us to DEATH with "new" units that appear to be a rehash of the old model with MAYBE one or two improvements. The second idea is that these two fools need to have their pay checks tied directly to profitablity. IE: If the company earning go down, so should their pay checks....Right about now, THEY should be paying RIM instead of the other way around!

jaycee58

In most companies the chairman's job is to kick the backside of the CEO if he doesn't come up to expectations. Most countries don't allow the chairman and CEO to be the same person and they have to be separate roles.

Perhaps there's nobody in RIM prepared to stand up to the bosses and tell them things need to change. Quickly!

rtk777

@Kevin, I know that this is an issue that is near and dear to your heart, as it is mine. Otherwise, we would not have this great community(crackberry.com) to call our own. The following is as follows:

We can take a look back at RIM, and view them as innovators, in which they truly are. However, what happens when you fail to innovate or to improve upon new technology ? You become complacent and you eventually get caught off guard. It was BLUNTLY pointed out in the last crackberry podcast. Unfortunatley, that truth hurt a little bit to actually hear it verbalized in such a way. It was the truth, nonetheless.

I personally believe that RIM still has plenty of longivity left in it's body. They need to figure out whose role is whose, meaning Mike needs to be head of tech and the chairman, and Jim needs to be ceo. They both needs to quit pinching pennies and spare no expense at bringing us the hardware that we sooo desire. They need to continue to develop QNX. They needs to focus. They need to let people know that they are not the dinosaur of an almost forgotten age. They are not an old horse ready to be put out to pasture or to be acquired by another company.

After all, you don't bring an 18th century rifle and musket balls to a 21st century gun fight. We all know that the latest itteration of Blackberry devices are a stop gap measure to attempt to try to hold on to what users that they do have until they can bring us the dual core QNX devices. That being said, I hope and pray that they can get those QNX devices out shortly after Blackberry world 2012, without delay. We all know that those specs for those QNX devices better be top notch and be able to go toe to toe with some of the top Android devices at the time of release.

Now, I think that it is important that they continue to write code that will optimize battery usage. I also think that they should make a HUGE BOLD statement and start putting larger batteries in their devices, even with the power sipping tech. This would be big thing that would help to continue to differentiate then from the competition. Think about it, some of the heaviest users could ltterally goes days without having to charge their Blackberry. That would be something that no Android device could even come close to touching.

They should also continue with writing code for their data sipping tech. I think especially with seeing the end of the unlimited data plans, it's ever soo important to not to have to worry too much about going over your data cap and being charged extra fees.

RIM needs to find a way to inspire developers to develop apps and want to port their app from other platforms to Blackberry. As we all know app support is vital for a succesfull platform. We need great apps, not just the majority of apps that are on the Android market, which have been proven to be mediocre.

We have all seen Jim Basillie in interviews. He does come across as a braggart and a blowhard. In the past, he has had reason to be. Currently, he does not have the reason to be. Even though, he does so now to display an air of confidence. I personally believe that a ceo needs to be able to have what it takes not to be bullied and be able to stp up the plate, or in his case make that goal. Look at Steve Jobs, that guy has one hell of an ego( he thinks he is second to God, himself), and he backs it up. He brings it. Apple markets well.

I personally don't care that he is this way. Let him be brash and arrogant, just make sure that you've got what it takes to back it up. This is the day and age of big touch displays, various media, security, and internet. Give your customers and would be customers what they want, or they will no longer be customers. Give us the specs we want and need, and we will not hesitate to pay the asking price.

In conclusion, I will remain a loyal customer until I'm give reason not to. If the QNX devices fail to turn things around for RIM, that will be reason enough for me to start giving other platforms, namely WP7 and iOS a second look.

@Kevin, If they fail to act to save it's life and prosper, crackberry.com will have just been around to chronicle the rise and fall of a great empire, much akin to the Roman or British empires. Let us hope and pray that this is not the case.......

br14

"They both needs to quit pinching pennies and spare no expense at bringing us the hardware that we sooo desire."

They're spending hundreds of millions. Perhaps billions on research and organization change.

And as a result, their profits are less.
Therefore, they have smaller margins.
Therefore their stock falls.
Therefore we get articles like this.

RIM's products are not leading edge in a processor sense, but in many other senses they are leading edge.

And the likely reason they didn't go down the big processor route was for reasons of battery life (RIM's phones tend to be smaller and more compact than the competition - which means their batteries are smaller). A compromise made because their core business is still enterprise.

I'd say blame is applicable for the following:

1. Their marketing intelligence has been nothing short of abysmal in the consumer space. If they wanted to attack the consumer market they needed to bring out a new family of phones with less battery life targeted at consumers rather than trying to keep up with phones that have significantly more space for battery and processors.

2. Their spending has been ineffective and often misapplied. Just a guess based on the fact their expenses have rocketed but we see little result for the spend.

3. They failed to realise that the software is more important than the hardware. Always. You buy the hardware that runs the software you want - not the other way round.

pastorz

Did I sleep through all of 2011?

market58

In the market you are either a predator or prey. If RIM continues delivering less than stellar results eventually they will have more to worry about than producing phones. They my be ripe to be acquired by someone and that will completely change the game.

Xterra2

They need to go, both of then and RIM needs a new sinngle CEO

birdman_36

The average smartphone shopper has no idea what BlackBerry smartphones are coming soon. Only we BlackBerry fanboys (and fangirls) do.

I am starting to believe that RIM should seriously consider releasing a BlackBerry Android phone. They wouldn't need to convert the entire product line from this point forward, just one model. Could you imagine that new BlackBerry Touch as an Android phone with exclusive BlackBerry Messenger? The specs would definitely support it. And the OS would be free to RIM! But we all know that's not likely because of their development of QNX.

RIM has to ease away from clinging to their past triumphs like security, push email, productivity and good battery life. That's no longer what makes a manufacturer unique in the eyes of the consumer. Most people want devices that are cool and hip, have cutting edge performance, provide entertainment and have reliable hardware and software.

RIM has to adapt, and they can't say "we will adapt to current market trends next year". Because in 2012 when they're still behind, will they say "we will adapt in 2013"? I can't see that happening.

br14

"I am starting to believe that RIM should seriously consider releasing a BlackBerry Android phone."

RIM's value proposition is based on its network and security.

With Android they'd lose the security and the network would require a complete rewrite.

Not to mention that there are already dozens of Android phones and they'd just be one more in a crowded field.

Sure way to self-destruct.

chris_meier

While not denying that RIM have some serious issues to resolve, I cannot help thinking - looking at all the negative press over the last two weeks - that someone managed to pull off what FaceBook tried to do and failed at. You will remember a few weeks back a story broke about FB hiring a PR firm to plant negative stories about Google - maybe one of RIMs competitors managed to pull this off with a bit more success?

Enough with the fanciful theories. More importantly how quickly people forget that around 20 years ago Apple went through a very tough time, launching what seemed to be one bad product after another, and eventually, with the right focus (and leadership) they turned it around very successfully. Even now, not everything they launch is better than sliced bread - remember the aerial problems with the iPhone 4, and now Final Cut Pro X? RIM needs to address leadership, and they need to spend more money in R&D.

I too am a BB fan, had no hesitation in choosing a BB again when I recently qualified for an upgrade.

br14

"You will remember a few weeks back a story broke about FB hiring a PR firm to plant negative stories about Google - maybe one of RIMs competitors managed to pull this off with a bit more success?"

Finally someone with insight.

Did you know for example that a key backer of BGR is the founder of Apple?

It's no accident that when the first iPhone was launched Apple had universally positive reviews despite the phone being unable to do one tenth of a BlackBerry. You couldn't even take a call without killing what you were doing.

Quiet Genius

I hope all those negative comments stick when RIM/BB start kicking ass again. Loyal BB fan for life.

Jake2826

If you whiners actually listened instead of whining, you would have known a looooong time ago that RIM would be at a TEMPORARAY disadvantage as they were essentially skipping a generation of phones to focus on the highly advanced QNX phones. In other words, focusing on tomorrow , so that they would have a leg up on the competition. But this TRANSITION to QNX takes an awkward and slightly painful growth period. You guys forget that is is only now that RIM is becoming a "true software company" with the aquisition of QNX. If you have patience, you will be rewarded, if not, RIM is doomed to always play 2nd fiddle to the "true software companies."

fhinton

The management at the top needs to be restructured, if RIM is to survive. They have lost market share and no matter how we may like RIM and BlackBerry as a brand, they are unable to compete. Android is making inroads into the enterprise sector, which at one time was a RIM stronghold. I have been using a BlackBerry for some time now, and I have a PlayBook, but I can see that the company is struggling. Perhaps a change at the top is what is needed to inject renewed interest in the company.

Simply put, Lazaridis and Balsillie are killing the company that they helped to create along with their market share.

br14

Forcing Jim and Mike to do something they don't want to do is the best way I can think of to destroy RIM.

You have to consider employee motivation. Morale at RIM is already in the toilet, destroying the morale of the top two will only serve to make things worse. It certainly won't improve share performance.

In other words, RIM's two senior executives do not need to be "restructured".

What is needed is to fire those in the second level of management and below that are self-serving, have no feeling for the company, and have been busy creating exit strategies for themselves by spending loads of RIM's cash.

Lazirids and Balsillie aren't killing anything. What they are is struggling to manage a corporation that grew from 2,000 employees in 2005 to 16,000 in 2010.

They haven't done a great job - though that isn't entirely their fault. Unfortunately it appears Jim Balsillie was away from class the day they covered organization behaviour at Harvard.

The best thing that can happen to RIM is that a group of banks get together and take the company private. As a private corporation, shielded from the vagaries of the short sellers, RIM can finally make the investments it needs to respond to market trends, without worrying about margins and stock price.

Given most of RIM's shares are held by limited number of share holders, I doubt too much will happen.

But even if nothing happens that's ok. RIM's stock price is almost ridiculously low. They have some great products due out and will attain technical if not software leadership by the end of this year. Their price will rebound by December.

Bearing in mind that a phone company is only as good as the last device, and that new products arive every 3-6 months, investing in phone companies over the long haul is actually rather dumb.

And that includes Apple by the way, who may be shielded slightly by their product diversity, but whose price will collapse (as per RIM) if they don't find a way to compete with Android phones costing much less. RIM was simply the first to fall. Apples ASP will necessarily fall, and their stock price will follow.

RIM is actually a great buying opportunity if you've money to risk on tech. (But not if you dont!).

fhinton

I see a lot of wishful thinking here. You haven't really offered much more than fluff. RIM is already dying. The PlayBook, as good a device that it is, was rushed out of the door, after the management at the top were so vague about when it would be released that many on tech news sites had doubted that it would actually be released at all. If RIM were serious about competing with the iPad, the PlayBook, should have had a lower, more competitive price.

The next generation BlackBerries maybe released this fall or some time next year, no one really knows. The details are so vague, that some may hold off on upgrading, whenever the new devices are released, or just upgrade to an Android device.

Various Android devices and Apple are killing the BlackBerry brand. To lose as much market share as they have would either kill most companies or make them ripe for a hostile take over. If either scenario occurs, it would mark the end for RIM and BlackBerry. It isn't to late to turn the company around, if they begin restructering.

As to your point about RIM going from 2,000 to 16,000 employees, so what? They've had to lay off most of them. Also, when some of your top level management would rather jump ship than wait for it to go down, it looks bad. And it reflects poorly on the company. I would like to see RIM saved from any of the circumstances that I have described, but there has to be some kind of drastic change or the ship will sink.

meljac600

I am a longtime supporter of RIM AND BB DEVICES. However the time has come to move on. I am officially jumping ship when the iPhone 5 drops in september 2011. There is no major breakthru in these slow running devices that plague the stores. We need bigger screens, faster processors and touchscreens. Goodbye

ekafara

So you mean the new phones from RIM coming out? Why jump ship to Apple if RIM is coming out with the "bigger screens, faster processors and touchscreens" that you want?

capdriver3

I think, RIM should actually start thinking about a pure android device, as mentioned above. Maybe not for the enterprise sector, but for the customer market. With that, they could get some marketshare. I don't know if QNX will be a revolution, since it is at least 12 months late. And we haven't seen it perform on a mobile phone yet. If it performs as crappy as OS6 on the torch (at least from what I've seen), no one will buy the phone.

BB OS isn't making that good anymore in enterprise market. You can see that with all those companies switching from BB to iOS or Android lately. Take the Deutsche Bank as one example.

You cannot go with saying "people want a physical keyboard". That is simply not true, since typing on those touchscreens is really good.

Mentioned above was battery life, which is actually on of the best points. I love not loading my BB every evening. Some friends have iOS devices and Android devices and they have to plug in every night. I love my battery not dying on me when I'm on a 4 days business trip and forgot my wall charger.

I hope that RIM makes up with the new OS 7 and the 9900/30. But these phones should have been QNX based. We all hear from reviews, that the Playbook is on of the best Tablets out there in terms of OS and handling. But it was simply too late.

They need a much better focus in leadership and get rid of old traditions. I think they need to see, that their former core business (enterprise ) is almost lost to them and they should make up for a new start in consumer products, or maybe prosumer products.

dennycranium

I agree with the comment about Rim being the whipping boy on the block.
Its popular to bash Rim to drive traffic to your website or Blog.
The Playstation network GOT HACKED and that's all over with in the media.
Yes they need to get devices to the market faster.
Yes they need to have faster processors etc.
The new Bold Touch 9900 will surprise a lot of people I think.
It may be just that the Rim naysayers can't (or won't) give it the review it deserves