Just Like in Hockey, Balsillie Would Rather Play Offense

By Devin Kent on 21 Jul 2008 04:28 pm EDT

Balsillie Plays Offense"I play offense. There's no glory in defense," said hockey fan and RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie in an interview with Bloomberg published today.

The company is currently trying to overcome the momentum that Apple's iPhone 3G gained after selling over a million units in its first three days on sale. Their plan is to accelerate product introductions, starting with the Bold and the Thunder, and increase advertisement spending to grab some of the consumer market. "Our job is to fully capitalize on the opportunity before us," said Balsillie. The other CEO, Mike Lazaridis, said, "We're trying to get people to say, 'What is that?' and 'I want one of those.'"

Experts say that RIM's stock could rise to more than $170 in the coming year, and more than two-thirds recommend buying the stock. Others are less than enthusiastic, though: Roger Etner of Nielsen said, "BlackBerry still has the lead when it comes to the very narrowly defined segment of business e-mail. With everything else, the iPhone has a huge lead." Competition is nothing but good for the consumer, so we should see a lot of innovation from both companies in the near future.

Topics: News & Rumors

Reader comments

Just Like in Hockey, Balsillie Would Rather Play Offense


RIM needs to take a page out of Apple and Disney's product promotion play book. IMO, RIM sat on their corporate e-mail success too long and has done a terrible job in promotion hype for their products, espeacially the products aimed for the consumer market.

rim did the right thing in getting the email infra right. the infrastructure matters first why settle with flash when you can get real power with the bold. the iphone is good but its all icing on the cake. sometimes you want real cake to go with that icing

Ok then why not release things talking about the Thunder? They keep SAYING they are gonna improve promotions, but why not "leak" a photo of the Thunder to us? Come on! They have to get it out soon if they want to compete with the iPhone 3G.

Didn't they already release photo's of it? Anyway, RIM doesn't need to do anything with the business aspect of the BlackBerry, they got that locked down. Commercially, that will be hard. With any company, marketing any product seems to be difficult unless your name is Apple. Apple is the KING, hands down, on marketing that is why they are so successful. Apple will always have a cult/following, to follow the brand (much bigger company that offers more products) and RIM, well they just have business men/woman. It's not possible for RIM to market the Thunder to the level of the iPhone 3G that many will line up for, it's just impossible.

Make no mistake, RIM will market the Thunder, but like every other company, it's not going to have that "POW" effect that Apple can deliver.

Also, why rush the Thunder? If people are going to get the iPhone, they will get the iPhone. There's no "if RIM takes too long, I'm going to go Apple". Either rush and get a below average product, or wait and get a superior product. Besides, even if RIM did launch the Thunder, iPhone is already dominating in the media so it's best to wait until after it cools down.

Sounds like a good plan...I just think it would have worked better if they would have released the Bold BEFORE the iphone!

Hard to corner a market when you release products after the competition!

Funny how you use Miroslav Satan as the photo for this article lol. What are you trying to say about good ol' Jimmy??

I think one of the benefits that RIM has is the fact that they release phones to multiple carriers. Since the iPhone is only (currently) on AT&T in the USA, it limits their sales only to people using AT&T's network. Around our area, AT&T = dropped calls. Other carriers don't have as many problems as AT&T does locally. Friends I know who have iPhone (1 and/or 2) love the device, but hate the phone service.

The fact that the Curve and Pearl are on almost every carrier now, and with the Thunder going to Verizon (along with Javelin and hopefully Bold branching out), RIM stays in the game by offering phones through multiple sources. It is what keeps Blackberry sales growing beyond AT&T sales.

That was a great article but I will believe what Jim Balsillie said when I see RIM get off their lazy a**es and actually release a phone and go "on the offensive".