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RIM’s Q4: Weak results, outlook and brutally honest CEO commentary

RIM Office
By Chris Umiastowski on 30 Mar 2012 06:02 am EDT
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Last night RIM posted its Q4 results and held its customary conference call. It was our first time experiencing a quarterly call without Jim Balsillie. The new CEO, Thorsten Heins, did a great job highlighting RIM’s challenges and plans on the call. Unlike any past conference calls, Heins’ commentary was 100% intelligible, honest, and raw.

Make no mistake, the call was a disaster from a business perspective. RIM is on very shaky ground. But this is the first time we’ve heard the company’s CEO accept just how bad things have become, while speaking intelligently about how to make a comeback.

Let’s go over the numbers:

Revenue was $4.2 billion. This is significantly lower than guidance of $4.6 to $4.9 billion. It’s also a 19% decline from last quarter. The planned marketing push for BlackBerry 7 is clearly not working very well in the important US market.

Device shipments were 11.1 million, at the low end of RIM’s 11-12 million unit shipment guidance. But, devices were sold at lower than expected ASP (average selling price) because of weakness in the US market, offset by decent performance in emerging markets. In other words, low-priced Curves are selling better than anything else right now.

Gross margin was actually pretty strong at 39.8%. Guidance was 38%. However, the strength was due to RIM bringing in a higher percent of revenue from services than expected. NOC fees have great margins. Hardware doesn’t.

Earnings came in at $0.80 per share, right at the bottom of the company’s $0.80 to $0.90 guidance. I suppose this is why they didn’t put out an earnings warning. Technically, on the bottom line, they met guidance. But I still think they should have come out with a pre-conference call press release letting us know they blew it on revenue.

RIM doesn’t feel they can forecast hardware sales or revenue with any accuracy right now. I can’t say I blame them. BB7 sales are slow and getting slower. RIM doesn’t have much of a story to talk about until they get BB10 out the door.

They’ve stopped providing quantitative guidance. Instead, they provided us with only qualitative statements about the next few quarters. They expect hardware shipments to drop, they expect service revenue to drop, and obviously earnings will drop.

I’m even willing to say RIM may get itself into a position where it is not making money within the next two quarters. Things really could get THAT bad before they get better.

The Brutal Honesty of Thorsten Heins

Thorsten Heins told us that he feels different about RIM after 10 weeks as CEO. When he was first appointed to the job, he didn’t have a CEO’s perspective on the company yet. But after 10 weeks, he feels RIM was trying to do too much.

I was thrilled that he pointed this out. He specifically pointed to things like media consumption applications. Does RIM really need to have its own music store or video store? No! They need to partner with someone who already has a great store. Amazon, for example.

He also straight-up admitted that many consumers couldn’t care less about push services or security.

Heins told us that RIM is getting creamed by iOS and Android in the US market. No RIM executive would ever have admitted this on a conference call in the past.

He said that professionals love the Bold 9900 for its QWERTY keyboard, but that the all-touch segment is growing way faster. He admitted that RIM’s all-touch devices are not doing well. This led to a big inventory write off.

He also told us that, despite selling tens of millions of BlackBerry Curve smartphones, competitors have gotten wise to RIM’s success in this entry level segment. They’re now competing on price. This is making it hard for RIM to compete.

To retaliate, RIM will release new entry level BB7 hardware in the coming weeks. I guess we’ll hear more about this at BlackBerry World in Orlando? Heins told investors to expect RIM’s financial results to get worse throughout this fiscal year.

Was there any good news?

Truthfully - not much. But there were a few positives worth mentioning. Keep in mind that when I say “positive”, I mean in relative terms. Relative to the brutal outlook they provided.

First up - their subscriber base actually grew by about 2 million. They now have a user base of over 77 million users. They’re still shrinking in the USA, but it looks like international markets are doing well. Unfortunately, they don’t make nearly as much money off of international (emerging market) subscribers.

Second - significant changes are happening within senior management. Thorsten hasn’t been shy about putting his own management team in place. David Yach is out as CTO of software. Jim Rowen is out as COO of Global Manufacturing and Supply Chain. Thorsten plans to hire a singular COO to replace Rowen’s role, combined with the role that he held previous to becoming CEO. Dan Dodge from QNX is now officially the company’s chief software architect. This is welcome news, in my mind. I don’t think anyone will question whether Thorsten is REALLY in charge anymore.

Third - they are being vocal about the need to partner. There is no way RIM can pull together all of the features that consumers want. RIM is committed to dropping its own investment in things like media consumption apps so they can partner with others to provide those features.

RIM wants to appeal to consumers by engineering a great OS, great hardware, and then bringing in apps and features via partners as much as possible. Then, from a corporate perspective, they’ll concentrate on deepening IT deployments with Mobile Fusion.

RIM attacking the low end

Even though Jim Balsillie has now officially retired, resigning from the board of directors, a word he coined stays with RIM. That gramatically-redundant word is “on-boarding”.

RIM uses this word to describe feature phone users who upgrade to their first smartphone. RIM aims to get better at on-boarding feature phone users to the BlackBerry platform.

I think this strategy is important for RIM’s success. Especially in emerging markets. Why? Because RIM’s network infrastructure and architecture is ideally positioned to sell low-cost data plans to people.

Every other smartphone platform requires an all-or-none approach to data. You get a data plan and you can do whatever you want on the phone. Or you don’t get a data plan and you can’t do anything.

RIM works with carriers to create entry level plans. For example, you pay a few bucks to get email, BBM, Facebook and Twitter. But no web browsing. You wanna browse? Upgrade your plan right through the browser.

According to Heins, part of the defensive strategy (until BB10 is released), is to on-board as many new smartphone subscribers as possible. To make this happen, RIM is crafting new, aggressive, service plan pricing. They expect service revenue will take a hit because of this strategy. But I think it needs to happen. It’s life or death here.

Return to the high end later in the year

I didn’t hear the company talk at all about releasing new BlackBerry 7 hardware other than low-cost curves (to compete with cheap Androids). This means that RIM won’t be going after any new high end customers until it’s ready to pull out the big guns ... BlackBerry 10.

Concluding thoughts

RIM gave the bears more ammunition to punish the stock. It’s trading below tangible book value and there’s no conceivable reason to expect that to change anytime soon. If anything, fears about RIM’s survival are becoming much more real.

I don’t mean to sound too harsh, but it’s obvious that a timely launch of BlackBerry 10 is RIM’s last chance. It’s a pretty GOOD chance, but if they screw it up we’re talking about break up value, take-out pricing and other less-than-ideal scenarios for investors.

CrackBerry Nation has seen the fruit that’s coming. Playbook 2.0 is pretty solid. I can come up with a laundry list of things I’d like to see RIM do, but the OS and core apps are there. I still think they can compete. But they have very little time to spare. That’s why I’m happy to hear Thorsten giving up on the “let’s do it all ourselves” plan.

I’ve always felt that RIM should intelligently partner with others. They became a consumer electronics company by accident. It’s not in their DNA. They need help. Thorsten gets it.

For shareholders, it’s another couple of quarters of pain at the very least.

By then we’ll see what BB10 has in store. However, even with the bad numbers RIM posted last night, the stock is only down 2% in after hours trading. So for those of us (including me) holding the stock, it probably doesn’t make much sense to sell here.

Let’s hear your comments!

159 comments

bilalqwarriach

Thorsten is doing a pretty good job IMO. This is exactly what he should be doing!
And remember "The night is darkest before dawn!"

brucep1

If that's true, it's probably only about 7 p.m. It's going to get a lot darker before light hits with nothing to stop the bleeding until BB10, whenever that is.

ADozenEggs@aol.com

Well said! Well said indeed!

SixYearBlackberryUser

M.A.R.K.E.T.I.N.G!!!!!

This is why BB sales are down in the U.S. No one knows about the BlackBerry phones! I take out my Torch 9850 and people will ask me "what phone is that??" I hardly ever see a commercial on TV or an ad in a magazine for the phones or the PlayBook! There is one commercial I did happen to catch the other day for the Bold, BUT it was the dumbest piece of marketing I have ever seen. It has some woman holding her Bold and she says she has 1000 emails...she then says something to the effect of "I would never write 1000 emails on a touch screen" RIM, you just crapped all over your touch screen phones!! I know it was supposed to be directed at iphone, but did ya ever think about your touch screen phones?! OOOPS. You need a whole new marketing strategy and you NEED to TEAM up with the carriers and ADVERTISE with them. I see commercial after commercial for the iphone, Droid and other phones advertised by the carriers. Again, no one knows about BlackBerry phones except for us that use them. ADVERTISE!

AtoZBlog

Exactly, my cousin asked me recently about the iPad, and also asked what else was out there. When I mentioned the Playbook, she said "Oh, Blackberry makes a tablet? This is a woman who works as a sales person visiting many medical offices and uses a Blackberry herself as a phone and for email. That really pointed out to me the ineffectiveness of RIM's marketing.

BlackberryIsAwesome

+1000

Couldn't have said it better about the lack of marketing. If no one knows your product, no one will buy. When no one buys, you don't make money. Need more and better advertising. If you don't advertise, you have no confidence in your product.

crimsonking

As a 9860 user I think that it is rim's best device to date and it also have the worst marketing to date ... How can you win like that, it's really a shame. I think the current OS7 hardware and software is good but the marketing and push doesn't give it any chance to succeed.

FlashFlare11

I respectfully disagree with the first statement. 9810 all the way!

But, yeah, I agree with everything. I know so many BlackBerry users who don't know what the PlayBook is, but they're utterly impressed when they see it in action. It's really a very fun device simply to pick up and use. RIM desperately needs a CMO and they need to go after the crucial US-Canadian market. Just like everyone knows when a new iPhone or iPad is announced and released, the entire world needs to know when RIM is releasing BB10.

I also believe RIM should pursue pre-orders for BB10, so people realize that there is something special about the new platform.

christenmartin

Totally agree. I have had a 9800 for over a year and it is an awesome phone. Total work horse. I've played with the new torch line and the 9860 is a beautiful phone, and OS 7 runs great. Problem is no one knows. Its frustrating waiting for RIM to tell consumers about they're products that I think are great.

AMWausau

What is with all the stories about RIM leaving the consumer market? Are we going to rely just on Direct Sales? What RIM needs to do is read this thread. It is marketing and only marketing. Without marketing you can have the best product in the world but who will know.
What is the sound a tree makes when it falls in the woods?
Cellcom Employee

luancuvi

You are so right about people not having a clue about BB phones. When I tell my friends overseas that I got a brand new BB (after my iphone 4), they ask me how it feels pressing keys again and wonder why I did not buy an iphone or android.
I have said lots of times in these forums: The market keeps demanding more and more big touchscreens and blackberry keeps pushing small screens wiht full qwerty. Making the best qwerty phone is not a strength anymore... and now you tell me they are dumping on their own full touch range.
Those visionaires at RIM: Apple was designing iphone 4, Samsung the galaxy range whereas RIM was releasing the clamshell BB Style and failing with their storms (and they even had a storm 3 ready).
People rule, neither carriers nor companies do it anymore, and most people want big screens and cool apps. One tip, phones are not only tools anymore.
IMHO
Edit: what I say above does not mean that they have to stop making a qwerty device, there is a market for that and that's 100% RIM's

mackiemr5

um RIM's failure has absolutely NOTHING to do with marketing. if you don't recall, anyone who had a smartphone 5+ years ago had a blackberry. they were the forefront of it all.

the difference is everyone today *knows* about blackberry, they just don't give a shit about them anymore due to way better competition.

westex#WP

Everybody keeps hollering "MARKETING"! And to that I say: "Market what"? Push e-mail? Competitors have that. BBM? Competitors have that. A keyboard? Nobody really cares. An outdated pile of crap OS that is about to be shelved? Really?

Nobody is buying Blackberry because their devices pale in comparison to the competition. Sure, as Blackberry fans we like them and will trade up, but the other 90% (literally, BB only has 10% of the smartphone market) would never in a million years blow $200 on a Blackberry. Every full touch Blackberry made in the past 3 years has been universally panned by reviewers. All the marketing in the world can't overcome that.

Frank2029

i get asked the same thing about my 9860. No one has a clue it even exists. i personally think carrier companies shove apple down everyones throat because the plans are so expensive and they make a killing off of them. Meanwhile Blackberry uses 1/3 the data and BB plans are always cheaper. I know companies have to pay for BES but do carriers have to pay for BIS?

ruiner666

I absolutely hate the Bold commercials with the DJ's saying "we want tools not toys" While tools are useful, people want toys!!!! Most people buy iPhones or Droids because they see the fun things their friends can do with them. And the "tools" they feature in the commercials are things like email, twitter and Facebook, ALL PHONES HAVE THESE FEATURES!!!!! Jesus Christ! Put out an innovative product thats fun to use with sweet apps and still has features for the business man/woman and the phones will sell. Its not astrophysics. Its simple supply and demand. Put out a product with great specs and cool apps and people will but it.

srsBlackBird

My team and I have developed new advertising for BlackBerry. We've been trying to reach Thorsten Heins, but we haven't gotten through. They do need help, my partners and I are very excited about our ideas. We just want to have a conversation with Thorsten to show him our thinking. Does anyone know how to get through to him?

YourMobileGuru

Talk to Crackberry Kevin or course :)

srsBlackBird

I've tried that too. As a matter of fact, he was the first person I reached out to. I know he's busy, but I don't know how when or if he'll respond.

sosumi11

If you can't even reach your potential client, how will you reach your potential customer?

srsBlackBird

Well, customers usually don't have armies of proxies redirecting every phone call and screening every email, so I can't see reaching customers as a problem.

rkopsie

(Whatt I hate) is they go "oh cool how did you get extra buttons for your iPhone???" Then I go "you just made me throw up, you're an idiot"

cpc28655

Our Director of Biomedical Engineering has a Storm 2, and he was not even aware that there was a successor. The service providers aren't advertising them either.

Even as I was purchasing my 9930, the Verizon rep was trying to get me to buy an iphone or a droid 3. I think I actually gagged.

koolrosh

I guess investors believe in Thorsten too. The stock is up 7% even though they missed expectations.

Even investors are starting to believe in the turnaround story! Go RIM!

melander

Balsillie would have announced that BBZ was being developed as his gameplan.

ekafara

They best show of some damn impressive stuff at BBW. It may breathe a little bit of life back into them.

SnoopTodd

I have confidence in Thorsten.

world traveler and former ceo

+1000

QNX (BB10) will be jaw-dropping Game Changer!! ...

datta72

It's sad to say this, but BB10 will dictate if RIM will survive. They're ALL IN with the product and if it fails, so will the company. I really hope it doesn't, but time will tell

JackKennedy

agree, it's not a game changer, not anywhere near it...it's survival, they do extremely well in it and they may have a chance of surviving...they do a mediocre job then its only a matter of time before they have to give up regardless of what amazing they do after that...

Any hope that BB10 alone will help RIM recover to anywhere near where they were is delusional...

this is more like their last possible chance, even if they do manage to pull it off they still have a long way to go...

YourMobileGuru

In the short term yes, it's absolutely insane to believe that BB10 will launch and suddenly RIM will be a major player again overnight. That's not gonna happen. But if it is done extremely well (and it seems that they are taking the time to do this right so hopefully it will) it has the capability to get them back in the game. They are going to have a huge fight with Microsoft/Nokia for the number 3 spot (which is in itself a distant third behind Google and Apple) but they do have a chance.

One thing about tech is that things can change in an instant ant turn on a dime. One major wrong move from Apple or Google could leave RIM with an opportunity to grab market share. Up until now Apple has been releasing products that were heavily influenced if not the children of Steve Jobs, that's only going to take them so far and eventually Apple will have to begin innovating without him and then we shall see. Android is exploding but even they are not infulnerable if they make a major error, and if that error were to happen in the areas of security that would potentially create an in road for RIM -IF- they had a compelling product ready. Only time will tell what happens.

ADozenEggs@aol.com

No it won't . It will be good. But I doubt that it will have anyone wetting the bed.

melander

Basing survival or game changing on an unreleased future product is negligent. Does MS make the best OS? Few people have tried Solaris so no. What MS did well was take over the market. RIM should take back the market they helped start and forget about BB7, BBx, BB10 or any particular device as its saving grace.

oz_insatiable

I haven't read the whole statement yet, but here in the UK they're reporting that RIM will now be pulling out of the consumer market and focusing purely on corporate clients - which means they've decided to give up trying to compete with iPhone/androids etc. No mention of BB10 or anything we all talk about here on a daily basis.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17559111

a lot more positive reporting on here...but still, not a great day

SK122387

This was so much more accurate and factual than the Associated Press story that so many major news outlets are citing. I really get the feeling that Thorsten isn't living in Fantasy Land about the state of RIM. There was no beating around the bush about what needs to be changed at RIM.

Maybe they wouldn't have to write off inventory if they advertised more and marketed their devices better. For example, I can imagine a lot of the T-Mobile Torch 9810s were written off. Why? Because they went EOL after about six weeks after launch. Why? Because they were priced at a premium and oh yeah, not a single memorable piece of advertising was done for them.

Someone asked me, "is that the new Bold?" when they saw my 9900 the other day. I said yes. After seven months on the market, the 9900 is hardly "new." Of course, RIM didn't begin advertising it until about a month ago, so it's "new" to pretty much everyone who doesn't read crackBerry.com. And therein lies the problem.

JackKennedy

well, at this point, I don't think there is even a conceivable fantasy land that anyone can possibly imagined...

That's like mistaking the World Wars as worldwide celebrations...

jr40505

It doesn't matter how aggressively they price or market the BB7 phones. Most people just aren't going to buy them.
In the US market, I figure you've got two main groups of buyers: The first group being people who don't know much about RIM/Blackberry but just hear about how badly they are doing so they stay away from BB7 phones. The second group being those of us who are very knowledgeable about RIM/Blackberry and know that BB10 is coming so they stay away from BB7 phones.
Yes, this is greatly over-simplifying things but I don't think you need a team of analysts to figure out why BB7 phones aren't being sold in appreciable numbers.
As a Bold 9650 user, I personally so no reason to invest so much in a 9900 when I know that BB10 devices will be here before the end of the year. I've yet to see even one single feature on a BB7 phone that made me say, "Wow. I really want/need that".
My BB6 9650 runs all the apps I need and works fine with our BES and with my PlayBook.
Having said that, I would still choose my BB over an iPhone or Android phone. I'm one of those people that's going to stay on the "Rim Ride" all the way back to the top or all the way down to the bottom. The only thing that would make me bail would be if RIM stopped making devices with a hardware keyboard. If that happens, I'll be swiping to unlock faster than you can say, "Thorsten Heins sucks".

FlashFlare11

I agree. BB7 is great, but it doesn't offer much to the average consumer to pick it over iOS or Android, besides the physical keyboard. To date, I've only seen one person using a Torch 9860. But I see a lot of Curves and Bolds and even Torch sliders. I like seeing people using BB7 devices, and from those I know that have one, they don't have any complaints.

As for PlayBook marketing, there wasn't much to advertise. Don't get me wrong, the PlayBook is one of the best tablets on the market, and was top-of-the-line hardware when it launched. But when you see ads for the iPad, Apple is really only advertising third-party software. They hardly ever advertise their own software, because they know it's standard on all tablets. But RIM couldn't advertise that because App World was nearly empty. Hopefully, when the 3G/4G PB is released, RIM advertises the heck out of it.

I, too, will never switch to another platform until certain conditions are met. I believe in Heins' ability to lead RIM back to respectable and positive reception in all market sectors. I will be with RIM until either they cease making smartphones, license BB10 (still deciding on what to do then), or sell the company. I don't want to see any of those. I want RIM, in this respect, to be like Apple. I want them either live on their own with their own OS on their own devices, or die on their own. But I don't think they'll die at all.

sridharsuresh

RIM is not going anywhere, but that perception is there everywhere.

Thorsten is doing a good job by being honest. BlackBerry 10 will surely be a winner.

I liked the point where Chris says "They became a consumer electronics company by accident. It’s not in their DNA. They need help. Thorsten gets it" .. he surely does get it, and will take RIM swiftly and safely out of the difficult times.

We all know the potential of QNX, its just the media spoiling everything for RIM. But BB10 will be jaw-dropping that the media cant bash (really wish that happens).

DiegoV_G

It's obvious that Blackberry and RIM are falling because of their crappy Blackberry 7 phones! Battery sucks in all the 7 models. In some of then, the camera doesnt even have auto-focus. Android & iPhone are greater that Blackberry because of that! Because their phones DOES have a great battery life and camera. Plus, android is not that expensive like Blackberry. What RIM needs to do, is make the Blackberry 10 phones, a great thing! As we saw, the Blackberry Blade is not bad at all, with the Blade we can finally compare a phone with the apple and android devices cause with the 7 ones, it neved happened. We need Blade features in all Blackberry 10 phones if RIM wants to succeed

dmroberts8

Well I have a Torch 9850 with OS 7 . My battery lasts longer than the one in my wife's iPhone 4s. The camera in my Torch is just as good as the one in her phone too. This is based on side by side comparisons of the pics taken. The Torch also takes amazing HD video.

We both upgraded at the same time, her phone cost us $199. My Torch was free.

The two things that I do not have is the huge selection of apps, though from what I can see, would not use most of them anyway, and a forward facing camera. Save these two items, the Torch is as good as the 4s.

G-bone

I gotta go along with you there - my all touch torch 9860 is awesome! My wife and I dumped our Samsung Galaxy S 2's because we live in the country -couldn't get a call through, couldn't get a text through, battery life about 2 hours. Get a couple BlackBerry's and all that goes away.
I am not disappointed in this call because Thorsten sees the problem and is prepared to act decisively.
Refreshing.
The shake up at the top, addressing of inefficiencies, quality control, marketing, the search for creative solutions...all long overdue.
Overall, a positive change of direction. B.B.4ever!

ADozenEggs@aol.com

You seriously just compared the camera in the 4s to the BB?

Are you kidding??? I'm no one's fan-boy, but some of you hear are not intellectually honest with yourselves.

This same trait is why what happened to RIM happened. Those two guys not being honest with themselves about knowing when to pass the torch to younger generation.

Thor is no Steve Jobs. He seems pretty bright and I wish him success. But someone like Jobs doesn't pop up that often.

Deny that at your leisure.

Frank2029

I would like to know when steve jobs was honest with himself??? He was once kicked off the board just like Jim and Mike were.

myfairkadie

Excuse me but its uninformed statements like yours that cause more issue than anything.

My OS7 phone does NOT suck. Far from it in fact. The 9810 is fast, has a beautiful display and some great features. Its only gets better with every OS upgrade.

As far as your statement about battery life, it couldnt be further from the truth. My battery life is better than any Android phone I've seen.

Expensive? My BB was $0 with my contract.

Please stop doing further damage and educate yourself before you say something.

Joltcola1234

This is completely ridiculous. Andriod and iPhone have better lasting battery life? Give me a break. Half of the Andriod 4g LTE phones last like 2 hours before they are fully dead.

I don't know how it is everywhere, but Blackberry has plenty of phones available for free on term contracts here in Canada (Rogers).

It is uninformed people like this that are the reason Blackberry is not doing well.

golfam123

The biggest train wreck! Still no Marketing Manger after two months! Come on!

market58

How do you know BB10 will be a winner? We don't...they are so far behind the competition it would have to be some new unknown technology that would appear only on a BB device for the general public to jump on board IMO. I have not seen many BB7 phones out and about. I had a ton of friends and colleagues that USED to have a BB and now have iPhone or Android. This sucks because I love BBM, but I am running out of people to use it with. RIM needs to go all in and begin to license some of the goodies they have for other platforms. Its only a matter of time before the sell cheap Curves strategy runs out, here and in other markets outside of North America. I hope they turn it around, but I feel less and less enthusiastic every day. Too much riding on BB10. Don't see it as the saviour regardless of how great it is. (Asleep at the wheel)

berrybait

I can't emphasize enough, how important proper marketing will be. Not only for the BB10 launch but for the company in general. They need a CMO who understand corporate messaging and how to deliver that effectively. If RIM doesn't control their story at EVERY point where the public can see them (blogs, website, commercials etc...) it will not go well for them. They need a CMO who can bring on the right people for marketing. They need to understand political strategy, media strategy consumer strategy.

BB10 is a precious cargo that needs to be delivered not by a crop duster plane from the 1950's, but by a supersonic jet, wowing the crowds and breaking the sound barrier.

Whoever is handling their marketing right now cannot be allowed to continue.

HarryWatson00

Marketing is half the battle. RIM needs to find ways to have their current user base tell their friends good things about Blackberry devices. Their user base needs to be employed to help the company survive. The American market is all about doing the popular thing at the moment. No one wants to purchase the inferior project - RIM needs to find a way to not only get rid of that stigma - but to use their own users to tell their friends about the cool things that RIM has to offer.

As I said in my comment below - they may want to think about paying developers of the latest and greatest apps to develop their apps for the platform. The talk around everywhere is about apps - people like to play games against each other - across all platforms. Blackberry devices simply don't have them because no developer is going to take the time to develop them for as many screen resolutions and devices are RIM has. Apple and Android have this down to a science.

This is going to sound a bit off topic but in actuality it is not. The American way of production that has served us well for so long (including in WWII) is to make the process of replication as simple as possible. That is what Apple and Android have done so effectively and that is why developers love to develop for those platforms. RIM needs to understand this philosophy if they want to survive.

iPhone convert - Blackberry till I die.

YourMobileGuru

"Blackberry devices simply don't have them because no developer is going to take the time to develop them for as many screen resolutions and devices are RIM has. Apple and Android have this down to a science. "

Um the Android platform has way more screen sizes and resolutions than BB.

khalmarri

Selling hardware is supposed to be much more profitable than selling services. Apple has become one of the richest and most valuable companies in the world because it is selling iPhones, iPads and iPods. Imagine?
RIM has to make things easy for itself, developers, users, partners. It has to have:
- Great OS.....................Done
- Great Hardware.................Done
- Inexpensive Devices and Services...................Done
- Great Apps............................................................................NOT AT ALL
- Great Native APPS SDK Tools..................................................................Kidding?

We've seen a lot of junkie apps and games and book readers and crappy music and video apps. Users want good experience. AIR and Android bring nothing but junk. And it is too hard for RIM to keep enhancing AIR and Android Runtimes. Not so EASY.
It is so easy to focus on NATIVE APPS. iPhone apps are native. SIMPLE. No junkie apps, even the crappiest iPhone app is smoother and looking nicer than the best PlayBook app. Where is TAT CASCADES??? Why it is taking so long? Either RIM make it easy for Devs to bring nice apps or they cancel the whole thing. Devs don't want to waste a lot of time enhancing and speeding up their AIR and Android apps while native apps will always run better and users will always love smooth native apps. Developers will always love to see how smooth their codes are running.

Good Hardware, Good OS and Good SDK tools. That's it.

georg22

You forget, that AIR is a crossplatfom technology. Thats a big plus in many usecases. AIR 3.2 brings with Stage 3D a native like performance - so there is no reason to use 3 different Native SDKs for 3 platforms, when i can use one for three.
The mail/calender/contact - apps are AIR apps - and they are good, not excellent but good, and and there are enough usecases, whre AIR is good for.

uncleebow

Rim is on track, iphone and android are all running on beginners luck, and they are coming down fast this year. Long live RIM.

texazzpete

With blind people like you misleading them, RIM won't live very long.

adzyadrenaline

I think most people, and myself are pleased with the report that RIM gave. I like most other people here love their blackberry, and we in the UK are still deeply obsessed with them.

What one thing that concerns me though is that here there is still a huge teenage following of Blackberry and many people are not willing to give up BBM and other social apps yet because of the ease of use of it. But what Heins said, that RIM are pulling out of the consumer market, which is, adsmittedly a sensible idea (because of the nature of the core of BB). But, does that mean current phones and the fairly okay Blackberry AppWorld are just going to be made redundant?
Or are RIM still going to progress with consumer side, but with less focus? Because it hasnt felt like there is any concern at the moment for current BIS consumers, who are likely to upgrade to newer BBs in the future.

The media and business/stock analysts forget that Blackberrys are still very much relevant in the rest of the world. But RIM need to modernise now. The Playbook is a good tablet, but no one knows about it because THERE IS NO ADVERTISING or MARKETING.
As an advertising student, and such a broken company in the moment it is baffeling to see no input there.

Hopefully, RIM are able to see this and behind closed doors are doing something about this, its a shame that RIM will not focus on the consumer market, because they are relevant smartphones. But history could repeat itself, in two years we might see a sudden surge of Blackberrys being popular once again? in both the business and consumer world.
There are so many strong points being made on Crackberry that would restore RIM to its former glory. But one can only hope.

Sorry for the essay, i'm just passionate about the subject.

david.e.crocker@gmail.com

THIS: http://forums.crackberry.com/general-discussion-f2/how-fix-rim-twelve-mo...

The ecosystem is one they develop and use the BBM faithful as 'bait' to lure them back in. It's widely known as an awesome thing and the public was awash with joy that BBM would be readily available on another platform, showing that in fact it IS something they want to use. That maintains a relationship with something. This affords some time to develop something, but rapidly.

As for the future, RIM needs strong leadership immediately and simply to 'wipe the slate clean' and have a cogent plan with strict timelines that are kept (currently they allow deadlines to be missed because there is no accountability). Put strict accountability guidelines in place. With this, the public (and more importantly, shareholders) will be patient. They are patient now because this has become acceptable (missed deadlines and simple dismissal of concerns).

Nothing is left to chance. Everyone is accountable. Obviously the business model works (see: Apple)....so the proof exists if you'd like to see where and how to do it.

Ecosystem? Here you go.

1) One OS for ALL phones. No variations or different builds for various form factors.

2) Less form factors and a unification of design. Where Apple truly shines is that while only offering one phone, the aftermarket can fully embrace and design based upon the 'one model' available. How many different types of aftermarket products work with an iPhone? TONS! So what RIM needs to do is unify the form factor in a way that allows differentiation but maintains unification when it comes to components that it will interface with. What if the Torch 9810, Bold 99xx and Curve line all worked with the same charging dock that also allowed syncing of the phone wirelessly (think Touchstone and syncing wirelessly) or at the very least having a plug that is in the EXACT same location on every product so anything aftermarket works with it?

3) Media. Obviously iTunes just works. But Blackberry has worked well with Amazon MP3, so leverage that ecosystem. There is Amazon Prime, MP3, videos, cloud storage, all of it, ready and waiting to be used. It will cost, but without it, nothing else matters. Apple has it, Microsoft is nearly done with it (Zune software on the WP7 devices coupled with SkyDrive and Office products).

4) Apps. Obviously this needs to come from the same ecosystem. And this is where Amazon and BlackBerry need to get married right now. Yes, we're talking Android, but once Amazon builds a phone, BlackBerry is totally screwed. There would be no need to allow a BlackBerry access to Amazon in any way, shape or form. The ecosystem that is already in place will work.

5) Quietly develop QNX to work with all of this. Have a handset that will be able to be 'switched over' once the new platform is ready. Have your developers build the apps for both platforms and maintain them behind the scenes so once someone switches over, it's seamless. This is the hardest task but it is the ONLY WAY to make it work.

6) Handsets. Back to point 2 where I said unification. Currently, the handsets available are less than spectacular. Yes, they are the VERY BEST BlackBerry handsets ever made, but that's not good enough. Lazaridis is correct in thinking dual core is where it is at right now, but it's not the future. Quad core is your new standard. Focus there. Screw dual core. You've alreay missed the boat, so why start there two years behind? Wasted time and waste of money. Make three handsets. Three. Basic, Consumer and Professional.

Your Basic handset is close to the current Bold 9900/9930 with one exception...more screen and no buttons below the screen. The screen needs to be superAMOLED (this is the best looking screen today) and has to be at minimum 3.5" like the iPhone. In addition, make a 'home button' in the center above the keys that has a slight raised ridge to it that has haptic feedback (capacitive), providing a 'feel' to it that iPhone users are drawn to with the home button - that's one powerful thing. Flank that with a menu button and a back button. Both capacitive.

The Consumer device is a 4.3" screen, all-touch device that has almost no bezel. It is made of the same material as the Nokia Lumia 800/iPhone and has a slight curve to the device/screen as the Nexus S/Galaxy Nexus products. Make it feel incredible in the hand first and aesthetically/visually unique. Place stereo speakers on it (remember the Bold 9000?) because no one has that anymore. The entire front of the device is screen, with your home button still being there as above (consistency) flanked by the other two capacitive buttons. The screen needs to be superAMOLED HD (720p). This needs to be a redefining phone on every level. Made for games, fun, communication, ease of use, a simple extension of you. Something that by a simple touch you know EXACTLY where you are on the phone. That is a huge plus to a BlackBerry right now (and to some degree an iPhone with the home button).

The Professional device is exactly that. A super bad-a$$ business device. It's not the smallest phone at all and that's on purpose. it is designed to last for days on a charge (huge battery) and has an even better keyboard than the Bold 9900/9930 and is wider and taller than that model. People are buying big phones nowadays, so take advantage of that. Still use the same button philosophy as the above two phones. Still use a superAMOLED HD screen (720P).

Something that MUST happen in all models is this - text reflow. When you zoom in you can elect in the Settings to either have this or not. Also, a system-wide 'font style and size' setting like we see now, but in EVERYTHING, not just some things. The new Galaxy Nexus features that and it is a game-changer.

All phone should have notification LED's like the current models.

All phone models also need to have incredible cameras. The Nokia and iPhone models all have awesome cameras so why stop here?

7) Carrier support. tell the carriers that everyone is getting the EXACT same model but like Android, they can load their own exclusive apps that differentiate things. This will be the hardest one to pull off, carriers love to dictate what is going on. If the products is as good as you say it is, then say 'Sorry, you're out'. Apple calls the shots, so why can't we?

JosephRuff

All of this makes perfect sense. I've been thinking this all along. They kinda have tried this with the Bold, Torch, Curve idea. However they haven't really succeeded because of bb7 platform. This with QNX will change. Same resolution across the board and similar screens will make app development easier and better. Plus the partnership with some big media outlet will push this idea wayyy further. So Rim LETS GO!

Bob G

A BlackBerry without a track pad or real hardware buttons gives potential buyers one *less* reason to buy a BB over a droid or an iPhone.

Just copying what is popular right now is not good enough. RIM needs to distinguish their product line with features that no one else has.

YourMobileGuru

+1

which is one of the reasons why a model with a physical keyboard is SO important. Hardly anyone else makes them.

echo5-7

there's an economical rule: who fails to succeed in the major markets will sooner or later loose it's position.

and if RIM doesn't make some serious changes in their marketing they are doomed.

Designer needed? View my portfolio at http://www.lrrm.de

fairfaxnut

I think this has been one of the best quarterly releases yet!! I think Prem Watsa is definitely influencing Thorsten. Shed the blood now, admit mistakes, no egos, don't give wall street any crack cocaine.....(aka earnings estimates), and now fix the problems. This has been a hallmark of the "fair and friendly" culture established at Fairfax (where Prem Watsa is CEO). If you see any capitulation in the stock price on Fridays trading.... BUY IT UP!

Plazmic Flame

Hey Chris, great article, it was a good read.

My only disagreeance would be for RIM to partner with Amazon for media content. I'll tell you now, this would absolutely destroy RIM. Amazon shot themselves in the foot with the Kindle Fire because their services are not available outside of the USA. BlackBerry has a global presence and nothing would be worst than limiting your media to one country.

While I believe RIM needs to look at partnerships in order to get to market faster, teaming up with Amazon would be a bad move.

VerryBestr

Thorsten Heins did not say that RIM was planning to exit the consumer market. That was just poor or jump-the-gun reporting. In the Q&A session of the conference call, Heins even corrected this misinterpretation of his prepared remarks: "And on the consumer side ... we will partner." See what he actually said here:

| http://bit.ly/H6lMsM

VerryBestr

I'm curious about this phrase that was included in RIM's press release: "following an open dialogue on the future of global operations, Jim Rowan, COO, Global Operations, has decided to pursue other interests." It sounds to me like the "open dialogue" part is intended to communcate a basic disagreement that led to Rowan's departure. Any ideas or suggestions? For a formal press release, that is an unusual way to describe personnel change.

YourMobileGuru

That's what it sounds like to me, there was a very direct conversation where he was basically told to get on board with the changes being made and when he indicated that he disagreed with part or all of them he was invited to resign.

r0v3rT3N

It's good that he's brutally honest, we all needed to hear it in my opinion.
And HEY, I didn't see anything about how he's hiring a CMO and the search is going well!
Wait and see guys, wait and see! :)

crackjay

as usual, an excellent article, Chris.

I have a few concerns with the new ceo's strategy.

focusing on the enterprise makes no sense to me. the majority of smartphone sales are to consumers and so RIM would be focused on a niche market and with the increasing popularity of BYOD, consumers will drive enterprise sales, not the other way around.

Also, BB10 is not the saviour that people make it out to be. I don't see a differentiator, like Apple has with iTunes or SIRI, or Amazon has with their media library. Maybe someone more enlightened can help me, but what will drive BB10 sales? Just because BB10 will have a better UI, won't drive sales as iPhone and Android already have this, in addition to better media capabilities and video im capabilities. anyway, would love to your thought, Chris? Or anyone else?

VerryBestr

And HEY, I guess you need check the conference call: "When I talked to you in January, I made very clear that one of the most important tasks and roles to fill within RIM is the role of the Chief Marketing Officer. The search for a Chief Marketing Officer is going well, and we have met a number of excellent candidates and hope to have an update soon. We understand the importance of this role, and continue to look for the individual who can best transition RIM's existing brands and market awareness to a proactive and cohesive strategy around the world. I expect to have some news for you pretty soon on that important role."

LoganSix

"Does RIM really need to have its own music store or video store? No! They need to partner with someone"

They need to Buy or Merge with Netflix and Sirus XM. Both of those companies are also on the ropes, but the three together would be powerful.

rickgainsmith

Perspective on BB10.

If the PlayBook with esentially the same OS isn't popular, why is anyone confident in BB10?

Blackberry_boffin

RIM is definitely in the wars and probably will be for a while.
Fortunately they (and this CEO) know what they have to do and it appears they working on it.
Their Sales and Marketing departments were just pitiful and something had to give. They did it in the App Developmentt.
There is one thing that may yet wreck their plans. TIME.
Between now and BB10 seeing the light of day it will be carnage. The brand be irretrievably damaged especially as they havent even appointed a new Chief Marketing Officer who is going to need all the wit and charisma in the world to make timely leaks to keep interests high.

guswithtorch

I am confused. I am reading there is a loss of 125M and earnings $0.80 per share at the same time? Media here in Spain concentrate on 125M loss, explaining that is a loss of $0.25 per share instead of the forecasted earnings of $0.81. But reading through this article I don't see things matching.

Could someone put this in easy terms, please?

HabsSuck

The 0.80 EPS is adjusted result excluding the goodwill impairment and inventory writedown.

guswithtorch

Thanks HabsSuck.
So this article is not so straightforward as it seems then.

HabsSuck

Strong balance sheet, excellent cash flow will help them get through the transition to BB10. These results were not a surprise RIM is in tough in the US, they have failed miserably to get their message out.
Anyone who owns a PlayBook knows BB10 can be a huge success if RIM executes, Thorstein knows this, I like his straight shooting approach, it's very refreshing and long overdue.

Trading $6 below book value? Are you kidding me, the market is just dumb and irrational.

kupfernigk

No. The market is doing what it does. Currently all the other modern phone platforms are US owned; RIM is the only alternative. Samsung, HTC and LG are dependent on Google; Nokia is now a de facto subsidiary of Microsoft, but with other people taking the financial risk. The West Coast of the USA intends to control the entire mobile market, whether Apple, Google or Microsoft, and that means that RIM has to die.Use endless PR to get the shares below book value, cheap acquisition, sell off assets, a quick win for the vultures of Wall Street.I've concluded that RIM will cease to exist within a year, but be absolutely clear: the real reason is American protectionism.

Stewartj1

It's reassuring to see someone at RIM has finally pulled their head out of the sand and is making the hard decisions that need to be made. Once again, controlling the message (marketing) is all important because if RIM doesn't control the message the media will.

checkyoulater

Good read. Kudos, it's articles like these that keep me interested in RIM and crackberry, not that crap filled article...sorry it really did a bad taste...I guess at some unprofessional level he had to blog what he had to blog being the #1 BB fan...to each his own. I'm glad that article is buried under a slew of much better crafted material.

BBMusic did poorly because it's just too much too soon. Yes it would be nice to control the ecosystem, and the idea was a very good one, but the timing was all wrong they need to concentrate on other more pressing concerns.

I have always thought that the best apps so far on any RIM device are in-house apps. That means they have absolutely no 3rd part developer support, or at least none from anyone that actually knows how to maximize the hardware/software on their devices.

Drzima9999

As much as i enjoy Blackberry, everyone seems to be banking on the upcoming OS release. Sad to say that if they don't have a new Business model to market this new OS, they will be in the same boat quarter after quarter. Don't forget Apple and Android will be releasing new OS's as well.....

G-bone

It's not an OS -if it were an OS it would have been released 2 years ago.
BB10 is an entirely new platform -hardware, software, everything.
Also, to the guy who figures quad-core is the future -there is no advantage to quad-core at present.
The dual -core RIM Is going to use is faster than any quad-core out there.

G-bone

It's not an OS -if it were an OS it would have been released 2 years ago.
BB10 is an entirely new platform -hardware, software, everything.
Also, to the guy who figures quad-core is the future -there is no advantage to quad-core at present.
The dual -core RIM Is going to use is faster than any quad-core out there.

wizmillso

GOOGLE, GOOGLE, BEG THEM! Google would solve all our problems. They know how to get it done.

jay64

They also know how to spy on you constantly and force you to be compliant to such chicanery via their TOS. It is sad to see how many younger folks I now that have no expectation of privacy anymore and too often use very poor judgement in what info they allow to be open to Google's insatiable demand for personal information exploitation.
It seems like the population is being trained to have no sense of privacy anymore and what do we get in return, targeted adds? Now the gov't can invade for your privacy without pretext and google is just a step behind them, at best.

rcab

If memory serves me correctly before BB7 came out it was announced that they would be a stop gap phone till the QNX (BB10) phones were released. With US carriers requiring a 2 yr contract any smart consumer would wait and not be purchasing a new BB. This is what caused the major decrease in phone sales in the US because at the same time Iphones and Androids were being released and there was nothing coming from RIM. Everyone I know who had a BB phone and had their contract come up for renewal has switched to Iphones and Androids. I personally do not know anyone who bought a BB7 phone.

RIM needs to get working 24/7 to make the BB10 phones out sooner than later. They need to rediscover the American media world of radio, tv, print so that people know that Blackberry is still an operating company. At the same time they are developing this phone they need another team working 24/7 also developing or securing the APPS everyone seeks when they switch to Iphones and Androids. They need to copy from Apple the things they do well and become a name people care about instead of being a name that people laugh when it is mentioned. IMO I believe they need to have the BB10 phone out by fall or sooner. Each quarter they wait now is just additional nails in the coffin of RIM. To win back consumers they have to offer something GREAT, something with an IMPACT, that offers features better than an IPHONE.

A powerful BB10 phone along with a SMOOTH WORKING PLAYBOOK fully loaded with the APPS that every other tablet has can move RIM stock upward where it should be. Otherwise it will be time to have a fire sale and become a supplier for only third world countries.

WillieLee

Chris, I was wondering if you had any insight on the increase in cash on hand and cash flow? Since one of the worries is that they'll start burning through their cash, those numbers seemed to stand at odds at the otherwise bleak numbers (which wasn't surprising for me given the delay in BBX) and inventory writedowns.

Otherwise I agree with your points about Mr. Heins. His upfront nature concerning the state of RIM is likely to help him with the media and analysts as he tries to turn RIM around.

CookMon

Thank you, Chris, this was a very good and balanced article.
Problem: almost everyone on CB thinks BB10 will be great. But, as Rgainsmi said above, Playbook OS 2 is great but people have still bought 3 million iPads as of launching. So, if BB10 will be a great OS, everyone should know about it in the first place.
What I would do:
1. Breath-taking design for the new BB10 phones. That Blade version was awesome. We need someting like that, so people would say "Wow". The current design of OS7 phones is not bad, but we need no improvement to that, we need something daring.
2. Agressive marketing: not only when BB10 phones are available, but months in advance. Teasing people, not only with the features of the OS, but also with the aspect of the phones, so they would wait unpatiently to actually see the new phones.
3. Sticking to the deadline: point 2 works only if RIM is sure they can deliver the phones on time. Otherwise, marketing and then delaying is a killer. The timely release of OS 2 for Playbook shows that RIM can deliver within deadline.
4. Specs that look to the future: the BB10 phones need to have in terms of specs (processor, photo camera, etc) what the iPhone 6 or Samsung Galaxy S5 will have, not what iPhone 4S and Samsung Galaxy S2 have right now.
5. Apps: all the apps the other platforms have and RIM does not have (everyone can name one). And tones of useless, stupid apps. So that people would not say that BB10 is short on apps.

From another perspective, I think the new CEO is moving well, give the circumstances. He and his team will probably manage to get RIM out of this situation, but, in my opinion, it will be worse before it gets any better. And, yeah, they need a brilliant CMO and marketing team

jr4941

Chris, one terribly important point which you didn't mention was the Thorsten (apologies for my other posts where I wrote his name wrong...) said that the search for a CMO is going well and he hopes to have good news very soon.

We can certainly expect back Q results until BB10 arrives. They keep touting BB10 as the future, but also saying 'Hey, buy a BB7 device while you wait.' This is no easy task (especially given the current 'commercials'). The CMO will be a much needed boost.

Also, I found the call a breath of fresh air. Thorsten took the time to evaluate their programs and decided which would be items of benefit. Those which were not will be eliminated and gaps filled through partnerships.

Also, he did say that he had had lengthy conversations with carriers and found that they were all willing to continue their strong partnership but that there was work to be done. This is essential. He knows it. We know it.

I love the honesty and, frankly, after this call I have more faith in RIM's success. Yes it will be rough for the next couple of Quarters, but it's a bit of a rebirth with a new vision.

ljcn

BB10 represents a fundamental break with the past of RIM. Without cross-compatibility of apps or functionality, 75 million customers are going to be stuck with the equivalent of MS-DOS in a Windows world, and the question is whether they will choose to migrate to BB10 or to jump ship to iOS or Android. By ensuring that existing customers cannot make a seamless move to the new OS but have to buy new devices and new apps, RIM is forcing a decision point on them, and it is very hard to see that BB10 wiLl be the convincing answer for the majority. I like the PB's OS2 in general (although I hate the native PIMs), but there isn't anything there which would make me say I'd buy a phone based on the OS over and above an iPhone. So when trading in my 9900, and knowing that whichever OS I choose I'll lose the QWERTY keyboard and all my current apps, I'll almost certainly choose something else, in spite of having been a BlackBerry customer for the best part of 10 years.

dmroberts8

RIMM is up 3% today. Looks like Wall Street likes what it heard.

bergeronjc

That just speculators driving it up right now. It'll fall before the day is done.

dmroberts8

That is possible, though I am still bullish long term.

bergeronjc

If RIM doesn't license their OS, they will be dead inside of a year. That is the ONLY way they will survive.

They can't abandon the consumer side and focus solely on the business side. People want to use the same device in their personal life as they do at work, that's why the iPhone is making such a successful segue into the corporate side of things.

wenuell

I think the first BB 10 phone should be named the Phoenix. Since everyone says RIMM is dead.

br14

What's going on with the stock?

I thought it would plummet after hours and this morning but its trading up and the volume is off the scale.

randall2580

Suspicions were that Thorsten would try and put all the bad news into this first release, but this idea that as COO he had no idea RIMM was bleeding this bad - I cannot buy. The former COO now CEO seems to have lost that "rock and roll" feeling.

Every single BB7 phone has flaws that make marketing difficult when they are compared to the state of the art from Android and Apple, hence the "creaming". No LTE, No auto focus, No front facing cameras, the phones and the tablet are unable to do many of the Apps people want and folks like Robert Scoble say developers want nothing to do with RIMM (and we all laughed at him). RIMM wont need the CMO until the BB10 phones are ready - and he better be able to do "oh one more thing" and give us some idea of the seed change that RIMM finally understand that people have expectations of their phones and BB will not only not disappoint them - but get this which we are bringing to smart phones for the first time... Get the right person for the job - a true evangelist.

PlayBook "shipping 500,000" must be disappointing as I see no one talking about it. RIMM doesn't tell us how many actually sold.

Citibank says "lack of guidance equals a lack of confidence". Nomura's comment "We see little likelihood of RIMM surviving as a stand alone ecosystem".

The idea here is Thorsten just threw at you everything he knows thats bad about the company to give Mike and Jim full ownership of it, hoping you have forgotten he was the COO when all of this took place.

ChrisInSD

The first intelligent media update this company has released in 2 years that was not completely tone-deaf. I originally thought this guy was a joke, but he seems to get it.

Wishing them the best, but not holding my breath.

CrackBerryTorch9800

They did sell 500,000 playbooks which is a good number.

RIM needs a slush fund to allow developers to build there apps on. RIM pays for 1/2 or 3/4 of the development costs and gets a 4 year contract to have him build for App world. If RIM can't get the big companies like Skype or Netflix its likely because they don't want to spend the time or money. If RIM builds it for them, they get the app on the platform.

It will be gross to see the next quarterly review

YourMobileGuru

No, they SHIPPED 500,000 playbooks.... not even close to the same thing. They manufactured 500,000 playbooks and sent them off to retailers. Thus number does not reflect the number that are sitting on shelves and in warehouses waiting to be sold.

lorax1284

Chris, you mention that you aren't selling now... if you were going to jump in, would you be BUYING now, or wait?

ryanlrobinson

As the tech world moves to ecosystems, RIM needs to partner with some other providers of specific services (not full ecosystem) to basically create an ecosystem even if they aren't making money off of each aspect of it.

We've already seen 7digital for music, and I personally have always preferred 7digital over iTunes anyway.
With the Kobo Vox not really being that successful, they may be able to revive and strengthen a Kobo partnership for books if Kobo decides that they need to distinguish themselves enough from the Kindle Fire (and I think they do).
They've got the movie store now, although it needs to expand to internationally and needs to get a more robust selection. They also need Netflix, plain and simple.
Here's one I haven't heard anyone talk about: Nintendo. Consoles are dying and unlike Sony and Microsoft, Nintendo doesn't have other products to fall back on. With how good the PlayBook has been for gaming, this could be a beneficial partnership for both.

All of these also need to be automatically linked so that your BBID information automatically creates an account so we don't need to create new accounts and fill in information all over again. They also need an integrated cloud-service (most of these providers already have one) to make for more seamless transfer between devices. Finally, I could survive without this, but I think it would be great to add these stores to the Desktop Manager so we could buy on our computers without finding each store individually.

all3n7

ALL I CAN SAY: " THEY HAVE TO DO, WHAT THEY NEED TO DO ". TIME IS TICKING, THORSTEN IS DOING A GREAT JOB. I BELEIEVE BB10 IS THIER ONLY CHANCE...THEY REALLY NEED BRING TAT FUNCTIONS, EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING..!!!!! I BOUGHT A PLAYBOOK JUST TWO WEEKS AGO AND IT IS AWESOME. IM SURE THEY CAN PULL THIS THROUGH.! IT A " MUST " ITS NOW OR NEVER...

travaz

RIM needs a CMO now not a month from now. It takes time and effort to plan a good ad campaign for a product. If RIM is planning on launching BB10 in Nov. at least 50 percent of the plan should be in place now. If they have to rush it it will be crap.
As far as BB7 I just hope the bold 9930 that I own makes it to launch of BB10. Its an ok device but there are so many thing that suck. There is so much dust under my screen that its getting hard to see the screen in daylight. I have to reboot several times a week. 3G Lots of little things that bug the crap out of me. If BB10 isnt a stunner what choice do I have? I wont have an upgrade and I dont want to pay 699.00 for a mediocre device. BTW all the smart phones I have owned are BB. Woe me RIM, take me on a date, buy me dinner, convince me and I will stay.

sidds18

walk the talk.....its the question of life and death.
The iOS and androids came,saw and they conquered.........under your bloody nose!!!
Do something RIM.

Jimberry Storm

Did not read all comments so sorry if I repeat.
I think low handset numbers are due in part from people waiting to get BB10, with contract lengths as they are (two years for most) why pay for a BB7 phone and 6-8 months later it is obsolete. and at the time of BB7 release, BB10 was projected Q1-2 which is even less time, then the delay announcement, and well I waited this long, why not wait it out. also the all touch phones are probably short because of the Non NFC element. why pay extra for less. as for my self I was on BB5 still so i got a BB7, but will probably get BB10 when released if it meets expectations.

Superfly_FR

Well, no Samsung related story ...
A conscious view of the situation, a fair analysis ...

Mobile fusion for companies ... [take the money where it is]
Emerging market & new comers targeting [never stop new base acquisition]
And BB10 to come ...

We need some fresh air @ BBWorld ...

Edit : And thanks, Chris, for this article.

Iehoa

OPINION- Lets look at the situation from a different perspective. Apple produced a product called the Iphone arount 2007. It upgraded that phone with some software and continued to produce a new phone on a regular basis until we reached Iphone 4S. Software updates are now around 5.0 and 5.1 but that software was able to be updated all the way back to the first Iphone made. RIM has had to take a step back from the market and see just what it needs to do to stay competitive and not go the way of so other many companies that failed to innovate.

BB10 has to be the beginning of a new era in RIM. QNX seems to be very adaptable and can cross over to many integrated systems. (Possibly why they were purchased by RIM) Then they bought The Astonishing Tribe (TAT) and brought them onboard. Many times companies get so big so fast they really can't see far enough ahead and then get caught standing still. RIM is at that point where they have seen a need to totally rethink their existence.

Simplify, simplify, simplify. I think that RIM has a chance at recovery but not quite in the way others want. I've talked to many people and some want a "one knock out punch". I believe that that won't happen. The cell phone is becoming more than a device to make phone calls. Calling BB10 is not the end of it but it should be the new base on what to build upon. I bet MR. Heins is under a great deal of pressure to turn the company around. Lets look at this as the beginning of a new day for RIM. By the way, I own a Blackberry Tour so I'm a fan.

YourMobileGuru

"Software updates are now around 5.0 and 5.1 but that software was able to be updated all the way back to the first Iphone made. "

INCORRECT, iOS 5 will only run on iPhone 3G S and newer and the older hardware does not get the complete update just parts of it to wet people's appetites. Also if memory serves iOS 3 and 4 each cut off the then oldest generation of hardware in the upgrade path.

I get what you are saying about the importance of upgrades but in order to do what Apple does they will also have to do incremental hardware upgrades like Apple does and that is just not gonna cut it anymore. Apple has gotten away with it so far because of their history and the whole "user experience" marketing machine, but that is only going to carry then so far and if iPhone 5 isn't mind blowing hardware wise (especially after the 4S mini update) people are gonna start taking a closer look at those quad core Android phones with almost as many apps as iPhone.

For RIM to succeed here the Blade needs to be equal to or exceed the very best hardware available at the time from other vendors and then the next hero device will have to keep pushing that envelope. They wont be able to release 5-7 devices with almost the same specs once or twice a year anymore. They are going to have to do at least 3-4 releases a year, each topping the other and/or distinguishing itself in other ways. Consumers are fickle and want NEW and NEW is only NEW for 3-4 months MAX.

AdesTheShades

Well - I got given a PlayBook for my birthday on Wednesday. I just simply kicks an iPAD into touch. I can't use the damn thing as my kids won't let me and their not just playing games - the browser is excellent. Onwards and upwards!

YourMobileGuru

HAAHA yep for all the maligning it got it actually out scired mobile Safari in the ACID test :)

ckl_88

"He also straight-up admitted that many consumers couldn’t care less about push services or security. "

Yes. Add PPTP VPN to the playbook already!

slagman5

This makes me sad about consumers now-a-days...

"He also straight-up admitted that many consumers couldn’t care less about push services or security."

Um... how can you NOT care about security?? Or Push?? I guess being the new "Cool" thing is more important than the security of your information??

"He said that professionals love the Bold 9900 for its QWERTY keyboard, but that the all-touch segment is growing way faster."

Yah, PROFESSIONALS that care about productivity loves the physical keyboard. But regular consumers care more about having a "pretty" screen than being able to do things efficiently...

Sad sad day...

G-bone

To not care about security or push is to know nothing.
People never care about security until it is too late. ...and then it is very important indeed.

Slingbox

What makes me sad is I felt the same way you do.
Being a disappointed loyal bb user for years I took the chance invested in EVO gave android a shot....it was a ruff one to say the least.
Battery life was pathetic for the most part until I rooted started using custom roms etc apps galore...you know the so called kids app.
The screen clarity was amazing lots of room to work with no limitations like BB.
My device upgrade choices from that point were BB Bold & Galaxy S2.
I went with Galaxy S2 finding Android OS becoming the real deal more efficient ,Samsung Battery life much much better then Blackberry.

For those that stick with BB for security reasons.
hmm that's a very outdated excuse to stick around.
Its 2012 nothings secure snap out of 1995 mindset stop cheating yourself out of true smartphone experience.
Or heck just keep tapping away on those hard keys making excuses on why BB is falling.

slagman5

Keep telling yourself these things. My Bold 9900 has way better battery life than three of my friends who has the Galaxy S2. And with the physical keyboard, I make phone calls via speed dial, and even just regular dialing, send emails and texts (thanks to my convenience button being set for compose), and almost everything else faster than they do. Oh, but sure I don't have the big pretty screens for when I decide to sit and watch an entire movie on my phone... which is never really...

Hey, not saying the Galaxy is a bad phone if your priority is those media-centric things. Mine isn't. I care about efficiency and I'm super efficient with the physical buttons and keyboard. And the push technology making receiving emails a seemless and INSTANT ordeal, womething that comes in handy since I reply to inquiries to my ads via emails. Sometimes if I don't reply in a timely manner I lose sales. So have fun with draw something, I'll stick to not having to wait even a few minutes for mail delivery to my phone...

You have fun with your phone, the same one 3 of my close friends have so I've used it and see them using it too, I like my Bold 9900 more and I'm faster than any of them in finding things using my phone than they are using their's. So I'll stick with mine. Thanks :-)

Slingbox

huh your Bold has better battery life then your friends GS2 lol Amazing.
My sister & her husband are a Bold family they barley get through the day using basics..Email , BBM ,minor web browsing a few phone calls.
On my Galaxy S2 I go 2 full days before charge is needed using twice as hard.
Suggestion,
Tell you friend to root their GS2s , install custom rom & use SetCPU.
They will increase battery life substantially.

EMAIL:
Ive found android to be the better tool...especially since Rims BES/BIS has the habit of going down so much.
That annoyed the crap out of my during 6 years of BB use.

KEYBOARD:
I loved BB hard keys but hated the heck out of the squeaks lol
Android swype gets the job done twice as fast for me.

Galaxy S2 Hardware:
Better - Display , Camera , Faster processor, more memory Louder speaker heck I could go on & on.

Android:
You can make it anything you want no restrictions like BB has.

slagman5

Um, so you have to root your hardware to get better battery life. And I don't know what's going on with your sister's Bold, I assume 9900 since that's what we're talking about. It'll be silly if you're referring to a different one since that'll be completely irrelevent to the discussion at hand. I constantly forget to charge my 9900. I've gone on a 5 day cruise without ever charging or turning off my Bold. Of course there was no network so battery life will be much better, but I used it every day as a mp3 player (headphones) and alarm to wake up. In regular use with the network on, I can go 2-3 days without charging and I use it for phone calls, browsing, email, texting, etc. With heavy use it'll be down to like 30-40% battery by the end of the day. Moderate use I can easily go 2 days and it won't go into red. Light use I've gone 3 days no problem.

About BIS having a habit of going down?? Um, I've been using BB for years. I've only experienced it going down once, ever... Where do you live, Antarctica??

Keyboard squeaks?? Hm, let me see... nope, not hearing any in my Bold 9900. Again, no idea where you get this from. Unless I'm just super lucky somehow...

Galaxy S2 having better display, um, thanks Cpt. Obvious, when did I ever say it didn't? But glad you like to add fluff to your argument anyway... Faster processor... um, fluff, Cpt. Obvious joke again?? More memory, ok, not that it matters since both phones can take micro-SD cards to expand on their memory, but sure, makes me want to switch for that... ;-) Louder speaker... not sure if I've ever even thought about comparing the two since it's such a stupid thing to boast about... the speaker on my Bold 9900 is loud enough for everything I ever use it for, speakerphone, alarm clock, I don't need it any louder, so even if it was capable of being louder, yah, does the phrase "big whoop" mean anything to you? It's like me saying, hey, my battery door is made out of real carbon fiber. Does that REALLY matter?

Android having no restrictions like BB, well, considering my BB does just about everything I need it to, I'm assuming there are restrictions in doing things that I don't really need or care about? Or are we talking about having to root your device, and then every month when they have yet another update to fix and add some bugs, you'll have to find someone who have that new build? You know, from Ice Cream Sandwich to Chocolate Fudge, to Vanilla Milk Shake, then Strawberry Banana Smoothie, then Sweet Green Tea, then Chocolate dipped Strawberries....

Again, I'm surrounded by everyone and their cool pretty new phones, yet I'm always the one that finds everything the fastest. So you can make all of these arguments all day long, don't know why I would listen to you when my real-world results are the opposite. But hey, you like your pretty screen, good for you. I'll stick to what works best for me. Now I have to go get my ears checked since apparently my keyboard squeaks and I just can't hear it... But even if it does, that's seriously enough of a reason for me to switch to a system I know I'm slower at? Oh wait, I'm not that superficial... Before you try to say I wouldn't know, my ex has a iPhone, and like I've already said, three of my friends have the Galaxy S2 two others have iPhones, and two others have other Android devices, forgot which. And the rest, I don't remember, a lot of crappy Metro PCS phones... So I've used plenty of touchscreen phones. I know for a fact when I try to type fast on the touchscreen, sometimes it doesn't register some letters, and sometimes when picking up or hanging up a phone, sometimes the swipe to pick up doesn't work on the first try, or the button to hang up doesn't register on the first try. Never have these problems with the physical keys, so I'll stick to what works for me. You can stick to what works for you...

The thing about your argument for the hardware is that if BB would make a phone with the same hardware specs in terms of CPU speed, camera, etc. The fact that it has physical keys and a physical keyboard will give it an edge for me and anyone who types long emails and texts, especially for business related things. You can argue that the display is nicer and it's a "cooler" device to have, but to argue that the physical keyboard isn't better for typing, you're only trying to fool yourself. Pretty much everyone knows the physical keyboard is better for that, but you sacrifice the size of the screen, and a lot of people are not willing to make that sacrifice. That's the downside of the keyboard, not the typing speed... But keep trying that argument... :-)

slagman5

Oh, and just for the sake of irony, since you're talking so much smack about the Galaxy S2, just last night two of my friends and I were meeting up in downtown Miami for this monthly 12-mile bike ride around downtown. I get there with one of my them (we carpooled, so I drove us both) and I call my other friend to see if he's already there. Apparently the GPS on his phone just randomly decided to not work and he got lost trying to get there. He has the Galaxy S2 (actually both of them has the Galaxy S2, yes, it's very popular), same carrier as me, and he got his after I got my Bold 9900. Oh well. I'm sure he's happy to have such a big screen so he can clearly see the directions that the phone wasn't giving him... Then after the bike ride, his phone was dying and desperately needed a charge. Mine was still over 70%... Then later we went back to his house to play a game he rented (Operation Raccoon City, which sucks BTW), he was thinking about just opening the window instead of using the AC so he said he wondered what the temperature was right then. My other friend who was with me, also has a Galaxy S2, took his out to look, I took my Bold 9900 out a few seconds after him, and I was able to see the weather via beweather's icon. So I told him, I put my phone away. And I guess my friend was too busy on his phone to notice I already told the first guy the weather because like half a minute after I put my phone away, he finally tells him what the temperature is like. It's like, thanks, we already know, lol. We then decided to go watch Wrath of the Titans (it was alright, cheesy dialog, but good action), and again, I found the movie times faster than either of them with their Galaxy S2's...

So, yah, I guess my phone just sux0rz so badly, too bad I can't play angry birds or draw something, but I'm fine with being able to do everything super quick even compared to a phone with a faster CPU and better graphics capability. So again, I'm sure they love their phones and you love yours because your priorities are different. I love mine for what it does best. So have fun with your touchscreen typing. I can never get that to work right for me, lol. More power to you for having mastered that, touchscreen keyboards don't like me apparently, we are not on speaking terms, lol.

Slingbox

Sorry buddy but your BB brainwashed lol
Been there done that you couldn't pay me enough to go back to such dead end smartphone spec restricted OS that provides basics found in today's 25.00 flip phone.
Android does everything better then Rims old candy on the shelf.
One day you will finally except that fact...I'm betting BB10 pushes you over the edge :)
At around that time frame Galaxy S3 should be available so its perfect timing for you to make the move.

slagman5

I'm sure you're intelligent enough to know you meant to type "accept" instead of "except." And "you're" instead of "your." And please point out which $25 flip phone has a 1.2GHz CPU, full qwerty keyboard and multi-touch touchscreen, because apparently you know about phones that I've never seen before. And you can give me a new Galaxy S2, I'll take it, and sell it, because it's the "new cool thing" and I know I can make bank with it. :-) But will I use it and not be as fast as I am now with what I use my phone for? Probably not, I'll leave that to you and my buddies. :-)

But anyway, you can keep making these arguments all day long. I am talking about real life, real world results. I'm with my friends, and I get things done faster than they do. I don't care what the phones look like on paper, which phone should be faster "in theory," it doesn't matter what kind of crazy processing power you put into something, it's all about how fast you can get to those features. And having a physical keyboard and physical buttons that don't require any kind of unlocking of a touch screen to get to, simply gets to things faster. I have to sacrifice a bigger "prettier" screen, but frankly, I don't care about that because I'm productive with my phone, I don't sit and watch feature films on my phone. If that's a priority for you, then great.

You Android fanboys think you're so high and mighty, too bad when I'm with my friends, all with Androids or iPhones, I always beat them to the punch in finding things, getting information, making phonecalls, typing texts, emails, receiving emails, etc. etc. So show-off as many numbers as you want. Until I am the one stuck still staring at my phone while everyone else is done doing what they need to do, I don't feel the need to switch to what's the "coolest" thing around because I don't care what others think is "cool" and "hip." I have enough self-esteem I don't need to care about what others think. I only care about results. You can care about that other stuff.

JREwing

One reason for Blackberry's trouble is outfits like Best Buy. All they do is promote Iphones and Androids. I can't wait for the day when Best Buy is out of business.

Slingbox

hmm visiting my old playground reading members dreams has been entertaining to say the least.
Wake up guys!
BB10 wont save the day RIM is close to end.

all3n7

THAT IS SO TRUE.. WHEN I WENT TO PURCHASE MY PLAYBOOK. I WENT TO TABLET AREA, AND SAW THE PLAYBOOK WAS NOT RUNNING DEMO. I MEAN THE PB WAS TOTALLY OFF. NOW HOW CAN CUSTOMERS NOTICE THE QUALITY OF THE DEVICE. WORSE PART WAS WHEN I SAEW THE IPADS, WOW THE PRESENTATION THEY MADE IS VERY EYE CATCHING... THEY SET UP A SEPERATE TABLE AND SHOWING 4 IPAD RUNNING ALL ON DEMOS. PLUS THEY HAVE A BRIGHT LIGHT, THAT WHEN YOU WALK AROUND THE TABLET AREA, YOU WON'T MISS IT..???!!.. OK, WHILE THE REST OF THE TABLETS, ESP. PLAYBOOK ARE CRAMPED ALL TOGETHER IN ONE AREA. I SEEN HTC, SAMSUNG, MOTOROLA, AND OTHER DEVICES RUNNING ON DEMOS, BUT PB WAS DEAD "OFF" WHAT THE F.? SO WHAT I DID, I TURNED ON THE PB, SET IT ON DEMO AND PLAY CRANK THE VOLUME UP, AS LOUD AS IT CAN...BOOM..!!!! SALES PERSON CAME OVER AND ASKED ME IF I NEEDED ANY HELP. DEAD STRAIGHT I TOLD HIM, WHY IS THE PB OFF. HE DIDN'T SAY ANYTHING, BUT HE IMMIDIATELY ASKED ME. THAT THE BLACKBERRY APP ARE NOT SO MUCH... I TOLD HIM IM READY TO GET PB AND I HAVE BOLD 9930 TO PAIR IT WITH. THEN THIS IDIOT ASKED ME AGAIN THE SAME QUESTION. I ASKED HIM, WHAT CAN HE TELL ME ABOUT THE PB.! HE WAS CLUELESS. SO, I WALKED AROUND AND LOOKED FOR ANOTHER SALES REPRESENTATIVE... OMG THIS PERSON IS ANOTHER ONE. I IMMIDIATELY ASKED FOR SUPERVISOR AND COMPLAINT. I TOLD HIM DIRECTLY OF THE SITUATION. SUPERVISOR HELPED ME AND SHOWED ME ALL ABOUT THE PB ( ALTHOUGH, I KNEW ALL ABOUT IT ALREADY ) AFTER THAT, I WALKED AWAY WITH MY BLACKBERRY PLAYBOOK 64GB... ADVERTISING WAS REALLY POOR, I BELEIVED THIS IS ONE OF THE REASON WHY BLACKBERRY PHONES AND PB ARE NOT SELLING WELL...

ALSO FRY'S ELECTRONIC, SAME THING, FLASHY SLOGAN SET UP FOR APPLE PRODUCTS, WHILE THE PB WAS " TURNED OFF "

ADDRESS FOR BEST BUY I WENT TO:

BEST BUY STORE
63 Ranch Drive, Milpitas, CA 95035
(408) 942-0201

FRY'S ELECTRONICS:
550 East Brokaw Road, San Jose, CA 95112
(408) 487-1000

IF ANYONE CLOSE OR KNOW WHERE THESE TWO AREA, COME AND CHECK IT FOR YOURSELF......

PEACE...!!!!

Social Sentry

I had a similar experience at a Bell store. I went in and asked about BlackBerry and he tried pushing an iPhone on me. Maybe they get a better commission for each iPhone sale. I don't know. But immediately I thought RIM needs regional reps. Someone to check out everywhere their products are on display and make sure they're working and we'll displayed. I imagine a company as big as RIM would have reps, but if they do, they're not doing their job. Back when I worked at Home Depot before college, we had 2 bbq company reps come in and show us how to sell their bbq. One was a true salesman and gave us the whole pitch so that we could recycle that pitch to customers. The other was horrible at his job and at the end of his shpeel I had nothing good to say about the bbq. RIM reps need to get out and show retailers how to sell their products. If you sell the sales rep on a product, they're more likely to recommend it to customers. Maybe some incentives to sell would also be good. (not sure if there are any rules on that) anyways, while apple has their own chain of stores, RIM needs to at least show well in the stores where they are carried

southlander

Hate to say but I am starting to doubt RIM can make it.

This strategy to partner for the consumer side only works if the partners are making a best effort. Everyone points to Amazon. Amazon has a vested interest in producing a sub-par experience on BlackBerry. They have their own platform. And everyone expects them to produce phones as well at some point. For an example of crappy 3rd party apps look at Google's apps for BlackBerry and compare them to Google's Android apps.

When you look at the current 3rd parties like 7 Digital and Kobo -- even the current BlackBerry users on here complain a bit and talk about wanting Kindle, etc. So I do not see how using unknown 3rd parties to build out content helps that much in winning new customers.

This would all be somewhat ok if there was a way for RIM to grow without consumers. But I cannot see a way.

estarno

I applaud RIM for actually facing the disaster of their company for once instead of trying to put lipstick on a pig and hiding it like they had in the past. Knowing when to walk away from a fight is important. Their company needs to focus on TIME TO MARKET. BB 10 will be great, but not if it comes out in a hundred years like all their products seem to. By then, all the competition will be light years ahead as usual, INCLUDING the enterprise/business side, not just the consumer side. I hope they don't think that just because their bowing out of the consumer battle, gives them a license to take forever on getting new devices out because they'll learn the same lesson as they have today. It doesn't work.

In all honesty they should release at least one BB 10 device by this summer if they are really in it to win it. This is the mobile tech world, they're not operating like they should. You gotta be quick and have things ready to go in weeks, not years. I really don't know why they're so slow to market. Get some programmers and developers, and go to town- you're not trying to create a device that transports you to the moon and back...

HarryWatson00

Thank God there is finally a CEO in place who doesn't want to play the smoke and mirrors game. They ARE getting killed in the US market. Every month my bbm list gets smaller. Partnerships are a fantastic idea for the company and I think RIM is positioned VERY well to go after the cheaper market for data plans. I personally think that RIM needs to get on US carriers like AT&T and Verizon to also sell their very convenient business needs. AT&T resellers are dropping Blackberry altogether in my city. Big Box stores like Target are dropping all but maybe one blackberry device amongst ALL of their carriers.

I love this company, I love Blackberry - I believe that they can do it. But they really have to get going now and get those partnerships in place. 77 million subscribers is a great way to entice partnerships. RIM needs to get agressive here and fast. If they want the US market they really need someone from the US to help them strategize on ways to capture our attention. BBM isn't cutting it anymore - email isn't cutting it for many. RIM might even want to look into paying developers to develop the most popular apps for their platform.

The US Market has a short attention span, what may be cool today - won't be cool in 3 weeks from now. Is RIM capable of keeping up with that kind of demand structure? Time will tell - but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I get to be a blackberry user for life. Smartphones in the United States are very much a "keeping up with the jones's" device. RIM needs to find a way to give this to their current customers - who in all honesty are going to be their best salespeople.

The Conversation around smartphones in the United States is very much a huge thing. As I said no one wants to by the inferior device - what smartphone users say about their phones - will have a HUGE impact on what their friends decide to buy. This is a very important dynamic for RIM to understand.

iPhone convert - Blackberry till I die.

greenpoise

Is hard to read/know what users want. I think the whole Android/Apple thing is just a matter of popularity...something RIMM lacks right now.. Had I not fell into a mobile plan that offered me a blackberry, I wouldnt have known how good their products are...I dont know if that says alot..but ever since that moment, I got myself a tablet and clearly claimed myself a HUGE fan of RIMM...and I have tested all the other products.. Now I ask everyone I see with more than one phone, a blackberry included and their response is that they like blackberry better.. so, obviously they do a great job on that end..I hope the best because I am waiting for more RIMM products!!!

hudss

The Lotto is at 640 million now.. maybe RIM should enter..

rottonj

My blackberry serves me well. That said untill Rim starts making devices that are in competition with android and the iphone this wont change much. Its not the companys only problem for sure but they need to start somewhere. Make a phone thats hardware is equal to or superior the latest phones from the competition. Being a step or 2 behind the times in terms of hardware in the days of technology is a disaster. Im hoping for something great from the new bb10 phones, if it isnt there it will make my decision to look elsewhere easier this time. I hope they get these phones right, i really dont want to switch. Good luck Rim.

jay64

The major media reports headlined that RIM was giving up on consumer electronics and going back to it's core corporate mission, which the writer of this blog either was not aware of or chose to ignore. That seemed the major news to me.

rspzeke

:( i missed the podcast. will it be available after?

xenrobia

I'm really starting to like this Thorsten Heins fellow, he's willing to take the bull by the horns and give it a swift kick to the groin if he has to. I think investors will like that too. He kind of reminds me of a John Wayne, or a Clint Eastwood type of character; although I favour Clint Eastwood due to Thorsten's tall lanky stature, that and it fits in well with his position as CEO (Clint Eastwood Ornery)..."Make my day, Android/iPhone/Nokia." Putting Dan Dodge in as Chief Software Architect is an excellent move: if anyone understands the capabilities and potential of QNX, it would be Mr. Dodge. That move alone implies that Mr. Heins is more interested in top-notch talent rather then obsequious sycophants - which is never a bad thing for a CEO to aspire to and the good ones always do (the real secret behind Steve Jobs success).

At this point I'm sorely tempted to launch into the usual "RIM should do this" and "RIM should do that" diatribe that so many of us on the "Keyboard Advisory Committee" are inclined to do, but to do so would imply that the good people at RIM don't know their jobs and I for one, find that rather hard to believe.

Looking forward to the new phones, a BlackBerry Fan.

CarBob

Xenrobia - I agree with your comments. Especially liked the comparison of Mr. Heins to Clint Eastwood!

As many others have stated, RIM has dropped the ball as far as their lack of Marketing is concerned. In order for a consumer to buy a product, the consumer has to know that it exists. I hope that a CMO is hired ASAP. And that a marketing campaign is put together ASAP.

Let's get this Show on the road!!

GO RIM.

- CB

magician1

The bad negative press at the moment is making it even worse and people are wanting to terminate their contracts and bail out before the sinking ship becomes like the Titanic!
Ya All Doooooomed!

bluegreen1965

Yowza, the true can be hard. I still have faith that RIM will get back in the running.

baandoptager

RIM needs to bring out the TAT guns! BB10 and Sweden together can blow minds! Bring it!

jcr_68

9700-9780-9900
The problem is lost of potential bb7 sales due to heavy coverage of the bricking problem. While waiting for that promised fix, people just up and purchased other devices. The other problem in my opinion is marketing! Funny,one when I had my Playbook out and someone commented "I didn't know blackberry had a ipad!!"

SCPanther13

First, I would love for RIM to partner with Amazon. They are already my preferred media provider and I think that could be really strong, particularly if it somehow led to an accelerated effort to repackage apps in their Android store for BB devices.

Second, I think the flagship BB10 device should be called the BlackBerry Phoenix.

If it succeeds, then the name is perfect. If it fails... then it won't really matter.

kevinnugent

The irony of this is that Amazon approached them to partner on the PB. They said no, so the Kindle was born. RIM died a little then.

hindsite74

MARKETING, just been on another tech site and there is a pic of Lady gaga photographing herself without makeup in a mirror using a Blackberry. Seriously RIM, the most famous person on the planet is rocking your phone and you can't think of a marketing opportunity?

c'mon wake up

tangyorangesour

If you're doing business and you don't advertise then its similar to winking at a girl in the dark.
It's only you who know what you are doing and not the world!

MoHummus

It's refreshing to see that RIM is finally realizing the seriousness of their current situation. No doubt in my mind that they will be losing market share until BB10. There is absolutely nothing exciting about the current range in terms of software, hardware, and innovation. Playbook OS 2 was a great product but poorly executed. That again is a whole other battle that BB is losing and should not focus on until they fix there issues with their phones.

The first issue is that they lack anything exciting to market their product with. BBM everyone knows about it and it frankly doesn't turn on consumers as much as it uses it. It's clearly not winning them consumers. Emails, email is losing popularity and is being replaced by faster more instantaneous communication such as texting and all sorts of IM. Then there is the hard keyboard. This is what makes BB unique to the competition. They need to make it exciting again. They really need to revolutionize this technology. Make it cool to use a hard key board! This small market has supported you from the beginning and till today continues to support you. DO NOT go out and follow the footsteps of all touchscreen phones only. The leaders here are IPhone and Android (Samsung) and Windows Phone (who are going to be coming strong).Yes capture the bits and pieces of that market, but you cannot forget that the hard key board is what is keeping you alive today, and what has been keeping you alive. All the other features that BB has is nothing different to the competition. Web browsing, camera, games, blah blah blah.

Second, is the stupid range of products that BB has. Thorsten is telling us his focus for right now is entry level while he has defined his competition as the IPhone. IPhone is not an entry level product. Why is he waiting for BB10 to capture high end consumers when he needs to start communicating with them now for BB10. Valuable time wasted. Then he speaks of capturing the low end Android users. These might be desperate measure to generate cash flow, but let’s be clear. Is your competition IPhone or the entry level phones? Are your consumer’s entry level users or high end users? The blackberry image has never been entry level and should not be. If Thorsten is defining IPhone as the competition then coming out with a huge range of phones is not the correct approach. Focus on three models at most and that’s it! do not get side tracked onto have a huge line of phones and verity from the p9981 to curves. The fundamental idea with this approach is focus. This is the approach Apple has done so well. They have one model and each time there is something new and exciting for the consumer. Unlike BB between OS6 and OS7 what was the big difference? a polished up version of OS6. Nothing to keep the consumers and nothing to gain new ones, but this is back to the first point.

Lastly, for god sakes put yourself on par with the competition. BB Battery life SUCKS! There is no doubt in anyone’s minds about this. This is one of the determining factors in this market. If the competition is IPhone then you need to improve big time on meeting the standards they have set for the industry. Hardware is hugely lacking, battery performance, processing power, and so on. I'm sure these things are being addressed for BB10 but that’s what we thought about OS6 and OS7 only to be disappointed. There is also meeting the competition in terms of software which Thorsten very pleasantly addressed by partnering up with the right people. Getting Android apps compatible with PB OS2 was a good move and hopefully BB10 will be following.

My fear is that marketing is a two person battle. Right now the battle is being faught by IPhone and Android. We don't want to see the end of RIM. Hopefully by communicating with consumers, differentiating your products to the competition, and providing an equal or better quality product than the industry standard we can get RIM back to its strong leadership position it once had.

EchuOkan1

I believe evrything will be fine at the end. For now, it is time to reap the benefit of short selling! Go RIMM. I love my 9810 and Playbook. I look forward to the BB10!

Liquid_Revolver

In case you missed it...RIP RIM. The fun facts

RIM said it had a net loss in the latest quarter because of write-downs for the declining value of its brand and its PlayBook tablet inventory. Net loss was $125 million, or 24 cents a share, in the quarter that ended March 3. This compares with $934 million, or $1.78, a year ago.

Adjusted income was 80 cents a share, a penny short of expectations from analysts polled by FactSet.

Revenue fell 25% to $4.2 billion. Analysts were expecting $4.54 billion.

renegade37918

imo rim is done i dont see anyone anymore walking around with a blackberry. everything is android or apple. rim has no selling point. push email everyone has that bbm everyone has that gtalk , facetime... good apps for tablets and phones is where rim is lacking failing. i just find bb boring now i use to be a bb fanboy had 8300 8310 8900 9000 9700 9800 and now a playbook which i havent touched in over 2 weeks. i am in love with my old evo better than any bb device i ever owned because of the wide range of apps. my samsung galaxy tab is awesome love it its the reason my playbook is in the closet apps is what rim needs none of this android player crap stand on your own no iso player crap get apps for bb and all that sideloading crap is stealing unless the dev. of the app ported it.. imo

Raging_Investor_Mike

After this earnings call is more than obvious that Mr. Heins and Mr. Bidulka act on behalf of the RIM competitors (primarily those shareholders representing Apple). It´s time for shareholders to sue. It´s time for Canadian government to act. The time is NOW.

ssov11

I went to an IPhone and it's amazing. I still miss my BB everyday... It's statements like this that make me lose it "professionals love the Bold 9900 for its QWERTY keyboard, but that the all-touch segment is growing way faster". Really?! How long does it take a company of this magnitude to figure these things out?? This being a new COE and all I guess he is just speaking his reality now... But, wow. I just don't understand how RIM didn't see this coming? The people running that company for the last handful of years have had their damn heads in the sand. If I worked there I would be mad as hell. I want to see a BB back in my hands soon. I hope BB10 is it. For now, you can't deny how well iPhones just work!