RBC highlights what they feel RIM needs to do in order to get back on track

rim logo
By Bla1ze on 22 Sep 2011 04:02 pm EDT

To put it bluntly, for the most part -- I really don't pay too much attention to what analysts say. I likely should, but I don't. Most of the time when I read articles related to analysts, the information gets absorbed into my brain -- but to me, they feel like the weathermen of the technology industry in this respect. They could be right, they could be wrong, but most of time it all just feels like educated guesses that they could win big on or bust and go broke. They have their place though and I realize that.

With that out the way, some information coming from RBC Capital Markets Mike Abramsky and Paul Treiber, piqued my interest when it was reported in the WSJ recently. The article highlighted the four things RIM will need to do during their transition phase and for once, I found myself rather agreeing with everything that was said. Most of which has come up many times through discussions with various others I speak to daily. That list looks like this:

  • Backwards-Looking, Uncompetitive Products and Software. Four years after iPhone launched, RIM still hasn’t launched competitive Smartphone innovations or addressed its ‘app gap’. With QNX, we believe RIM needs to renew its focus on innovative, bold user experiences.
  • Marketing and Launch Execution. RIM continues to ship products late (e.g., BlackBerry 7) and incomplete (PlayBook minus 3G/email, underpowered Torch 1; Torch 9850/9860 with inferior virtual keyboard, etc.). RIM needs to improve execution as competitors are bringing their ‘A’ game, and have out-maneuvered RIM on marketing, positioning it as passé.
  • Investor Credibility/Visibility. RIM’s apparent inability to offer reliable guidance (including Q2 miss and retracting over-optimistic projections) has created, in our opinion, a formidable credibility gap with the investment community that needs correcting.
  • Governance. To us, RIM’s board has an opportunity to take a more active role in providing a ‘check and balance’ on key management decisions.

It wasn't all that long ago Kevin went ahead and posted the "What are the Top FIVE things you would do if you ran Research In Motion?" article and looking through the comments on that post, a lot of what was said is reflected above in the words from Mike Abramsky and Paul Treiber. So what do you all think? Does this sound like a plan of action for RIM and something they should be doing or does this all just sound like more RIM is down, lets kick em talk?

Source: WSJ

Reader comments

RBC highlights what they feel RIM needs to do in order to get back on track


Get rid of the trolls and bad MEDIA ! in that way probably BlackBerry will be seen as a better Product ! cause I love my BB devices but when i see ppl talking non sense about BB and i know fro a fact is not true but i cant do anything, cause they watch to much TV and see to many bad news on Internet about RIM and BlackBerry Devices.

Absolutely agreed!

The first two points are just crap. I'm sorry, but they are.

Saying 'RIM should make an iPhone but better' just shows a lack of understanding both of what RIM does, and of why the iPhone was successful. iPhone success comes off the back of apple branding. Honestly, none of the iPhones have blown me away. They are solid devices. But they have an apple logo on them and there are millions of people with (apparently) inexhaustible income willing to buy every device that apple puts out.

RIMs users are business types who couldn't care less about how many apps are on the market. Honestly, consumers care rather less about apps than all the analysts think. A solid 90% of everything on all the appstores are terrible. There is a need for a core of decent apps, but the vast majority of people have no more than a dozen or so 3rd party apps, and I am yet to find anything that there wasn't a BB app for.

As for 'late' and 'incomplete' products... well... That's only from the tech journalists point of view. Sure it would have helped if BB7 launched sooner, and if the first torch had extreme hardware in it, but we can't always get what we want, and I experience way less slowdown/crashing than on any of the droid phones I have with better spces. BB7 came as soon as RIM could get it to market, and RIM make products that are crazy about both battery life and security. No tablet on the market is objectively better than the PB in any important respect. It destroys every other tablet.

The only relevant thing that he posted was the third point. RIM would definitely be in a better position if they gave out very conservative estimates and then always exceeded them. That makes investors happy.

To be quite honest, I find it disgusting that tech journalists keep flogging this crap to their editors. Everyone journalist (and anyone who has to deal with media) lives out of their blackberry. Nothing else does the job. There is no margin for missing something because of a dead battery and once every half hour or so you have to bust out a big long email very very fast.

Every credible journalist has a blackberry. Tech journalists certainly have a whole bunch of other devices, and that's half their problem. When you only use something for a few days at a time you forget about real life. They sit down and pick up the new iPhone or the new droid and play with it like a toy. They rave about the pointless features that no-one will ever use a week after they bought it (like front facing cameras... the single most under-used piece of 'standard' technology). They look at the shineyness and get sucked in by a totally functionless graphical update to the UI and start to bandy around terms like innovative, when in reality its all still icons on a screen and various permutations on that.

Because they only use something for a few days at a time they just play with the new bits and because they are fun for a few days they think that this is what the experience will be like in six months time. In reality, all the new features become mundane very very quickly, and its the core user experience that matters in the long run. Most people use their phone to do phone stuff. They call and text and e-mail and surf the web, and if they are a modern professional, they need to do that all day. That's what you get with a blackberry. Not so shiney or exciting, but the best in the buisness at being a communication device. They know that, they use ALL use them. But if something isn't hideously trendy then its of no interest to tech journalists.

I'm sorry to go on about this, but frankly I'm sick of it. Too many tech journalists are people who were faintly tech-savvy when gadgets became cool and landed the gig doing the reviews and now are just spoiled kids in a vastly expensive candy store. They give the kind of recommendation that's you'd get if you let your ten year old kid make your shopping list. Nothing but candy and pizza, which is fine for a few days, but you can't live like that. In the modern age you cannot live with 4 hours of active battery life (thanks to vastly over-powered hardware and massive screens) nor will you care about the front facing camera when all you really want is to be able to type and select text quickly and accurately.

I think they have some valid points and RIM does need to step it up. Don't get me wrong, I'll go down fighting the naysayers but even I get wistful sometimes when I see features on other phones that my 9900 doesn't have..

Exactly, there is quite a bit of worthwhile stuff in there. RIM is not perfect, they DO have issues that need ironing out. Ignoring them does nothing, and pretending they don't exist isn't helping.

The stuff above is mild compared to other things being said about RIM these days. As I mentioned, normally analysts IMO talk out their arse.. but there is sound advice echoed there.

I had a BlackBerry back in 2000 (when they didn't even have phones in them) and have been a huge supported of RIM and its devices. I think I have said many times that I don't bash RIM and BlackBerry because its the in thing to do (although many may disagree), but because I'm genuinly angry with RIM for totally failing their loyal customers and clients by not stepping up to the plate after the iPhone came out.

Everybody, including Palm stepped up and made radical changes to their products. Look how Microsoft dumped its old "put Windoze 3.1 on the mobile device" strategy for a brand new Windows Phone 7. Palm dumped Palm OS and made webOS, Android stepped up from a text based OS to a GUI and the hardware manufacturers stepped up with amazing devices to run these OSes.

I don't know who is to blame at RIM. I don't know if it is the CEO's because I'm not on the inside, but from the outside RIM as a company looks and feels like an angry old ship captain who refuses to point his huge ship in a new direction.

Push email became a non-issue many many years ago. Everyone has it now. Virtual keyboards are very usable once your thumb's muscle memory has kicked in after a week or so making physical keyboards quite a lot less important.

Even now, months after the PlayBook was released (which by the way is an almost exact copy of Palm's webOS in look and feel) has no native email and PIM apps and no enterprise support on the BES. BBOS7 (yawn) is around but no QNX devices, and when we get them they also may have no email and PIM? Really?! Come one!

RIM is a weird company when viewed from the outside, and if you ever try to work there and you are on the top of your game and a perfect fit, they won't hire you. I was once told by RIM HR that knowing things about BlackBerry or even knowing how to use one has never been a job requirement. Scary stuff.

I want RIM to survive. I strongly believe that the industry needs its competition, and I want to see what amazing things this company can start doing again.

What I see in the real world is huge companies defecting from BlackBerry in favor of iOS devices, and some Android. Dumping the BES for products like MobileIron, and using Exchange's built-in push email protocol ActiveSync (which is free by the way). The movement called "Consumerization of IT" is real and driven by factors like the recession, but also by RIM's failure to keep their devices relevant in the enterprise, and the consumer space.

I don't know what the future holds but to me it almost feels too late at this point. I think that the tipping point has past earlier this year. I hope I'm wrong.

Who knows if I'll ever be allowed back on the CrackBerry podcast ;-)
Chris I'll join you in the corner for fangbangers and debbie downers :-))

I'm with you on this post. I have execs asking me why do we still have a BES and still give out BB's. My main answer is "Security". But that's the only real answer I can say. I have to explain to some now that security is a real issue nowadays and while iphones and android phones have the bells and whistles, they are highly targeted OS's for security exploits.

It's apparent that sooner or later BES and BB's will get phased out in businesses especially since "consumer" users want to use their smart phones for business uses. Yes we can tie to exchange and have some added security, but how much does a consumer user in the think about security??

I've been a RIM supporter since i've learned their products and hardware in 1999-2000. But failing to realize the smart phone innovation is moving way ahead of them is just stupid. RIM wont be any type of competition to any company out there if they don't get it together and execute their transition correctly.

Ride or Die RIM 2012

For the first time in three years, I've seriously started considering another device. E.g. Samsung Galaxy II. Why? Video out, so when I go to a friend or family member's house, I can plug in my device to their TV. Also, on the Galaxy II S, there is USB-to-go, so I could connect a Flash drive to my device and transfer files. Oh, and that being said, Adobe Flash. And, Google product development for BlackBerry has slowed WAY down. Android would be a huge bonus here. And front facing camera. Okay. I'll stop now before I get depressed :)

But, all of that said, I think I'd still find it hard to give up my awesome physical keypad, notifications LED, Sound Profiles, and (especially when it comes to BlackBerry vs. iPhone) a removable battery.

RIM needs to bring more of the above features to their devices ASAP.

I know RIM's focus, popularity, and expertise had been the enterprise market, while for other manufacturers it was, well, everyone else. One manufacturer cannot completely dominate all market sectors--there needs to be competition and choice. But I love my BlackBerry and don't want to lose it. So, please, RIM, build the above features into your next line of devices and get them out there ASAP!

I agree for the most part, has anybody seen 1 prime time commercial about OS7 or the new line up? I haven't ...

I love how Mike Abramsky is the one who predicted that the Playbook would sell 4-6 million units in its first year, and yet he criticizes RIM's financial predictions. Pot meet kettle?

RIMM is sick, and not in a good way. I, too am generally leery of analysts. But these analysts are pretty much right on, particularly about marketing and launch execution. Everyone is saying that QNX will be a game changer. Maybe, but ONLY if RIMM manages to execute it ON TIME and as complete as possible. Given their recent performance, I'm skeptical of their ability to do this. If, however, they manage to launch on time, they still have to get a clue about how to market it. Again, I'm skeptical. I want nothing more than to be proven wrong.
When it comes time for me to upgrade, the first phone I will consider will be a BB. If there's nothing available or on the immediate hrizon, I won't hesitate to look at other platforms. At the end of the day, whether I spend my money on BB or something else, it's still money out of my pocket and a 2 year time commitment. I am not going to invest time and money in a phone with "potential" especially given their record to date.

I agree with what your saying. But I want to point out a few things.

1. RIM has ALWAYS (from day one) been bad with marketing. They didn't get to the top (were at the top) by good marketing. They got there by producing good products that people enjoyed using.

2. In terms of specs, RIM has ALWAYS been behind the pack. The raw specs of their product is NOT what brought them to the top. Do some research, with almost every phone they have ever released, the competition has always had more impressive specs.

3. RIM needs to play their own game, and stop trying to play like their competition. Make a smartphone that people want (style, function, and price) - this in my opinion is what they did with the os7 devices, particularly the 99xx

They could afford to play their own game back when there was no real imbalance in market share. Those days are gone and the whole point of this is that RIM needs to change. The days of maintaining the Status Quo are gone.

I agree with the points you bring up except for #3 (in part). The part of their game that they desparately need to change is their marketing (or lack thereof)and the execution. Bring what they promise when they promise it.

To put it bluntly - this is bang on. And is certainly what Blackberry users have been screaming about for the past many years. Pity that RIM's CEO's were arrogant and blinded by their own sense of self importance that it was beneath them to actually reach out and listen to their consumers. Now the writings on the wall with consumers choosing other platforms and laughing at any Blackberry products, i.e., the Playbook. Here's hoping that someone at RIM finally get's the message.

In Kitchener we have always poked fun at the Waterloo people. They don't even have their own hospital or OHL team. If Blackberry goes down all they will have is the universities.
I sure hope they come back though I love blackberry.

The comments are on the money IMO. It's things that we BB fans know, some people just get upset when its stated by a non BB fan. RIM need to wake up quickly and put Apple and Android in their place!

In the eyes of the Wall St., I'm not sure there is anything current management can do to turn things around. RIM will need a major shakeup. HP just canned their CEO and named Meg Whitman the new CEO.

RIM needs to bring in some new leadership. No matter what they show at DevCon, it will not be enough for Wall St. The RIM well is currently poisoned. The only thing right now that will pacify Wall St. is to bring in some new leadership. i think I'd have to agree with that.

LOL. The LAST place RIM needs to look for inspiration is HP and their revolving CEO door. Whitman is the 8th in 12 years and the second THIS year. HP is a train wreck in slow motion and will join DEC, Burroughs, Sun and the other 7 companies that went up against IBM and no longer exist. When a company mimics their main competitors business strategy 5 years late, the writing is on the wall. RIM isn't in the same boat YET and they have a last chance to pull it off. It'll be interesting to see how it turns out. I believe they have an execution problem more than a strategy problem. They are too focused on doing things their way... and not learning from their/others mistakes.

I'm in no way implying RIM should be inspired by HP.

By your analysis, RIM is basically only 4 years behind it's competition so they're in much better shape than HP and you'd give the current management 1 more year to turn things around? What makes you believe this bunch can turn things around going forward when they've completely failed the last 4 years?

Also, the idea that RIM's problem is execution and not strategy is off base. The Playbook was a strategy and it failed. The Storm was a strategy and it failed. Ignoring application developers was a strategy and it's failed...shall I go on?

I really have no choice but to agree with this. I don't feel it's "bashing" exactly. It's just realistic. I think it should have touched on build quality though. The well documented keyboard stutter of the 9780, the well documented variety of LCD screens colours and keyboard brightness and squeeky trackpads of the 9900... Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't trade my 9900 for anything, but the last two "flagships" have sunk when it comes to quality control. Sony Ericson (or was it Samsung?) can build a water proof-ish phone, yet RIM can't align a trackpad. :<

Some folks have been saying this for months if not years.

For the first poster in this. You need good news in order to report good news.

I am know the two at the top will not change until they are forced to.

They still don't get it after 3-4 years of sitting on their fat backsides
sucking down the profits.

Jim and Mike are the problem. Until that changes RIM will continue
to circle the drain.

The other end is how many people think its the press doing this to RIM.



It's not a conspiracy against them. They've done all of this to themselves. Quite honestly, if the RIM board had any balls, they would've replaced both a couple of years back. I don't like for anyone to loose their jobs but when you're not performing and a lot of other lives are dependent upon you making good decisions, then you need to come thru or move out.

Fairly good analysis. It should be noted that S&P put out a hold opinion on shares yesterday. They see the QNX PlayBook as a developer platform, rather than a stand-alone product.

I think the big one they always get killed on is marketing. They rely too heavily upon carriers, who usually produce some of the lamest and most boring video promos I have ever seen. Just like Apple had the Mac Guy, we need CrackBerry Kevin as the BlackBerry Dude. Seriously though, spend some of that cash wad on a big ad campaign through one of the top ad companies. I don't know who the ad agency is for Research In Motion, but they suck.

I'm not sure who takes care of RIM's marketing in the US or Canada, but here in Australia it's a company called Marketstar CPM... And I have been knocked back twice for Marketing positions with them... The second time was purely because I am making the Pilgrimage to Waterloo, Canada this Christmas... Apparently they don't need people who are THIS "full on" in the company...

Thanks for reading my mini rant about RIM's marketing...

My boss always tells me "The fish stinks from the head down." RIM has a solid company good technology and great people. They need direction and it is unfortunate but clear that a change in the top may be in order.

It's very simple folks:

I am the most loyal customer RIM has. I am a decade long RIM fan. I bought every new device the day it came out and took a day of work to get the Playbook (fail!).

I have my nice new 9930 on a two year contract. I love it, it works for me. Awesome device!

I will sit back and wait to see what the market delivers over the next 24 months. If, in September 2013, RIM doesn't have an Apple or Android killer, with a physical QWERTY, I am gone.

It's that simple.

Wow! September 2013 to see if RIM comes up with a phone that will compete with Apple and Android. That's a long time. Won't Apple and Android have advanced by then too? Either you like the Blackberry platform or you don't. Each time RIM releases a device we here how it is going to be the Apple Killer. NOT! They are two very distinct and different platforms. What Blackberry does, it does it well...still the most solid multi-tasking communication device. What Apple does, it does it well, applications.

On that note, IMHO, the biggest hole in RIMS game is applications. Everyday we see an add, billboard, website, church bulletin, you name it, that showcases the latest Apple and Android app. Becoming synonymous now. RIM can get only expect to get into this game by creating an architecture that will allow for Android Apps to play nice with the BB OS, with full integration. Even half integration...just get the apps. Keep plowing more into the hardware specs to support (e.g., RAM, processor, etc.). In the end, what does an Android or Iphone do that a BB can't? It is apps. That's it. Now a BB can do some things that an Iphone and Android can't but that is another story.

And yes, RIM you need to execute quality and be on time.
Instead of relying on the carriers, start exerting some pressure on them. Still waiting for the 9900 to launch on AT&T. Hello? So tired of waiting, I may just skip it and wait for QNX. I don't expect it to be the Android / Apple killer, I just expect it to be the best BB RIM has produced at that point in time.

Life is like a cup of coffee http://bit.ly/ic8IFp

Your decision will be pretty easy because if they don't have a competitive phone by then there won't be any RIM - at least as a seperate entity.

I'm not sure I would call it a plan for action, I think I'd call it common sense.

RIM was caught sleeping but now it seems they might be trying to do too much. QNX, BBM Music, Playbook, etc. If they were ahead of the game this would all make sense but add all this to being behind and it's kind of overwhelming.

It is honestly to late to give advice now, but really they should have made the phones 80% android and used the QNX base to sandbox the PIM stuff (which I think could be kept in Java) for security. I mean why replicate or compete with all the stuff on Android. Then over time move more to QNX. All android makers tweak the OS to make it their own.

I'm in Business, let's see should I buy a Samsung, HTC or a Blackberry Android? Seems pretty obvious to me. I mean throw all company efforts into integrating BB email and BBM into basically an Android phone. If that was the whole focus of the company I bet they could pull it off.

IMO if RIM did Android they'd sell a ton because they know how to build a phone (harware) better than anyone.

If RIM starts to cave with QNX, I think they should quickly pull a Nokia and either adopt windows OS or Android. I'll stay with them for the keyboards alone.

I agree here. I was a Blackberry fan because of the Keyboard and Push email. However, my contract was up and I have gone Android with a Galaxy S II. I have to say that so far the only thing that it lacks is a good battery life (I get about a day out of it). The native email doesnt compare to my Blackberry, but there are other Email clients which are almost as good as the BB.

RIM are losing out and they continue to look backwards. Why bother having a QNX phone that runs a crapy Android App player??? Why not just make an Android Phone which integrates with BIS/BES. If that phone existed I (and many others!) would be back on the BB bandwagon in no time! I suspect that this is easier said than done, considering they cant get QNX to play nice with PIM (I am assuming this is why I havent got naitive email on my PB yet!)how can we expect them to get it working on an Android Platform.

It would be nice though, and to me, this is the only thing that will get people to consider BB again.

There isn't really much more to say about this. These are indeed things a lot of us have been screaming over for years now. No one is asking RIM to forget everything they've accomplished. We are simply stating to include what you do so well into up to date and forward thinking products. Creating phones to last year's specs won't help bring the company back to the top. It'll only slow down the speed of the crash.

QNX is a fresh start for the consumers and for the rest of the world. To us, it's just the next step. It's the combination of things we've been screaming for, and all the research finally being put into motion (No pun intended).

From the last conference call, Rim seems to be getting the memo on content (BBM Music, BB Movies, BBM games). Also, on innovation they did put NFC on their phones.

Rim does have the advantage on security, e-mail, customization, efficiency, and messaging but the problem is that does not excite anyone. What consumers want is larger screens, more content and to be completely Wowed by their phones. Regardless of the logic behind this, that is what they want and I hope that Rim can execute on this.

I love my Bold 9930 and my Playbook but I also want to see content improvements.

I love the 9930 and PB too, but the memos RIM needs to get areabout speed a execution AND communication.

Example: OS2.0, either (1) RIM still is not done yet with this which means it will not be available after devcon. Terrible! Or more optimistically (2) it is done - well then for God's sake don't sit on your ass for a month doing nothing. Hold an event in New York Toronto or San Fran and show the stuff off NOW.

RIM you need to communicate to CONSUMERS not developers. There is plenty of stuff to tell developers at Devcon without holding back the OS.

Tell them how they can integrate their apps into the OS and add new features, but don't hold back the OS for a month, just so you can squak about it to a bunch of tech geeks.

RIM has not been upfront with its shareholders and customers, analyst are no better.
These analyst just passing the buck, RIM actually gave guidance of 0.75-1.05 and $4.2-4.6, and came within the guidance.

I love my new 9850! I think the new Torchr is moving in the right direction for the customer wanting the best of both worlds. I have to add, I think the keyboard is fine and that's from a guy coming from a Bold 9650. The biggest issue that I see is the "app gap". I personally don't care about a bunch of useless apps. I have all the apps I want and need on my 9850, but the new smartphone market is all about the apps! I went with the Torch over and Android phone because of the pathetic battery life, instability of the android OS, push notifications, and BBM. To me, Androids are toys. All my friends with droids are constantly having crashes, freeze ups, and they stay connected to their chargers. In 3 weeks with my 9850, no crashes, no freezing, and after a 12hr shift I'm still at 30-40% on my battery...

Yeah, I use to say "Who needs a bunch of useless apps!" and didnt think that I needed or would use them, but I have moved to Android, and I have to say I have downloaded over 10 apps, and I use almost every one of them. Alot are just Web content which you can access through a browser, but it is faster through an App and much easier to navigate. I think unless you try the other side, you shouldnt discount the ability and the perception of the App. When every bilboard has a link to an iOS or Android App, and there is never a BB app advertised, people are going to continue to discount the BB.

Also, I havent yet had any problems with the Galaxy, the battery life isnt as good as my old 9700, but it gets through a whole day.

Find out why AT&T won't release the 9900. Find out why they won't release any information on why they have not made the 9900 available.

See this link for a Forum thread on the full article...

Overall IMO the article is a good overview of the challenges, advantages and performance issues faced by RIM. Unfortuantely most of the recommendations are not quickly completed finger snap changes, but extended management issues that take a lot of work - even if headed in the right direction. So RIM does not have to just get it right, they have to manage it better than the competition for an extended period.

Are they getting it better - I think so. How fast will they rise vs the competition - I can't predict.

totally agree with launch execution.

no email, no android player, no calender for almost 6 month after PB launch
there is no excuse for that.

The QNX phones have to be very good, complete and on-time.

RIM can not do another Playbook like launch!


I used iPhone 1 briefly in the states and i used to compare iPhones to a movie star that I see everyday and I reached the point that I lost interest and excitement seeing the movie star daily. But when my work provided me an old BlackBerry 7290, I was blown away with it can do and up to this point I'm still in love and obsessed with it.

I thought people should try the BlackBerry themselves rather than listening to technology analysts who just make the clear water murky by providing their 'expert' opinion about Blackberrys before they are even out of the market. We don't need to say it, these 'tech' experts who are always brutal with there BlackBerry reviews are in no doubt very biased. Although it would not be fair to think but sometimes, I think that they conspiring to bring the BlackBerry down. But to me they do not transcend the clear purpose of what a smartphone should be for which for COMMUNICATION not just pushing products that enable us to waste time looking at those clear glass playing games. If you have a full time work, who has time to play games and think about those silly apps? If I want to buy a phone I want to buy a phone that really works, a phone that provides crystal clear audio and not a phone that all of a sudden looses signal. This is not a way to communicate.

BlackBerrys are not perfect, they have a lot of ironing to do in order to be back on track. They need to release the QNX phone in absolute perfection without any minor glitches. They need to understand how to advertise their product so that it catches attention immediately and don't seem to look defensive to a regular consumer. Having said this, they need to replace their marketing team with a group that understands the buying and 'wants' psychology. RIM needs to top off the technical specifications of any devices they will release so that their devices commands attention aside from the brand.

Get rid of all those annoying ppl who have never had a 'smart phone' before and get a droid or ios phone and say its 'the best ever' and how much better it is than a BB. Really ? They have nothing to compare it to. Or they compare them to 3 year old BB's. Its a BIG part marketing.and not tv ads and stuff. Marketing by product placement in movies and tv shows ( think how many BBs would sell if Jersey Shore cast ALL had new Torch 9860 ! )

Also marketing by not trying to play 'me to' with new apps and features. Be FIRST out with new technology and market the hell outta that feature .. Not 'hey we do ___ too'

For example ... Missed boat on marketing BBM music :( poorly played RIM. Poorly played.

I agree with the analysis for the most part, except for point no. 1. I really love the BlackBerry user experience as it is and am glad that it is completely different from any other smartphone experience on the market. The only thing that can be improved, for me, is internet browsing, but that really isn't the core of my BlackBerry use.

I also don't care about the "app gap" except as it relates to productivity. I think a major problem is this perception that the BlackBerry experience should be just like others, just do them better. No. Be different, but be the best possible version of that. If you're offering web browsing, fine, but do it flawlessly. The email and messaging experience on the BB are winners start to finish. Replicate that perfection in whatever other areas they decide should be core BB features and leave the bells and whistles to bells and whistle devices.

Points 2 & 3 for me and the really critical ones.

Bla1ze, you shouldn't pay attention to them. Abramsky used to be the biggest bull on RIM and now he works the other side just as he did with Apple. He used to be a bear on Apple and now finally caved and is a bull.

The analysis is always done from a position of hindsight and is full of empty commentary. What are his points? "RIM should sell more products and give people what they want!". He (as well as others) talk of the credibility gap with the executives after two quarters where they missed the numbers. Apparently the previous six years where they routinely met or bettered their guidance, as well as beating Wall Street's whisper numbers, were all a fantasy.

And people who are calling for a stronger board should take a look at HP. They've just forced out the third CEO in six years while the company continues to spiral downward. An active board is no guarantee of balance within a company.

I'm not going to reiterate the previous comments as I agree with the bulk of them.

However, I do want to comment on the market's perception of what a smartphone is and how RIM seems to have miscommunicated (or never has communicated) their product positioning. There's no secret that Apple has been able to define the market and sets the bar for what is and what is not going to be successful. However, if I can interpret what RIM seems to be projecting is ; devices for business communication and productivity and yet Apple has quite successfully established entertainment as the defining feature for smartphones.

So, if I'm correct, Rim has and always has had the opportunity to set itself apart from Apple and create a marketing program to highlight this clear differential. Some examples ;

"Serious devices for serious people"
"When we grew up, we put our toys away"
"Communications, not gaming, drives business"
"Angry birds has never solved a problem"
"What does your boss think when you arrive with an entertainment device ?"

Its unfortunate that RIM's marketing is so product feature focused that they can't see the opportunity to create some real thought leadership.