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Research In Motion Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis interview highlights from Dive Into Mobile [video]

By Bla1ze on 8 Dec 2010 02:13 am EST
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Earlier this evening we sat through the live blog where Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher put Research In Motions Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis in the hot seat to ask the questions a lot of folks were wondering about. The BlackBerry PlayBook was of course at the front of the conversation but questions arose regarding the future of BlackBerry smartphones in general, how RIM feels about their future and what, exactly RIM is doing to compete against the competition. Check out the video and let us know in the comments your thoughts about the interview.

Source: All Things D

Reader comments

Research In Motion Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis interview highlights from Dive Into Mobile [video]

23 Comments

I really think that Mike answered ever question pretty well. The people asking the questions and writing the blog appeared to have the bitter taste of being behind the curve for the most part. However, he clearly stated answers that some were interpreting as playbook answers, when in fact they were about future smartphones.

Think about it. All the talk about a one gig cpu and he's talking about bringing dual or more to the smartphone itself for the next generation of Blackberry. That's already ahead of the game.

It is rather funny how some people cannot understand his comments. RIM is accused of having no vision yet when he states that they are aligning themselves for the next ten years, the questions revert to why they aren't copying their competitors in today's market.

He says that the PlayBook is the start of a true mobile computing solution and then again is asked about Apple and Android. I guess he should have just run around the stage screaming "Angry Birds, Angry Birds!".

I totally agree, after watching the interview myself, i think that he was very clear with his answers and that they were well thought out. I think the bloggers and interviewers were just stuck in the mindset that they hate RIM and so everything Mike said just doesn't make sense to them.

interesting, i saw it as he never actually answered anything. in fact, i can't make sense of anything he says at all. he almost sounds like he's just babbling on about nothing. "blackberry is for business, qnx is for consumers, qnx is the future of blackberry, blah blah. it's totally contradictory and i now feel that not even the CEO of RIM can map out their future. they are clearly in trouble.

I like what he's saying. I can where he was trying to get at with his whole vision and future of BlackBerry smart phone comments. All in all he answered the best he could without revealing too much info (since i'm pretty sure he's not allowed to) and I will be looking forward to the BlackBerry PlayBook and the new dual core processor smart phones which hopefully come out early next year.

I believe Mike is out of touch or in denial. Dodging most of the questions. Here is my thoughts... if you want to concentrate on a global platform, why dumb down your phone for EVERY market. Why can't those 2-2.5g markets get older blackberries that are no longer relevant to markets of developed nations. Those markets will use their phones as communication tools solely, but others who want true multimedia phones could use a higher spec'd blackberry that caters to our markets.

I love how the attendee blast him on the Torch.... there should be no reason that phone should have come with a low res display and that slow processor. Almost every smart phone has a 1ghz proc now and with the dual cores coming in the next generation of Androids. You're not going to leap frog anyone if you are continuously behind the curve. They also need to figure out future proofing the phones for at least 2 years. Every device released in the last year should have had enough memory to upgrade to OS6.

Sorry RIM, not sipping the Kool-aid until you give me what I want in a phone... feature richness. Apple gets it and Android gets it... and it's eating up your market share in developed nations.

apple gets what exactly? feature richness jargon? that they have a hi-res screen with angry birds? Android has a whole load of manufacturers making exactly the same touch screen phone with angry birds?

A lot of people depend on RIM for security and as far as I know RIM get it. They built a phone for specified market and dominated it.. Mike even went on to say that the Blackberry never started out as a consumer driven device but crossed over to that landscape on its own and now they are focusing on that too.

they have built a phone for almost anyone except the ones who must have the best specs on paper. Not everyone can afford a high end and not everyone wants a touch enable screen either - Those who say blackberry are out of touch, don't get it as they have different form factors for nearly everyone - those on cdma or gsm, 2g/3g/4g etc

I don't know about you but I love OS 6 and the browsing and communications on there is top notch - it is a smartphone. not a laptop, not a handheld portable gaming console like the PSP. The Playbook will help blur those lines a little more.

Yeah I agree there should have been a push into higher specs but I like the user experience of OS 6 and its plenty fast - 1ghz isn't needed but whether or not this will have an affect on a future update to QNX? who knows? You bought the device with that OS as is. My old 166mmx intel computer probably couldn't have done windows 7 but should i demand it?

Gaming is one thing its lacking and updated hardware is one cycle away from being better than someone else but if you don't like the UI and overall communication, you probably wouldn't like blackberry even if it had a dual core processor. I mean if all you're wanting is apps that are practically fancy web pages packaged into a program then so be it get another phone.

But its quite easy to update hardware than it is to build quality software that works for your intended needs and market.

I'm not a blackberry user, my first smartphone is an android. However I'm amazed how negative sentiment on this company. He's basically saying that they are going to be making a whole range of smartphones with dual core processors and tablets with that hardware. I'm not a techie but it seems you need to make particular software for that type of processing.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amdahl%27s_law . From what I've read about the company he and balsille have been doing this for 15 years however they are treated like idiots on the blogs. People need to grow up. If they can deliver what their saying my next phone will be a blackberry.

From lots of people...the live blog completely misquoted him..only part of the video where a legitimate complaint was presented was when the Torch owner called out Mike haha but other than that they seem to be on the right track to advance the BB platform.

Mike understood the questions just didn't have any good answers for them. Check out the Engadget blog. I love when the writer for PCmag said I own a Torch and its slow and has a low res screen. And Mike responded with some BS. Seriously when will you people wake up and stop buying the same phones over and over again. Same os tad bit more memory same product. And Crackberry hasn't posted any of the recent market share results and sales. And what people intend for their next device to be. I wonder why ? Doesn't look to great for RIM and this is coming from a former Blackberry Tour user. Why would I upgrade to a Bold 9650 ? I moved on just like anyone who doesn't have a poster of Mike in their room. My gf had to use my blackberry for a couple of days before her new phone came and hated it. Said it took too long to do anything on it. I wonder if Blackberries even have good battery life. I didn't use mines unless I absolutely had to. And with other platforms upgrading security features in their mobile OS your starting to see iPhones and Android in business use. I'm certain Windows Phone 7 will make it there also. If RIM doesn't get it together they'll lose all but the highest level of security markets

Walt treated all the guests the same way. Check out how he interviewed the reps for Windows Phone 7 and Android.

actually get some mobile news that isn't on Crackberry. Open your eyes and face the facts. Personally I don't like being behind in technology. When I could be at the forefront

http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/us-smartphone-battle-h
eats-up/

http://www.comscore.com/Press_Events/Press_Releases/2010/12/comScore_Rep
orts_October_2010_U.S._Mobile_Subscriber_Market_Share

Grow up. Maybe you need to be the one that wakes up and realizes something: Not everyone needs to be entertained by their phones. Not everyone needs the latest and greatest. Not everyone needs to be at the forefront of technology. SOME people actually just needs something functional and does what a phone is supposed to do (not a crack at the iPhone, btw).

Take the smartphone you have and enjoy it. Seriously, RIM doesn't care about you or your opinion. They'll do what they do, sink or swim. What does it matter to you anyway if they don't succeed? Let me be the first to pat you on the head if RIM fails... good boy.

Spoken like a true fan boy and idiot. RIM should care what I think as a consumer and what other consumers think. Especially when only 13 % of people in surveys want their next phone to be a blackberry. Less if your counting the feature phone crowd. Go praise your RIM poster child

Fan boy? Hardly. I use what I like. When I feel the Blackberry can't give me what I want in a phone, then I'll move over, simple as that. RIM owes YOU nothing. They owe the 13% of people nothing.

Who's the idiot? YOU bought into a phone YOU considered worthless... do your homework better next time and maybe you won't feel like a complete moron and blame a company for not giving you what you wanted.

Like I said, what's it matter to you if RIM sinks? Or maybe the pat on the head won't be enough if RIM does fail? Should I ruffle up your hair too?

When will we stop? That's easy, when there is a better product. So far there isn't.

I've owned the iPhone and found it to be a POS a nice looking POS yes but a POS nonetheless.

I've picked up some Android phone but they feel cheap.

I'm happy with the Torch, would I like a better screen and faster processor? Yes, but to me these two things are not the keys to make your phone more productive. I believe they do make your phone a better game playing device and I think every BB owner will acknowledge their phone can't match the competition on game playing, but since I don't purchase a phone for game playing I see no better phone on the market than the BB Torch.

To be blunt- Lazaridis was a bit confusing at times. I can see why some would accuse him of rambling on. Basile and Neale were very clear cut when discussing the Playbook and overall direction of RIM. Lazaridis went off message a few times and in true fashion the blogosphere went after him. Neale has done a great job of promoting Playbook, discussing QNX and the future of RIM, Lazaridis might improve his presentation by taking a few pointers from Neale.

I think RIM needs to simplify the message for these morons.

"Rim does more with less."

We've become such a consumer society the idea that the idea older hardware can compete seems foreign.

It reminds me of Linux Vs Windows in a way. When you get a new machine it has that shiny new Windows operating system and as the years go on it just seems slower and slower. You then drop windows for linux and it's like a brand new machine again.

As for "GottaHateDizPimp". I have two comments. 1. Look at Global Marketshare , and 2. Blackberry isn't just developing for the 1st world market. With Emerging markets in South America, India, and Indonesia etc. Those networks and people can barely afford a mobile phone plan let alone the bandwidth or cost of a Andorid or Iphone data plan. Think about it, Blackberry is developing for multiple scenarios that exist in the world. And developing brand loyalty all over the world.

All this being said, I think what RIM is eluding too with the leap frog statement, is that they will probably make the jump straight to multicore processing vs going to a single core 1ghz processor. I imagine the Playbook is also giving them the edge in mobile multicore processing know how and execution.

I agree that Mike didn't do a good job of handling the questions, but the position RIM is in now makes them hard to answer.

Reading through the gobbledygook, I see things this way. 1) The lay person (aka tech blogger - many of them anyway) has lost faith that RIM can compete. The playbook should change that and when it comes out I think there will be a surge of interest in it. There really is no way you are going to explain this you just have to put the product out there and let people see it. Until you do there will always be the following questions:

Isnt' iPad 2 going to be better? Not if you know QNX (can't explain that easily)
Won't playbook lack apps? No, apps will be easy to make for playbook (can't explain that easily, just have to show it)
Isn't it the wrong size? again ...

The most interesting thing about the whole interview, I thought, was the suggestion that we'll get playbook OS on a phone. Even people commenting on this blog say they want it on a phone. Mike was pretty clear in saying OS6 will be the OS for phones. His point, however, was look how snappy OS 6 is on a "crappy" phone and he's right on that. The next gen phone will have better screen and faster processor but still OS6.

The first reaction of many will be OS6 sucks, I wan't QNX. I think, however, that the purchase of TAT can be seen as an investment in making OS6 pop visually. On their website they specifically demonstrate how you can do beautiful graphical interfaces on low-grade phones, for example.

So I look forward more than I ever did before to something like a Torch 2 with a little bigger and more high-res screen, and a 1GHz processor running a TAT designed OS 6.5. This may not be your dream, but the truth is it means we might get a visually satisfying BB phone sooner.

Of course this could be wrong and they do put QNX on a phone. Not bad either :-)

The more I play around with my wife's Torch and continue to use my 9700, the more I agree with many previous 9000 owners. Where I don't think I care for the size of the 9000, that functional form factor (with trackpad), and an added touch screen would be really nice.

I'm not one for specs, so hardware doesn't matter. As long as whatever they put in there makes the phone work without the clock popping up as much as it does.

It seemed like Mike was acting like a punk politician and oing a darn good job dodging ever single question he was asked. I love BB, but I dislike how RIM thinks that the average consumer is stupid. The average consumer is becoming more tech-savvy and knows what they want.

I am in love with my 9700 running OS6, but in a few months when I'm up for renewal, I might like something a little snappier, with a touch screen, and a really great browser. I do NOT think that the Torch webkit browser is great, despite what Mike thinks. It is an improvement, but it is not great.

Maybe in a year or two when we see a QNX phone come out of RIM, it will be something better than the BB Torch, which quite frankly is crap.

All of the dedicated iPhone and Android users alllll sound the same; like little kids always wanting more, more, more. STOP with your BB bashing! like someone previously mentioned it was NEVER designed (in the first place) as a multi-media phone, it just developed into one. all everyone was asking Mike was competition type questions "yeah but iphone can do this, android can do this, why can't blackberry?" blah, blah, blah. Please by all means go to your droids that explode in people ears (don't know if anyones' seen the news report) the over-powered rediculous apps you "need" to have. Yeah i'd love to have an app that makes farting sounds when i "shake it" that's useful and productive.

The bashing here is unbelievable. I don't know how he could have been clearer. BlackBerry will have TWO OS's... one for dual core, latest spec machines for the first world and one for single core, legacy networks that don't have the latest and greatest specs and serve the market for the OTHER 5.7 Billion people that can't afford $500 devices and full data plans.

The Torch (which I have and love) is the standard bearer for third world phones and OS6 which will lead the next charge of single core devices for that environment (although I'd hazard a guess that most of them won't have all the features of the Torch). Their market here is 5.7B people and Android/Apple are no where to be seen.

And the PlayBook is the standard bearer for the next generation of high performance smartphones and tablets which will run QNX on the latest and greatest dual core, GB+ environments. Their market here is about 1B people.

This will be hotly fought and there will be lots of nashing of teeth and fanboys shouting about BB losing share in North America but having been to India and the developing world and seeing the first thing those people want before they put a rug on their dirt floor in their mud huts is a phone (that connects them to the world), I think they may be on to something. Certainly a BB that runs BBM for free messaging with a limited data plan will give those folks access to the developing world and OS6 is certainly up to the task.

To me this is the clearest direction yet on their strategy and it makes lots of sense. After playing around with the SDK for the Torch and writing applications in 20-30 lines of code that I couldn't have imagined were possible with 10,000 only 5 years ago, having FULL access to the web, on a snappy platform running 1080p that fits in my Pocket and doesn't require another data plan.... they have a winner on both fronts.

It's very clear what Blackberry's strategy is and it's a very coherent long term strategy.

Blackberry believes
(1) Current smartphones like the iPhone and Android are, or at least will soon be, in competition with the iPad, the playbook, the samsung tab and so on. Why? Because almost everything they offer is to be availed of not when moving but when sitting.
(2) When most people have tablets for all the stuff iPhone and Android are good at there will be no room for the iPhone and Android. I have an iPad now. What does the iPhone give me in addition to it? A really crap device for phone calls and messaging on the move.
(3) The space for handsets that are not tablets will be dominated by the best calling and messaging machine, the other stuff won't matter.
(4) within 2 -3 years current Blackberry users will have a tablet for all the play and a handset for calling and messaging while moving. Blackberry and Blackberry alone seem aware of this and poised to excel within this environment. I had an iPhone 3GS. I bought an iPad. I now have moved to Blackberry as my handset needs have shifted and the Blackberry (Bold series) is THE best option available to me.
I honestly believe that Blackberry is aware of this developing context and is alone in a position to excel within it.