Is RIM a Total Train Wreck, or Just Under Marketed?

I choo choo choose RIMM
By Chris Umiastowski on 16 Dec 2011 08:58 am
4
loading...
27
loading...
75
loading...

RIM's Q3 conference call was another train wreck last night. Sure, they hit their reduced guidance numbers (updated December 2nd). Sure, they were profitable and managed to grow their subscriber base. But the bad news just keeps stacking up.

I've paid attention to the feedback from the other articles I've written at CrackBerry, and I know people value a balanced opinion. So I'd like to talk about the good and the bad.

Let's start with the bad ... because I think it's horribly unacceptable, and it far outweighs the good. And I have a feeling this post will be a bit longer than I planned, and I want to make sure the heavy stuff is up front.

The BlackBerry 10 Delay: Smokescreen or Truth?

The big bomb that RIM dropped on us last night came in the form of another product delay. BlackBerry 10 phones, powered by the QNX operating system, won't hit the market until late 2012. Just a couple of months ago, RIM had been promising these would drop in early 2012. Aside from the weak financial guidance, this is the real reason the stock is dropping like a stone again.

Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis explained that the delay is driven by RIM's decision to use a highly integrated LTE chipset. He didn't say what they were previously planning to use, but he talked a lot about the need to have an aggressive industrial design and good power efficiency. I interpret this as RIM saying, "We want the phones to be really thin and have battery life that doesn't suck".

Personally, I'm not buying the story. It doesn't make any sense at all. LTE may sound sexy, but it isn't necessary when we have pretty darn good HSPA+ networks throughout the US market. The chipsets are cheaper, consume less power, and allow for very aggressive industrial designs. Not to mention that high end Android and iOS hardware doesn't require an LTE chipset.

For the last few years, RIM has pretty much missed every planned launch date that I can remember. So if they say BB10 will launch later in 2012, it means they're targeting Black Friday. And they might even miss that if history is any indicator. Not only do we have to hope RIM executes well, but we have to hope the chipset vendor doesn't suffer from a product delay. Chips get delayed all the time. It's a real risk.

I understand RIM's desire to come out strong with an unbelievable product. But in my mind, it's unacceptable for us to be waiting 2.5 years after the acquisition of QNX to see the first smartphone incorporating their OS. I think that either RIM is making a horrible mistake by waiting for this supposedly amazing LTE chipset, or they're covering up the truth.

Severe Weakness in US Market

The second major weakness in RIM's quarterly results came in the form of device sell through. As a reminder, sell through means devices sold to customers from sales channels. Last quarter RIM sold through about 13.7 million devices. At the time this was an impressive number that inspired confidence - at least for me. BlackBerry 7 had only been on the market for a couple of weeks and was looking strong. So how come RIM only managed to sell through 13 million devices in Q3?

The problem seems to be US centric. In fact, hardware sales are up 56% year over year outside of the US, according to management commentary on the call. That's actually pretty darn good! But the US is a disaster.

To counteract this, RIM plans to spend $100 million on advertising campaigns starting in Q4 (that's this quarter), and will maintain that level of spending throughout next year. It sounds like the promotions will be fairly widespread throughout the US market, and quite aggressive.

But you have to wonder - what the hell was RIM thinking previously? Did they think BB7 devices would just sell themselves with absolutely no promotional activity? How can Jim Balsillie wear the hat of Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) and not acknowledge responsibility for this? If the CMO and CEO were different people, surely the CMO would be fired by the CEO for this disastrous result?

The next thing you have to wonder is if marketing will even matter. I mean, obviously marketing will help sales. But how much? Either US consumers will buy BB7 hardware with appropriate marketing, or it won't change a damn thing. I guess we'll find out next quarter.

Where is the Good News?

There are a few things that investors can still look towards as light at the end of the tunnel. Don't misinterpret these as me being bullish. I'm as skeptical as I've ever been on RIM, but I still have to look at both sides of the story.

First, RIM is still profitable. They made $1.27 in adjusted earnings per share and they're expecting to make around $0.90 next quarter after accounting for a heavy marketing boost. Remember that Wall Street sees this as a disaster, which it is. But the stock market is also valuing RIM as if it will not be able to stay profitable. If that proves to be untrue, the stock will have to reflect it. Next quarter we'll have a better idea just how unfixable the situation is in the US market.

Second, international sales are still strong. Hardware revenue up 56% year over year is nothing to scoff at. It seems like the rest of the world actually likes BB7, and the Bold 9900 in particular.

Third, RIM has almost 75 million global users and that number is actually still growing. As long as it's growing it means RIM is gaining global market share in the overall market, not in the so-called "smartphone" market. Remember that the term "smartphone" will die soon. Everything will be a smartphone so we'll stop calling them smart. We don't say "flat panel TV " anymore either. We just call them TVs and we only see tube TVs on garbage day. Gaining ANY share in the overall cellular phone market tells me there is some fight left in the company.

Fourth, Jim and Mike are taking a $1 salary and, I assume, taking the rest of their usual pay in stock. This is a small encouraging sign. And I do mean small. It shows their commitment. But I'm kind of at the point where I don't care if they are committed. I mean, I expect commitment but I care about capability. Taking a $1 salary doesn't change their capabilities one bit. They may have grown the company to $20 billion in annual sales. But they've also stalled it out.

It may not seem like much compared to the huge negatives in the quarter, but it's probably enough to keep me interested in holding my shares for now. I wouldn't say this if the stock wasn't trading within spitting distance of tangible book value.

We'll talk about this in next week's Mobile Nations Stock Talk episode, tentatively schedules for Tuesday afternoon. Grab a Christmas beverage and join us for the discussion. Until then, sound off in the comments.

Disclosures: I own shares of RIM, Apple and Google.

Chris Umiastowski is the co-host of Stock Talk, a Mobile Nations podcast. You can follow Chris on twitter at @cumiastowski and read more posts by Chris at ChrisUmiastowski.com.

230 comments

azie

as i said before, this year RIM made some unforgettable mistakes. they are gonna pay very expensive in the future.

JackKennedy

if they have a future, that is....

jinxednuance

what future? is there still a future? i am just waiting to hear rim being bought by someone else. they pushed blackberry 10 - that's that. they're doomed to fail.

Kiddo2050

Honestly I have to laugh at both this article and the comments that follow. Ya the writer is an investor so that sucks but the truth is the BB10 phones are going to be good or they are not. If not we move on, whoop dee do!

Why bother crying about it, you can't do anything about it. I'll tell you the crackeberry team can do something tell me about stuff that is actually useful.

Example: I haven't seen a decent article that really explans what is going on with 2.0 for those of us that decided not to upgrade to the develper version. Even though I didn't upgrade I'm still pretty interested in what they are doing.

Really why come on here and bitch. The decision has been made. To top it off did any of you reallyt think those phones would come out in early 2012?? Think about it.

ugahairydawgs

If it is anything like Apple....devs and those with preview access to future software have to sign NDAs to keep them from talking publicly about it.

Bla1ze

They added A2DP... uh... that about sums it up, really aside from some auto spell correction outside of BB Bridge. I wish I was joking.

Kiddo2050

Well, that's what we've come to expect from crackberry. A more useful post would be on how the kindle Android App runs on the PB, but no you'd rather just bitch and moan. *sigh*

menaknow

Guess you didn't read the article above.

With a subscriber base that is increasing quarter over quarter that means they have a future.

However it isn't that pretty. They really need to get there ass in gear. I think they can but even I have no confidence at the moment.

As for buy out, the Canadian government operates differently that US, where a buyout has to be approved. One of the requirements is that a business must have over 50% Canadian ownership or something like that (forget the actual details). No company that is foreign is going to go for that. Wind Mobile is already finding out the problems with doing that.

Also no government in there right mind that wants to get re-elected is going to allow a buyout that results in lost jobs. Lost jobs = lost votes. Plain and simple. We already know politicians...

JackKennedy

Their quarter increase is from countries like Indonesia. These markets are not sustainable in the long run. Once iPhone and android launch any campaign in any of these market, RIM's market share will be gone for good.

Anywhere in the world, people read tech reviews from the US because most tech sites are from the States. If RIM doesn't sustain their market shares in the states, they are doomed....

Kiddo2050

That's why I said it comes down to the QNX phones, Plain and simple. If they are good they can ship them to Indonsia and retain share. If not well....

scottae316

Wrong, plain and simple.

BBPandy

You think the world revolves around the US?
You must be american

JackKennedy

this is unfortunately true for the smartphone market. Take Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan for example, these 3 places originally had BlackBerry dominant/monopoly market, and iPhone and android were introduced at different time.

About a little less than half a year after the US launch of iPhone, iPhone started appearing in Hong Kong. After android devices' launches, the non-BlackBerry smartphones took the city by storm, and soon after that, it started taking over the BB market, with some users even opting for Nokia E series as their business phone despite the inferior functions.

This soon spreaded to Taiwan, and BB was literally driven out.

Japan, which has been the most conservative market, and consumers often choosing feature phones over smartphones, the minority who did own a BlackBerry switched to iPhone.

There are reasons for this. When you dealing with technology, 1st hand news is important, and most products' first hand news are from the States. There are quite literally no popular local tech review sites in Asia, and all of them merely requotes the sites from the states.

A lot of people have relatives/friends in North America. If BBM is not a practical communication tool due to user base, then BB is not going to be popular.

The real market that can reverse RIM's situation is not Asia. The only reason RIM is growing in places like Indonesia because the smartphone market does not exist yet in these places. Apple and android spent their resources on the other markets that they don't have enough resource to jumpstart these market yet, but from the experience of the other asian cities, once they started, BB will be driven out. the States and, to a lesser degree, the European market is the key. You can't expect the influence to go the other way.

p.s. I am not an American, and quite anti-US really, but the State's dominant influence in the smartphone market is something you can't deny.

mfreedmn97

I was a big RIM fanboi. Not so much any more. Continuous flow of disappointment. Yes this company is a trainwreck to me. Missing things like email client, BBM, calendar , SKYPE on the PLAYBOOk, etc. is a huge mis-step for them. And they don't seem to care about fixing it with any degree of urgency. Which is really what roasts my chestnuts. I own all the RIM gear - but not for long. Much better alternatives out there. Playbook could've been a contender...but now...it's an afterthought.

freddysrevng

Blaize, Kevin and Chris U.,

Here's the part that is being missed. When you invest in a company - you buy the management. Jim and Mike have "MISLEAD/LIED" to us for a few years now with their hyperbole "roadmap gonna blow you away" to the last debacle BB10 phones.

THEY KNEW even before they downgraded the outlook on 12/2 that they did not have the proper chipset to launch BB10 phones in Q1 2012 AS PROMISED... this is intentionally misleading and therefore - THEY DO NO DESERVE OUR TRUST ANYMORE...

Oh and what happened to the Playbook 2.0 OS upgrade - NOT MENTIONED IN CON CALL YESTERDAY...

The CO CEOs of RIMM ARE CLOWNS AND LIARS......I am done with them...and you should be as well.

the_sleuth

I feel bad for Kevin M., Adam Z, Chris W., and Chris U., all of you have performed a very admirable job of informing us about the latest news on RIM. Of the upcoming strong turnaround with BBOS 10 and PB resurrection with PB OS 2.0. More importantly to be optimistic about RIM's future. But last night, we heard the flushing sound from Mike L. The chipset delay is a smokescreen. QNX does not work well with NOC, BES, BBM and can be rooted. Mike L. and Jim Balsillie have made all of us look like fools. The carriers will only get BBOS 10 phones in August to Oct timeframe, once testing is done. This is a 2013 story. So much for the strong turnaround in 2012. Best case scenario: Buyout. But from whom?

The Me

Hahahahahahahahahahahahaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!!! You have you no clue what you're saying. QNX works perfectly with NOC, BES, BBM. The issue is applying 2 PINs to 1 BBID.

You. Are. Lost.

the_sleuth

You're the one being foolish. The real delay: New OS means rewrite of NOC, BES, BBM and so forth. 2 Pins to 1 BBID is rather simplistic, you could have 3, 4 or 5 pins depending upon the number of BB devices you own. The BBID problem/excuse is getting old.

SuperGenius

They're both a total train wreck and under marketed.

JackKennedy

Yes, I think it is quite hilarious now that "RIM plans to spend $100 million on advertising campaigns" when they have nothing competitive to sell anymore...Good thing to be doing when you were launching BB7 phones, bad thing to be doing now, they may just as well save the couple million dollars and hope they can last a little longer.

It's quite interesting that even the fan site for BlackBerry has now turn into a BlackBerry bashing site. We should archive this site for future generations as a timeline for a classic case study of wrong business decisions. How RIM manages to make every single business decision wrong never ceases to amaze me.

TPwebOS820

It's sad to watch this play out. RIM has been a great company over the years and the PlayBook OS is a great platform and outperforms any other tablet OS at the moment however, it was brought out in a very bad way and marketed even worse. . . and there seems to be no end to this fiasco--that's the real killer. Things just keep on being postponed, extended, etc. That does not inspire consumer confidence.

I would much rather have seen them hold off on the PlayBook and just work on the OS in the background and announce it once it was really ready with a whole new line of devices--they could have given/sold developer devices in between.

shootsscores

The Playbook forum is ruled by bashers now. Not a good sign for RIM when even the forum moderators on site dedicated to BB take the side of the troll contingent. A new platform attracted a new clientel but they are being driven away by the old guard. This surely indicates that RIM's transitionary period may prove to be fatal to the company.

Jake Storm

So, true.
The moderators and even Kevin have lost their religion.
Why are there so many trolls on CrackBerry? Because it is encouraged.
Why is it encouraged? Page hits.

The CrackBerry team have all bought in to the doom and gloom. Like rats jumping from a sinking ship. They are hedging their bets and expanding into other platforms so that they are not jobless when RIM goes under.
Even the CrackBerry store is now multi platform.

CrackBerry is no longer a BB fan site. It's just another generic cell phone blog site. Yawn.

MattBerry08

I love it. Clearly its crackberry's fault that RIM has lost their most eager customers. Oh the irony. CB still rocks, and if RIM company could do a single thing right lately there would be legions of fanatics. Put the blame where the blame is due.

SteakArmstrong

Well let me be (one of) the first to tell you, this "rat" has no interest in "jumping from a sinking ship" and I don't need you speaking for me. I am still a HUGE fan of my BlackBerry!! I have had my 8900 for almost three years now and I have nothing to complain about; it has been a great phone and I still love it. You could look at the OS7 phones and find imperfections, sure. I can also look at any other phone on the market and find room to bitch. My phone (and all BlackBerrys) do what they are intended for; they message, email, surf the web and make phone call with a track record that I trust. Feel free to go buy an iPhone or an Android, really, please do so I don't have to read anymore of your ridiculous posts speaking on MY behalf.
And let me also say that this is not a place for me to vent, rather a place to catch up on RIM/RIMM news,happenings and events that I find INTERESTING. I hope from every pore on my body that BlackBerry pulls this, learns from it, develops a trust it has since lost and that Crackberry.com grows with it. I hope that Crackberry continues to be a source for information and a place for others to find quality answers to their questions (like me). Thanks.

the_sleuth

Wow, it's a dark day indeed when shootsscores and Jake Storm are pessimists. Keep your chin up boys, we need you more than ever.

lcoulombe

Good analysis.

In the following sentence: " It seems like the rest of the world actually likes BB7, and the Bold 9000 in particular." I'm assuming you meant 9900?

Kevin Michaluk

fixed. though i'm sure the rest of the world likes the Bold 9000 too. That keyboard.. that sexy leather back... hot phone! :)

JackKennedy

but at the same time, living and working in different parts of Asia myself, "the rest of the world" that you are referring to are usually remote parts of Asia where there are no other alternatives due to data plans or availability of devices or languages available on the devices.

At the same time, the phone market is naturally monopolistic/oligopolistic in nature due to things like BBM/iMessage, better google apps supports in android, and other compatibility issues. It's easy to keep a market-dominant position, but once you lose it, it's equally hard to get the position back.

Chris Umiastowski

Yeah good catch (and thanks for the edit, Kev). The 9 and 0 are just too darn close together on the keyboard and I obviously can't proof read well enough!

rim_investor

I hope your past bullishness on Rim turns out better than Nortel. I've lost almost 80%...$25K. I just returned my 64G PB...would not boot up after 3 weeks of use...completely unacceptable. Where was the QA/QC on this product?

rim_investor

I hope your past bullishness on Rim turns out better than Nortel. I've lost almost 80%...$25K. I just returned my 64G PB...would not boot up after 3 weeks of use...completely unacceptable. Where was the QA/QC on this product?

Kevin Michaluk

Great post Chris.

So the one thing I'm really curious on is the full story with LTE in the USA. I had heard previously that RIM shopped around the original rumored "colt" to the carriers in the US (big Red.. Verizon), and they turned it down, wanting BBX BlackBerrys be on LTE. If that's the case, things make a bit more sense here. RIM was likely originally planning on doing a series of 3G BBX phones first before jumping up to LTE. But if that's the case that US carriers want LTE, it slowed things down as RIM realized they'd need to switch up to a different chipset.

So that's my question.. when Mike Lazaridis said at the AGM in the summer that we'd see QNX BlackBerry Smartphones in Q1 calendar 2012, was he talking 3G or LTE?

purijagmohan

Kevin I doubt they could bring that out that early when they are yet to get email in Playbook.It's more of same promise moon and give nothing.

Chris Umiastowski

Great question on whether he meant LTE or 3G (I'm going to say HSPA+ rather than 3G because it's almost as good as 4G from a radio efficiency perspective).

I believe they were planning HSPA+ first, and LTE when the chipsets were good enough for what RIM wanted to do. Remember they were super late on UMTS compared to the rest of the world. Bold 9000 dropped after everyone else on the planet had 3G out. RIM wanted to use their own radio stack and get better battery life.

Every time we see a next gen radio technology, we go through the same problems.

- Need to be backward compatible with prior technology
- Chips are larger, more expensive and SUCK lots of battery power
- Result is big, clunky, crap battery life phones that cost a lot.

So RIM has often waited, and has been correct to do so. But it didn't stop them from launching new devices on older radio technologies. And now we have HSPA+ with awesome speed throughout the USA.

Verizon is a different story. They need LTE because nobody wants to keep making CDMA phones. Can't do voice + data at the same time. So VZ phones need CDMA EVDO revA + LTE all in one.

AT&T doesn't need that. So I can't understand why RIM wouldn't get out an awesome HSPA+ phone on the AT&T network earlier in the year.

I'm curious to learn more about what's really happening here.

_StephenBB81

Chris reason for NOT launching AT&T and ignoring verizon I posted on your blog but will post here as well

RIM needs the Carriers, by launching the FIRST BBX phone on a single Carrier you are pitting one carrier against the other, except the other does not have your product, Verizon is the largest US Carrier currently you don’t tell your biggest potential customer in your worst reputation market that you are bringing the flagship out first on the competitor, you have to have available for each Carrier the devices so they can launch together if they want,
RIM is not Apple, RIM NEEDS Verizon to be onboard with the Blackberry program,
this is BASIC Client management,
IF in fact Verizon is insisting on LTE, RIM’s only solution for the North American Market which is the primary market for BB10 is to make it LTE for All carriers, to ensure Battery life, is relatively consistent across all carriers, and to launch a full assault with All Carriers pushing BlackBerry.

IF RIM launched a BB10 4″ slab phone on AT&T and pushed with Media, Verizons ONLY reaction would be, PUSH a 4″ slab Android device to retain customers, and attract new smart phone users.

123berryaddicted

I see your thought pattern... Bow down to verizon and release sweet nothing for the majority of 2012, meanwhile hoping to he11 that your company is still relevant come Q4.... Sounds like a smart business plan... NOT!

If Verizon said no new phones other than LTE, RIM should have (hope they did) said "no problem, but in the meantime AT&T doesn't mind 3G so we're gonna make product 'b' for them"

BlackBerry should start playing like Apple and saying "forget it verizon, we'll make phones on our terms, not yours". Work for Apple... So much so that eventually Verizon was begging Apple to make them a phone...

Kiddo2050

For crap sake, the phone will determine relevance, nothing else. The phone will run Android apps so not much legacy market share risk.

RIM has only one option put out the best F-ing phone they can and see where the ball bounces.

In this sense They've done what they can do.

However I also admit there is one other factor and that is marketing and this is where I fear they are F*&%ed because they are simply incapable of undertaking this basic business function.

_StephenBB81

I don't know how you manage your distribution network, but if I managed mine like that I would be out of a job.

RIM has 4 Customers in the US, Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon is about 40% of the market, you don't recover from a market share slide by ticking off 40% of the market, when Apple came to the Smartphone market it was not nearly as competitive, as it is today, AND they had nothing to lose. VERY different game to be played,

What RIM SHOULD do, but I fear they wont do it is take their HSPA+ device they had planned to launch with QNX, slap on a different shell and launch it as a BBOS7 device, it will have the hardware to upgrade to BBX, and the speculations by the bloggers and leakers would be that it will get the upgrade, it will be a global phone, it doesn't kill off other BBOS7 sales, and it is a show of good faith making 1 phone backwards compatible.
also fills the void of the device release gap.

RIM is corporate America before Consumer America, and Corporate America choose Verizon more than any other Carrier. RIM must continue to cater to Verizon, and all of their Carrier partners if they wish to gain mindshare of the Sales and merchandizing departments.

123berryaddicted

I manage mine just fine thank you, and had our most successful year ever (fyi). And I do it by keeping my smallest customer just as happy as my largest. I am not saying RIM should "tick off 40% of the market" and shove verizon on the back burner. But if verizon isn't interested in anything that isn't LTE and RIM can't do that until late 2012, why the he11 should they sit and do nothing? That's all I was saying. First of all, people are assuming that just because RIM said bb10 phones not till late 2012, that they won't release anything until then. I could easily see them release several new os7 phones which will later get the upgrade, would make tones of sense.
Cater to verison yes, but don't stop satisfying other customers just because the big red says only lte.

_StephenBB81

I'm on the boat with you that they need to sell other phones between then, and ideally they sell OS7 phones upgradable to BB10 without the LTE.

When I sell to distribution, I have to make sure I don't give Customer A a product they can drastically sell better than Customer V to the End user or to another layer of Distribution, When Customer A has something shiny and new, and I don't have inventory or ability to provide Customer V with comparable inventory, Customer V doesn't just let customer A get all the sales, they go to my competition, and they leverage my competition against my Products Customer A has, which reduces the effectiveness of the product launch, it serves my Brand, and BOTH customers better to delay my product launch and have both customers pushing the product, selling on their value added service and pointing out all the positives of my product rather than having negative points challenged in comparisons,

In RIM's case to they agree to a write down of OS7 inventory on Verizon due to BB10 being out on the competition? Does Verizon insist on a bigger discount and more favourable inventory contract because AT&T got the head start on the market and scooped up the BlackBerry faithful high margin off contract sales?

RIM made the mistake in the Past with the Marvell vs Qualcomm chips Marvell holding back the Qualcomm comparable devices in the interest in customer equality, forcing their biggest potential US customer to hold last generation inventory while selling latest generation inventory through other channels just poisons a potential future relationship.

nogutsnoglory

As a contractor to a "Big" carrier of a certain color, it is my understanding that that carrier will not accept new 3G smart phones going forward in 2012. The phones need to be LTE compliant. That is about all I can publicly disclose.

herrbremerhaven

Thanks for sharing that. It makes a ton of sense. People (consumers) want 4G, whether or not their local city network even has 4G up and running. So in a way, why introduce an interim phone model.

Unfortunately, we can see where earnings will go without a product refresh. While the BBOS7 phones were delayed, sales of BBOS6 phones tanked, with excess inventory and poor sell-through. Now we are looking towards nearly four full quarters of declining sales, and another miss at back-to-school 2012 time.

There is nothing to elevate share prices, and even a BB10 phone release will take more than one quarter to show whether earnings will improve. So we are into Q1 or Q2 of 2013, and that's only if RiM hit there guidance time-line and no carrier approval delays happen.

At this point I think the only thing that would elevate shareholder value in 2012 would be a change in leadership. The company looks to have no direction currently. It almost seems to me that the share buy-back plan was simply to increase the percentage for voting that the coCEOs now hold. They should announce they are scrapping the buy-back to restore investor confidence.

I still hold shares, unfortunately, though I'm not one to bail out at a loss on a profitable company, because to make back the loss with a gain on another investment just puts one further behind. My guess is that by Q3 2012 report the numbers will be quite dire, and given the coCEO poor targeting so far, a miss would not be unusual. That's likely when shares will be at their lowest. I might actually increase my position then, if there is a glimmer of hope for 2013. If not, then my investment will be dead money for likely more than 5 years, if the company makes it that far without major changes.

DBX00

Heck, release the HSPA+ version of the phone in Europe and Asia. There is a large enough market that you can build interest in the device until the LTE chipset is available and you bring the revised version to the States. In that way, you can legitimately ask developers to push development for BB10 with a successful product, sell unlocked phones through the Blackberry website, and finalize any ecosystem issues prior to a major US launch.

jhanks64

Please study up on GSM and CDMA. CDMA is a superior technology in many ways, much more reliable and robust. GSM is old technology.

pfe1223

I know that Verizon is big on pushing LTE. In fact, they have been putting pressure on Nokia to release an LTE version of their Windows Phones. This is a tough decision to make for RIM. There are obvious benefits of LTE, but the decrease in battery life can be a killer. Can RIM roll out an HSPA+ device before Q4 2012? If so, would Verizon not heavily promote the QNX devices because it doesn't have LTE? Can RIM survive on AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint?

joski

I don't get this consumer entitlement garbage though. If no information about future devices or technology ever leaked, no one would know what to expect. If no one knows what to expect, the delays aren't such a big deal and all of THIS crap doesn't happen.

What keeps happening is information, photos, etc leak. People shit their pants at how amazing it's going to be, but when there's a hint of a delay, they lose faith and all this crap happens. I've been a CrackBerry addict for a few years now and it has to happen every single year.

The fanbase has turned into a bunch of whiney babies, and mix that with the entitlement issue the entirety of North America suffers from, and it seems as though RIM won't last. Their fans are their enemies.

I don't care about iOS or Android. I'm sick of the comparisons. I can't even come to the forums anymore without becoming FURIOUS from what I read. I'm thinking about ditching technology altogether - or at least until the retarded consumer gears down and relaxes a bit. Jesus.

Kevin Michaluk

Don't disagree with what you're saying... though in this case you need to realize that it's RIM's senior management that has been setting the consumer expectation and providing info about the future:

- Mike Lazaridis promising BBX phones in Q1 calendar 2012

- Jim Balsillie saying what we'll see at DevCon will leapfrog the competition

- Jim Baslillie promising email in 60 days

- Android Apps on BlackBerry by end of summer

That's not leaks or bloggers making stuff up. When the CEOs say things like that, I'm not sure you can classify it as consumer entitlement. That's the consumer being told what to expect to be entitled to. And I think the fans are passionate, which is why they turn whiney on broken promises.

I'm sort of relieved though at the news it'll be late 2012 now for QNX phones. We can absorb that news, and deal with it. 

Jenlabellefille

I completely agree. If they hadn't decided to wait on the chipsets, then everyone would be complaining that they should have waited to launch an LTE phone, or that it was rushed one way or another. As long as BB10 phones are polished, and up to par with the competition with its offerings, then this is a launch that will absolutely be worth the wait!!

travaz

Thats why I jumped on the 9930. I figured the BBX phones wouldnt be out until late 2012. I will get one when they drop. One other statement from RIM " Angry Birds coming to Playbook Soon" LOL

menaknow

Also add the "Cascade" UI framework that still hasn't made it's way to the 2.0 NDK release for the playbook.

It looked great and motivated some developers including myself. But they STILL haven't released it.

Whats the point of showing developers at DevCon a feature that is still not available? OS 2.0 is suppose to launch February...

JackKennedy

Well RIM is certainly in a very different scenario right now. RIM is alive not because it has an actual functional product that deserves a place in the market, it's alive solely because of customer loyalty. This of course, comes with a price; you can't indefinitely disappoint and misinform the consumers and lie to them.

Most people here saw the BB7 as BB6.1, to a lot of people, RIM has technically done nothing for an entire year. In a developing competitive market working toward the real future smartphones, you can't afford to release nothing new for an indefinite period of time.

If RIM doesn't have enough resources, they could have hired people. Expecting customers to be loyal, and yet making empty promises and doing nothing is not going to work in the long-run.

Joe257

Waaaayyyyyyy UNDER marketed!

shemaree09

Exactly!!! How do they have their flagship, premium, Bold 9900/9930 out and nobody knows about it?

I've seen so many commercials for the Torch (womp womp) but NO COMMERCIALS for the Bold 9900 on tv...only on Youtube.

It makes no sense.

People see my new Bold and say, "THAT's a Blackberry??? I didn't even know they still made phones!"

There are people who dont even know that Blackberry has basic apps (like, at ALL) and they can do more than just push email.

Joe257

They released the 9900/9930 and most people I heard in the stores didn't even know it had a touch screen! Why wasn't that a BIG sell??? The sales people don't really know themselves! I had to step in a couple of times to tell the folks... Me, a complete stranger! "Did you check out the touch screen on this BlackBerry!"

The public needs to be told, told, and told again! I saw no TV ads for the Bold 9900/30 or the 9850/60 or 9810! Unlike you, I didn't see any TV ads at all! Most people didn't know there was a 9810 as it looks just like the old 9800! Really lackluster (BAD!!!) marketing! Naming the 9850/60 a Torch only added to the confusion. Now I don't even see the carriers advertising the 9850/60 for sale. Really sad! One more great product hidden from the public.

JackKennedy

Same thing happened to me. 9900 was the only BB7 phone released at that time too in my city, yet the salesperson in the store didn't know there was a touchscreen and was surprised when he saw me touching the screen when I was trying out the demo unit.

The worst thing here is they didn't even bother putting up any BB ad but yet invested quite a bit in 4 versions of Playbook ads online and on the telly. Do they seriously anyone would use the Playbook without a BB? Not that the ads were made well, with music conductor using some tempo app in a concert and some other useless functions.

sjawelsh

Totally agree, People do not know what is out there ( what they want) until you tell them.

poppingman

I went in to take care of an issue with my sons phone and decided to take a peek at the new BB's, I was told by the VZW salesman that I should use my upgrade to switch to android or iPhone. When the time came I didn't go back there. I got my new torch on wirefly for free. I don't know about other carriers, but VZW isn't helping BB at all.

ianbordas

+1 - MARKETING MARKETING MARKETING!!

"You can't just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they'll want something new" - Steve Jobs

RIM needs mass media ADS that show off BB's unique features (like being able to click/hold on a link to download a freakin MP3 podcast or song directly to your phone's Media Card OTA), havng ALL your messaging apps ALWAYS TRULY ONLINE, Traffic, Travel and other unique Apps in action, Cool stuff you can do bridged to a PB, the unique and awesome "Sleep" mode, advantages of their consolidated messages inbox and swiping on the screen to go from one message to another and there are so much more cool things BB can do that others STILL CANT do as well or even AT ALL!!

Come on RIM, FOCUS!!!
Ian B
Bold 9900 & PlayBook 64GB Wifi

JackKennedy

Just because their marketing sucks, doesn't mean their products don't. They are way behind in the game. You can't market junks and expect to earn a significant market share with junks.

Come on, I mean even RIM would feel embarrassing to say "ALWAYS TRULY ONLINE" after what happened with the outage. Traffic, travel apps are not going to be unique, and iPhone and Android are going to have better apps; this is not deniable.

ianbordas

Jack, you happen to be very wrong. RIM's outtage was indeed a bad thing, but what can you say about Siri's outtages or all the other problems that iOS and Android also have??

By Truly online I mean that APPS don't go into "idle" when you back out of them - Doesn't have to rely on an additional "push" system to get app to wake.

Everyone is going to these "cloud" services, just wait and see how frustrated people will get when there is a Data outage our on a bad signal from their service provider and can't get access to their information... Shit will always happen.

RIM products happen to be very good, just try a Playbook, hardware and even OS (even being half baked)is way better UI than iOS or Android IMO.

Apps on the Playbook are as good as any other OS out there. Again, I invite you to try one, you'll really like it!

void11

I don't think you can compare RIM's network outage with the Siri outage. The Siri outage simply impacted a "cool" feature. At the same time, I think the level of negatively towards RIM's outage was a bit unfair considering their track record of network reliability.

I agree that the PlayBook UI is very good but consumers are automatically turned off by the fact that the most basic of functionalities - email and calendar - are unavailable without a BB phone. That and the lack of an app ecosystem. Regardless of how many apps people really need, success of a tablet today is based on the total number of apps available. Like it or not.

JackKennedy

The negative reaction toward the outage is anything but exaggerated. Considering that the handsets could be affected by both network outage and RIM's outage, it is extremely critical that RIM maintains a high reliability, as maintaining only standard network reliability would mean doubling the average outage to the handset. Yet, the stats showed RIM's service reliability is actually worse than the networks.

JackKennedy

People don't depends on Siri for basic communication. Siri is just a UI plugin, people can live without it. RIM's outage, on the other hand, was an unforgivable sin that has tarnished the company's reputation forever.

Not to mention that whatever problem iPhone/android has, BB probably has something similar too, BB is not the prime example of a perfect os...it's quite far from it really.

talking about hypothetical situations that doesn't exist and claiming that the os has superiority because in case that happens, the os won't be affected is quite useless. The same can be said about RIM's server.

RIM's products are not very good. Can you imagine if you ask an iPhone user to use Playbook, how useless the device would be with no BB to bridge? Sales proves everything. I did have a playbook but I sold it on ebay because I find it unnecessary. If you launch an OS half baked, you can't say it is good, especially considering that it was released significantly later than iPad.

Saying something is as good as other in some aspect is not a selling point, even notwithstanding how it lacks in others

ianbordas

Wow, amazing how you've taken the time to post so many times here only on the negative things, in other words, just trolling.

Anyways, you are the kind of person who will only be happy with RIM when they sell you an iPhone.

QNX is barely a year old with RIM, being able to do so much in such short time shows how promising RIM products will be compared to iOS with 4+ years and Android's UI is still too messy IMO, maybe ICS has some improvements. Windows on the other hand looks very interesting i must say.

Anyways, keep on trolling, seems like you do pretty good at that.

JackKennedy

I want anything but a RIM iPhone but this is what RIM is working toward. I want a track pad on Milan, not the iPhone with a compromised keyboard.

A company fully developed company can't achieve nothing in a year. WP is a great example, the first os version already showed a lot promise than Playbook os.

HabsSuck

Jack, outages are not a good thing but they do happen. Despite the outage users still had phone access so communication did not stop. Let me reminder you of a couple of incidents, the earthquake in Virginia knocked out all telecommunication except Blackberry's, the earthquake in Haiti again telecommunication down except for yes you got it Blackberry's, actually RIM was honoured by International Medical Corp, their workers used BlackBerry smartphones to co-ordinate recovery efforts following the earthquake and other disasters around the world.
So RIM does a lot of good things but you and many others are blind to this.

Kiddo2050

Agree!!!! Most people don't know Blackberries have Apps, let alone the fact that they probably have a pretty high percentage of the most useful apps.

But this is where lack of vision, along with lack of advertising hurts them. I mean INVEST in a New York TImes app. RIM should write the apps itself. Make sure the OS7 devices have the top Apps and then market the fact that they do because PEOPLE DON't KNOW.

cplush

There is a lack of accountability at the management level in RIM. the co-CEO's are making blunder after blunder and with a stacked board there is almost no way to hold their feet to the fire and demand improved performance. As mentioned in the article, you cant go 2.5 yrs of consistently delayed product launches and mediocre product offerings and expect to remain relevant (unless you are a government contractor). marketing is great but it the product has to match the ads or else you devalue your brand and acquire customers that jump as soon as their upgrade comes around.

mjs416

So now each CEO makes a buck a year...

Anyone else feel they are still overpaid?

Joe257

I think it was a fine gesture, but shareholders really want to see a STRONG & FIRM direction for the company with actual achievable objectives and milestones. What's Mike L's vision for BlackBerry? I know he has one but he's not telling anyone. Not good. Is Jim really doing enough to sell the company? That's his job!

123berryaddicted

Good points. Jim should go. RIM could use fresh blood up top, and getting rid of the guy who invented the smartphone would be a grave mistake. Jim thought can be replaced by any other CEO type...

green_ember

If they do a good job this year, I fully support a 3% raise for them next year...

sjawelsh

As Chris stated in his article, that $1.00 a year is only salary, the rest is paid from stock.
So hopefully they will have more of an interest to make things happen to get RIMM moving higher.

npisano

Well written article. I just question the part about LTE being unnecessary. It may well be unnecessary right now, but other manufacturers are already coming out with LTE devices. RIM has been consistently bashed for just "catching up" with last year's technology and not providing anything new, and now that they're trying to get ahead of the curve and become a leader again, they still get criticized.

Other than that, well said. I totally agree they still have a lot of work to do, but there is hope....

BBThemes

i disagree, how can you call an article `well written` when it doesnt even address the (slightly sensationalist) title it attaches? sure the points in the article have merit, but it doesnt relfect the implied subject matter.

seriously CB, i know things aint awesome, and agree a balanced discussion is valid, but BGR style `bait n switch` on titles and content really should be beneath you.

Kevin Michaluk

Not sure I'm seeing the bait and switch you're talking about here??? First sentence talks about last night's earnings call being a train wreck. Spending more on marketing was RIM's action plan on the call in the US. i think Chris put a title on the story that reflects his mood as an investor. 

How would you have titled the story differently? I've got positions open for international bloggers.... if you think you've got the chops then email me and let's see you do better!

Chris Umiastowski

Wow this one really comes out of left field for me too. The results (guidance, mostly) was a train wreck. The US is a train wreck. The marketing aspect of the story reflects RIM's admission that their BB7 has not been effectively marketed in the US, and they'll be spending $100M per quarter.

This is the stuff professional money managers will be talking about today. I agree with Kevin - if you have a better title, let's hear it.

WillieLee

And you also posed it as a question, not a definitive answer. As opposed to much of the negativity surrounding RIM, this is a title that fits the situation. Is RIM falling into the pit of declining profits and an eroding customer base or are consumers just not aware of what RIM has to offer and have let the negative marketing and sentiment go on too long?

HabsSuck

Chris, i wouldn't describe their results as a train wreck thats a bit over the top.
EPS of 1.27 and guidance of 0.8-0.9 which translates to around $450 Million.
not a bad quarter, not great but not bad. What all the short term thinkers forget is that the majority of mobile users are still using feature phones, RIM is still positioned get a piece of the pie and continue to build economic value. Maybe BB10 will be the next best thing and they will be darlings again.

BBThemes

so yes their US market is in decline, however as the figures show their other markets are increasing, at a rate that they can add almost 5 million net subscribers even with the US decline.

as your comment clearly states, its only in the US that its failing, so maybe its a `train wreck` in the US, but not globally, so a title that doesnt paint it that the US is their only market would maybe be more fitting, after all the US isnt even the largest smartphone economy in the world anymore.

but heres the bit id love someone to explain to me, sure, RIM has some big issues, but many other manufacturers do also, for example motorola mobility that hasnt posted any profit t all for all of 2011 (and a few years prior), or LG that is having poor financial results too, although some of that isnt their smartphone divison admittedly, but if there is to be balance, then surely the company making profit is better than the one losing hand over fist?

it seems the market attitude to RIM is skewed from that towards others, for example WP7, all the analysts are loving it, but RIM sold more devices in their Q3 2012 than WP7 did in its first full year!! but RIM is poor and WP7 is good? i cant see the balance in that logic ata all.

aminrajabi

Agreed. Yes, the delay sucks but for once when RIM comes out with a phone it will be on par or ahead of the competition. How can anyone say that LTE wont be critical for RIM's growth. So what's the suggestion? Come out with a HSPA+ phone when that technology has been out for more than a year?? Then wait till 2013 or 2014 for a LTE phone? Really??? How about stopping with stop gaps and half measures.

Right now it seems like nothing RIM can say or do will make people happy. Everyone is on a negative bend. If anyone thinks that a company with a subscriber base of 75 million and growing is going to fold before BB10 phones come out are not living in reality.

I want a BB10 phone like anyone else, but we have OS7 phones out that are less than 6 months old that are more than capable. What RIM needs right now is aggressive marketing. And it sounds like that's what we're going to get.

Chris Umiastowski

I guess I could have made my thoughts more clear so let me add in the extra bit here.

I think RIM should launch with HSPA+ early in 2012 as they promised. Get the OS out there. Get the apps out there. Please the market, the developers and the customers.

Then get 4G done when the chips are available to support what RIM wants to do with them. I never said they should wait for 2013 or later. I just said they shouldn't be waiting to drop QNX into a phone.

jelp2

Why waste the money on production when the device would be upgraded a few months later? Let them get ahead of the curve and set the industry standard in one shot.

aminrajabi

I know that you don't mean for them to wait until 2013. But I still don't think that if RIM did dedicate the resources to putting out an HSPA+ phone in Q1 2012 there is no way that they could then shift gears and put out new phones with new hardware (and hopefully improved software) before 2013. At least not based on what history tells us about RIM.

FrankDLR1972

Right. We all know that OS7 was meant to be a stop gap. RIM got a pass in 2011 so they could get their shit together and come out guns blazing in 2012. Now we're supposed to do it all over again and wait until the end of 2012?

BBThemes

this does make me chuckle, the current situation on LTE in the US is verizon doesnt want any non LTE devices, so from that we have to assume (going from the new WP7 phones being told `no, you`re not LTE we aint sellin ya`) that Verizon wouldnt want to stock or sell any RIM devices going forward that arent LTE.

so in a post where you damn RIM for losing US marketshare, your remedy is to sell devices in the US, but not on the largest US carrier? that doesnt float well really, i mean sure Apple did it on AT+T, but RIM is no apple, we can all agree on that, and even Apple went to Verizon and had a massive boost from them. Bein in the US and not on Verizon would be crippling in the current smartphone landscape, so suggesting this is something they should do seems a little misguided.

and thats even before their yearly release cycle is taken into account, which would mean if RIM did release a HSDPA+ 4(faux)G device in Q1 2012, then their LTE models would come Q1 2013!! unless they want to release a device better than the 4G device several months after, thereby dissapointing those with their 4G device less than 6 months into ownership.

Chris Umiastowski

LTE is necessary eventually, but just not yet. I guess the proof is to ask people if they think their HSPA+ phones are too slow. I've never heard that complaint. RIM has almost always waited to be the last to launch a new radio and it hasn't been a problem. Poor software and other issues have been a problem, but not timing of radios. Look at the success of the Bold 9000 as their first UMTS phone when everyone else already had one. Didn't really hurt them to be late on the radio. But being late on the form factor, OS, and other actual features DOES hurt them.

Nobody cares about the guts of the radio. They care about whether it works well / fast. You don't need LTE today.

JackKennedy

Certainly true, which is why quite a number of us are skeptical about the LTE chip explanation. This is clearly an extremely risky move that no business would take and most would interpret it as a suicide. Something fishy is going on.

If this is really the truth, the famous "leapfrogging" could possibly be just the LTE, which is both neither leapfrogging, and also extremely disappointing by any standard. RIM still has not shown any sign of the "leapfrogging" that they have promised. There is no selling function when they push out a device.

iPhone has Siri, which is grossly exaggerated in practicality, but iPhone sells because it has this signature selling function and decent practical functions. You can't say the same for BlackBerry. There's nothing functionally different that it can do that other devices can't. LTE is not the magic selling function. There's no point in waiting for battery-efficient LTE chip in customers' perspectives.

EchoTango

The LTE chips is a plausible excuse. As speculated in other posts, a 3G only BB10 handset was not amenable to the carries and therefore a nonstarter.

This issue is; currently all LTE phones must contain a 3G back-up radio and there are currently no dual band (LTE/3G) chip sets available. However, there clearly are LTE phones on the market today which use two separate chips to accommodate this technical requirement. This has two major drawbacks; the devices must be made larger (clunkier) than a single chip handset and power consumption is higher due to the amount of redundant circuitry needed to run both chips.

This is largely the reason the iPhone5 did not make an appearance last year and why both devices will hit the market around the same time.

WinningWithLogic

I think it's blatantly obvious to anyone putting in even the minimum of thought that they're lying about the reasons for the BB10 delay. It's all about software, always has been, and always will be. Software is RIM's achilles heel. They fundamentally cannot do it well, and as an organization don't have even a tenth of the necessary skill needed to compete with experts like Apple, Google, Amazon, etc.

"Late 2012" is just RIM's way of saying "Some indeterminate point in the future because we have no idea what we're doing". They've done this time and time again with things like the PlayBook launch, OS 2.0, etc. If you believe any date RIM tells you now, I have a bridge to sell you.

Late 2012 will come and go with no new devices just like every date RIM has historically thrown out there and failed to meet. That's if the company makes it to then. My bet is 2012 is the year we see both of those bozo's at the top outed and the company acquired.

mjs416

While I think you are right in that they will be late delivering the BB10 phones - waiting a year between hardware and software iterations isnt a bad thing.

JackKennedy

If they do end up being even later than this new schedule, they are certainly doomed. Not delivering any phone in 2012 means all US customers renewing contracts will likely switch, since there is no BlackBerry phone that could compete with the smartphones offered by Apple and Google in 2012.
This is probably the reason why the market is continuing to be spam by similar/inferior products in the same price level. A device maker cannot afford to miss a year without suffering some substantial loss in market share.

Bob G

Yep. I waited too long for promises of the next big thing from Palm (e.g., OS 6) before I finally saw the writing on the wall and jumped ship to BlackBerry.

Now, I see history repeating. The Storm and Torch were disappointing. The "flagship" 9900 was a year late to market. It needed to be fabulous, but the poor camera, memory, battery life, reliability, and app support made it just "good" in comparison to the competition (who are innovating at a blistering pace).

Switching platforms is expensive and time-consuming. As BB swirls the drain, I am trying to decide which competing platform is *least* likely to repeat the same pattern of success - complacency - excuses - decline.

diegonei

Bold 9*9*00 ;)

Well, RIM is getting some share here in Brasil, but surely not from OS7 phones that are still to be seen around here... At least the PlayBook is out already (even if only for 3 months).

iamthiagosilva

Hello, I'm also from Brazil. I think the marketshare that RIM is gaining in Brazil is because of cheaper devices (like the Curve 8520), and not because of OS 7. RIM's smartphones, at least here in Brazil, have always been very expensive (and because of that, may have become a atractive product, along with the iPhone). Now that RIM Curve 8520 sells for less than $ 200 without a contract, it became a "hit".

digdah

It is a combination of both I think. The marketing side is seriously mismanaged at least here in the USA. I think they are making the right decisions though in terms of delaying products until they can release the correct product. It would have been much worse if the BB7 devices had launched with the originally planned underpowered CPU choices and my 9930 is proof they chose the correct hardware. As for LTE please wait. I have and play with numerous devices with LTE chips inside and the battery life is just not up to snuff. The new chipset is 'supposed' to be much better. Trust me, Apple is not waiting for nothing. They would love to throw and 'i' next to 'LTE' and claim it is superior and way better than sliced bread and I know the masses will buy it but they are waiting cause there is NO device with LTE that has decent battery life. The device I'm currently using discharges faster than I can charge it while using the navigation software...absurd.

TomCanuck

RIM is a train wreck. flat out.

level

Nice post Chris. I enjoy reading your material.

Matt8193

RIM has all but conceded defeat in the US. When I worked at RIM (I was part of the 2000 cuts in July) I sat through a 1hr presentation from Mike L and all he said the whole time was how small the US is (relative to the world) and they are focusing more overseas. Obviously that hasn't helped them one bit and maybe they have finally realized that with this new marketing spend. However, I think it is too little, too late at this point. Mike and Jim's arrogant ways have finally caught up to them.

Internally at RIM we have seen this coming for months, if not years. I beta tested the PlayBook since September of 2010 and we all said it needed native email and more apps before being launched but nobody in upper management listened. Again, it has come back to bite them in the butt.

RIM used to be a great place to work with a laid back attitude and some nice perks but no everyone is bitter, upper management folks are leaving and there is true uncertainty amongst every group. In a way, I am glad I was shown the door....at least they gave me a nice package :)

Matt8193

I've also sat through numerous presentations from Jim B and he is either so smart nobody understands him or he is brain dead. The running joke at RIM is if you sit through a presentation of Jim Bs, you have NO clue what he said. EVERYONE leaves that room asking each other what he just said for the past hour.

Mike L is a genius and has invented many things but he is arrogant and doesn't listen to anybody. He is responsible for the downfall of RIM because he refuses to listen to anyone. If you dare go up against him, you can kiss your job goodbye.

joski

I enjoy reading real comments like this! As much as it says about a company whose products I completely love, it's nice to read something first-hand as opposed to garbage speculation. I have a cousin and a friend who both work at RIM, and as much relatively negative information I can hear from them, it's real!

WinningWithLogic

One thing that hasn't caught enough attention in the media in my opinion is the brain drain taking place at RIM. And I'm not talking about the cuts. Good people all over RIM have had enough are voluntarily choosing to leave. Chris, Kevin - talk to some people on the ground in Waterloo in the tech sector.

DBX00

You have to have a new product or feature set to promote for marketing to work. Marketing is only effective with a solid product behind it. RIM is holding on to what they believe are consumers desires (long battery life, secure email, keyboard) when the overall market has shifted. They need to spend less time talking to carriers and CIOs about what they want and go directly to the consumer and implement that into a product.

I think what they would find is that you could toss the current LTE chips and dual processors in a slightly thicker phone and have 8 hour battery life. If they looked at phone reviews these days, they rarely include a battery life section that is comprehensive because reviewers want to get the review out early. Hence, they aren't going to get "review credit" for battery life either way. They definitely need to release an entire ecosystem (cloud storage, top 20 apps from ios and android, new phone, etc.) at once. However, there seems to be no real reason to wait until February to release Playbook 2.0 in full if people like Kevin have access to it already (another old school corporate rollout mentality).

Finally, they really could have made a splash if they announce a webmail, contacts, calendar, cloud storage platform for business and consumers that is free to use. There is no reason they can't hire a team to put that together (Gist could handle contacts, Newbay for cloud and some of the sharing mechanics). This could be the start of their icloud competitor that doesn't need to wait until the BB10 hardware is released to make a splash. The development time would also be pretty quick since they already collect all that information through their servers and have logins for every blackberry user.

It is clear that decision making just takes too long in their structure and they are up against rivals that can iterate on a dime.

Chris Umiastowski

Great comment. So many useful ideas there. I agree with you. My only addition is that I think the marketing they do can work for BB7 if they focus on the emotional "connectedness" of using BlackBerry. Forget security and battery life (heck, battery life isn't really any different for them these days). Focus on the benefits of it being the best communication device out there.

I'm curious to see what they do on marketing.

Disparishun

YES! A webmail-contacts-calendar-cloudstorage platform -- YES! I cannot believe that RIM has not come out with this yet, and Gist/Newbay are such obvious engines. Combine 7digital with Omnifone to create a killer Music/BBM Music part, by the way.

RIM is perfectly positioned to do a secure version of Dropbox that has corporate credibility. And they need desperately something like this anyway for so many reasons.

One, they need it to adjust to the multi-device/cloud future in which we expect to be able to transition from device to device with no loss of functionality and with minimal drag or delay. The new consumer -- including business consumer -- expectation is measured in how small the friction or drag is that we experience when switching from device to device. See under: Chrome cross-device browsing.

Two, they need it because they cannot have all of their eggs in one basket anymore. Either they compete with the big boys or go home, and competing with the big boys means an ecosystem, not just a couple of devices. Time to diversify.

I would not have said this before, but I now firmly believe it is time for the co-CEOs to go. Just wait and see what's up our sleeve? We've got a bet-the-company move around the corner? Well, we've waited, and we've turned the corner, and it's not there yet. Emphasize to the new CEO the importance of seeing the existing development products through, sure. But it is time for someone else to step up. RIM should never have been in the position to be waiting for a One True Device to cement their future, and if they were, they should never have been in a position of repeated delays. It is time for a single CEO to step up and turn RIM into an agile organization that can push the innovations it births out into the world. Now.

JackKennedy

As much as I am a fan of phones with good battery life, I am really doubtful what big difference the chip could make. RIM is not launching the first LTE phone in the world, unless their phone's battery life is so severely inferior to other LTE devices, even accounting for the fact that push-technology would save a substantial amount of battery, I don't see any reason for doing this.

If the battery life is really that bad even with push technology, there is a serious problem with the device. RIM is not just delaying it for the sake of perfecting it, this phone must be not practically usable or something.

WillieLee

This is also the second year in a row where they missed an entire launch cycle. RIM is not Apple with one defining phone, they need to balance their sales with staggered product launches throughout the year. Now they are once again telling us that the delay is for the benefit of the customers, but by the time these devices launch the processors are once again going to be viewed as last year's model (especially if it's dual-core). As well, LTE phones are only going to address the US marketplace, what about the devices to serve the countries where they are still seeing sales and won't have LTE for years? What is their strategy for those countries?

I find it extremely bizarre that RIM would go with a cutting edge (for the time) CPU for the PlayBook, an untested product, but once again lag behind the marketplace when it comes to the devices that they sell in the tens of millions.

They have made the acquisitions to aid this transition to QNX but they also seem stuck in the idea of providing legacy support to BBOS. You cannot try to support multiple operating systems, that is what brought Apple down during the time when Steve Jobs was not with the company and was one of the first things he dismissed when he came back. Trying to juggle several operating systems only drains money and resources. A transition has to be a clean break. If these enterprise customers are truly important then they should be the first onboard for a transition to a superior product.

RIM is still profitable, a rarity in this sector that is constantly ignored, but those profits are declining and given the numerous write-downs and profit warnings they are not guaranteed. The US campaign sounds nice but it can also very easily be just a cash burn with no real payoff.

The Co-CEOs have no credibility left in my eyes. The $1 salary is completely meaningless as they will now use this gesture to remain in power when they've now shown that they cannot produce results. Constantly saying, "Well look how far we've come!" is not what I want to hear from a CEO.

markphr

For me, RIM has always stood for functionality over style. The great Blackberry devices have been damn ugly but boy did they get the job done!

Marketing people want a clear message and RIM doesn't know what it stands for anymore. Hence the Blackberry Bold 9900 - quite sexy, quite well made, quite good. In terms of functionality a compromise. To me, always the nearly phone and never a classic.

kojita

To be honnest, I am not sure 2.5 years is that long to come up wiht an entire new OS system that will work on a tablet, on a phone and in a car...

kojita

And I am one of those guys outside US (like millions of us) who think that the 9900 is an awesome device. It would be interesting to have an opinion from somebody outide US/UK/EU on stock...I am sure their point of view will be totally different than the one (that I respect) of Chris

Chris Umiastowski

I'm in Canada. I love the 9900. I don't actually want a QNX phone unless it has a keyboard. But yeah, I would love to see more commentary from people in emerging markets.

BaconMunch

I believe there are recent reports that say that BlackBerry is still the number one smartphone in Canada. While that number is perilously dropping due to the insane number of manufacturers running Android, this isn't the <20% Market Share that is experienced in the US.

Currently, public perception spells doom and gloom for RIM and I hope they use the additional funds in marketing towards convincing customers that upgrading to current BB7 devices is a viable alternative.

In Canada, general consumers often lock in with 3 year contracts due to the ridiculous pricing of handsets by our Big 3 Telecom so a one year wait for BB10 devices is fine as long as long they market themselves as a relevant option when these devices are released.

JackKennedy

uh...losing 1/3 of the customers, who in turn would be locked in contract for another 3 years, is quite a risk...

jelp2

I think waiting to put out a better phone later in the year is fine. Why waste money putting out a 3g device only to upgrade and put out another 4g later in the year, with a better chipset, and having people say, "this phone is what the first one released should have been", because you can bet that's what would happen.
Get the PlayBook update out on schedule for Feb.,show they are committed to it and making that date then follow through with the BB10 devices later. Advertise BB7, to us its been out for a while, for the majority of consumers, its new, they've never heard of it! Get them familiar with the product, introduce them to the updated PlayBook,get them familiar with the QNX OS, and let them know that's what the upcoming phones with be running.

DBX00

Regardless, RIM is going to have to release a HSPA+ version because the rest of the world lacks LTE. Therefore, why make the world wait because Verizon and AT&T demand LTE? Release a HSPA+ version abroad, show that the software (people's biggest concern) is legit, US reviewers will import the device and preview it. It'll create buzz if the device is good, developers will make apps, when released in the US the ecosystem will be "beta" tested and ready to go...

vrs626

Probably because the software isn't "legit" at this point.

jelp2

The software is already out on the PlayBook. Maybe that's supposed to show people whats to come with the new phones.

ifarlow

Once again, excellent article. Unfortunately accurate.

NFLPLAYBOOK

It isn't Rim that wants LTE on the new phones, it's the cell providers. Most of the major players either already have LTE or will have it by the end of next year. If you want them to carry a high end phone then it has to be LTE capable. If Rim was to use current chipsets in their phones they would fail because of battery consumption and everyone would be on the bashing bandwagon again. Rim should wait for the new chipset but that being said they should also be preparing for more than one device to be launched. There's no reason why with the extra time that they shouldn't be able to have a hard keyboard phone by then. That would make for a better launch of the BB10 phones. The delay could turn into something positive if they can get both ready.

kojita

True, they could come up with three flagships at once, all LTE, the classic keyboard bold montana, the sliding torch milan and the all-touch london...all with BB10 hopefully with great battery time, which I thinkg they should gain back compared to the 9900

JackKennedy

Well, it would make sense if only RIM were the pioneer of LTE phones...Now it only makes it seem like RIM's phone either has something catastrophically wrong with its battery life that makes it not practical or RIM is hiding something. The battery life can't possibly be that bad that would make it justifiable to launch it in Q4.

crack_me_silly

Does anyone know why RIMM isnt using their money to to stock repurchases? or why they arent returning the capital to shareholders with a dividend?

I think Chris you need to consider this as another negative. RIMM has had the ability to buy up to 5% of their stock since June...which would now only cost them 350 million dollars. WHY arent they doing this now??? And with 1.5 billion this quarter with the plan on increasing cash next quarter...why are they not expanding this and buying 10% of stock?

very disappointing....

Chris Umiastowski

Wall Street would murder them if they did a buyback. And it would be a huge mistake. They do NOT have the balance sheet to support it. RIM is in no position to go to the market if they need cash. Buying back stock would be a REALLY bad idea. They do not need to add more risk to their story.

crack_me_silly

I do understand that they need to have money on the balance sheet as a buffer...but dont you think 1.5 billion is enough? Why not spend what they make every quarter in buying stock? I guess i am just frustrated because it seems to me they NEED to do something to help shareholders...

Scroat

Maybe because they know, like everyone else who isn't a rimjobber, that the future looks like crap.

john_v

Did you really associate Thomas the Tank Engine with RIM? For shame....

jeffydude05

My question is wouldn't they have known of this hardware problem before DevCon? Some of the things they said during the earnings call just makes you shake your head...they need to step down....

crack_me_silly

absolutely! there is no way they just figured out this last week that they would be late on the BB10 devices! This information should have been out on their Dec 2nd earnings warning, and definitely should have been out at devcon.

stevedee

At least there is rational discussion going on here, unlike when the 'delay' news broke and people were all tossing aside their Berries - Power users and Business users will have people who understand the importance of getting the spectrum of Long Term Evolution phone chipsets in play. Maybe that is why Apple is waiting for the iPhone 5 launch. Your average consumer who wants to play low-end games and stream video will just want something optimized for that, and there is enough play in the system already for that.
In the meantime, RIM better ensure that Apple doesn't corner the availability of common components again. When the PB was on it's way, lo and behold the availability of the screens was cornered by Apple and this affected production for both RIM and Samsung.

What is also scary is trying to anticipate the price point these babies will come on the market with - as written above, if the major carriers need it to have the best LTE of the day then any device lacking gets no exposure or purchase-friendly plan rate.

On a slightly more snide note, what's Jim been up to, anyway, he's had a whole year without trying to buy a hockey team. Maybe he should have relocated to Winnipeg...

Curve 8330 CDMA (eww, I know, u/g to BB7 soon!)
Winner of EA Mobile SE Playbook - rockin' it!

jeffydude05

I wish one of those owners would of accepted his bid for one of those teams...

onbberry

down 11% ...and well on its way to $3-$5
RiMM way beyond train wreck...

XPEH

At the beginning of the year, Jim B owned 29,013,312 shares or RIM. Mike L owned 28,936,320. So for the year they are both down approximately 1.3 billion. To me, that's one big reason that they'd wanna right this train. But it certainly looks like an "if it rains it pours" situation.

rootbrain

It was a train wreck waiting to happen. It's now happened.

Tariq.H

lol even the good news sounded a little pessimistic/negative to me.

jaymck

It's pretty simple really....

1 - Marketing sucks and always has but yes Jim should be canned for this failure Co-CEO or not
2 - RIM sat back way too long and didn't see the consumer needs/wants in the mobile phone market - way too concerned about the business side
3 - The horse blinders the co-CEO's are wearing - their time has come and gone time to move on - new blood is needed not after execution of BB10 now - sorry disagree with what was stated above.

Hence, RIM is where they are.

Like I put in my response to a RIM questionnaire about the Playbook - offer a business PB and a consumer PB with native email, contacts etc... or at least have the options there to turn it on or off by the IT Admin if they are so worried about it.

Here's another idea release BB10 phones for other countries without LTE and have the US market wait. If the phones are any good then people will wait or look forward to switching once the LTE comes to the US. It's not the only market and honestly I'm not sure RIM can even compete there anymore at least on the consumer side... business a different story.

Everyone is way too hung up on specs jesus the iphone doesn't have the best specs but it is still faster then pretty much everything out there.

You can't please everyone but there are some things they need to look at having to make people happy. A decent camera (front and back) everyone uses skype you bunch of clowns, a quick browser, a clean UI for the experience and finally they need to get devs on-board or develop their own kicking apps - ones that people actually use for both business and joe public. Games are fun and all but how many do you really need.

Less choices in phones like - 1 all touch, and 1 with a keyboard maybe a slider still but I'm not sold on that. Also, for other areas if they are looking for cheaper alternatives then scale back the specs: camera, chipset, memory blah blah. I believe it is easier for devs to tune apps to 2 or 3 different screen sizes and resolutions then what 10.

The only hope they have is to release OS 2 for the PB and it is actually good - something to talk about and hope for in things to come in their phones!

1magine

First- there are a ton of LTE phones out on the market now. Nothing at all wtong with the chipset in the thunderbolt. Its more crap from the world's bigest fertizer salesmen.

Next - BB is still a train wreck. Look at BB traffic! How can RIM be still SL far behind on this? Look at application space on Os7 devices. Look at the application marketplace and the absolute failure to bring developers into the platform. My god - theme studio isn't even out yet.

Current hardware, even putting aside the 'coma' bugs found needs a good hard look. Their flagship touchscreen device has a plastic screen and raised plastic buttons. And the company known for the best keyboards in the handheld business has released the worst virtual keyboard available on their flagship.

The future does not look bright either. Despite what apple has been pushing, virtually all video on the web is flash based. NFL, MLB, CBS, NPR etc. The decision to keep it off BB10 is idiotic at best.

matttehman

BB10 pushed back to Q4 2012 disapoints me, I am unhappy with my 9800, all the pauses and hiccuping... I decided to skip a BB7 phone with BB10 coming in Q1 2012. I hear the BB7 torch models behave the same as my 9800... Disappointed, RIM, very disappointed. I have been a BB man for 5 years now, avid supporter, many debates under my belt vs ios fanboi's. My opinion is being swayed now, over the past year... Maybe my loyalty has been misplaced?

Still have hope, but leaning ever so slightly towards train wreck...

Dark_Halmut

My GF has a torch 9810. Its fast as hell. Your app support is still well...

musical1806

I think it is a lack of marketing which is going to cause the train wreck. I am love my BB but when i walk into a store and see a wall of accessories and cases dedicated to the ipad and then i look round and see a PB on a small display not even switch on, plus the fact that on release I knew more about the PB the any staff member I came across (and probably still do) i feel that it smacks of a complete lack of corporate support for the product.

RealAdamPowell

I was a loyal BB owner for six years. I finally made my jump from BB to an iPhone 4S this past October and I couldn't be happier. I'm in no shape bashing BB. There are a few features I like about BB, but BB is way behind and seems to be a sinking ship. Too many frustrations with their phones, services, features, etc. Plus I hated the constant battery pull and freeze-up every now and again. I'm absolutely happy with my switch and it fits my lifestyle. I do hope RIM understands it's about the user and gets their act together or they won't be around much longer.

Joe257

Good products, great services. Unfortunately, some mis-steps has hurt them, but they need more tight control of development effort and more efforts to show what BlackBerry is all about -- MARKETING!
Some have suggested that something big has to change. I think Mike L might want to relinquish the title of President so he can get back into the "evangelism" role. The folks need to get fired up and want to sell the heck out of the good stuff they create.
RIM must go for broke! Forget holding out some features for version 2 -- who's the idiot selling that concept? Version 1 must the best it can be. All products must be the best they can be! Don't make cheap Curves anymore. All the 9900s and 9850/60s are going for less than $40 on sale! Where is the room for these cheaper Curves??? What's the cost of design, manufacturing, support, and third party app support???
BTW, BB10 is not a good name. UNITY is a much better name. UNITY is the best of BB OS and QNX, bringing together a brand new OS that simply rocks! A solid core plus the BlackBerry features folks have come to love! UNITY shows its UNIX/QNX roots but it also brings a cool new name to BlackBerry. Renaming BBX to BB10 shows a lack of vision and perspective... as was calling the 9850/60 a Torch! A last minute decision.

martinjdub

no BB10 till late 2012? ugh, that chaps my ass! damn

perhaps rim shouldnt say anything about release dates like another company i know of...damn

why not launch a hspa+ device then lte later? damn

i am FOREVER defending RIM at work and home....damn

Bb10 realease in Q1 was a gift from Apples 4GS blunder...a gift guys, they left the door open for you....warm lattes and hot cross buns just sitting there! damn

i suppose the other markets will keep you afloat till then but....damn!

qbnkelt

Looking at it dispassionately and without any emotional attachment to the brand, RIM is a train wreck.
I love the phones and have fought to remain positive. It's nearly impossible these days.
Will continue to buy BBerries for as long as they continue to satisfy me, but as an independent company doing business in the US, I believe that its days are numbered.

sbx9900

the most important thing is that RIM is making money. the price per share does not really matter much esp to consumers. For consumers, as long as the phones are doing what they are supposed to do, consumers should be happy.

For RIMM, as long as it is making money, it should be happy. More than a billion in net profits is huge. Why people keep on bashing RIMM despite the billions it makes is beyond me.

For investors, despite the low stock market price, they should be happy. They may be losing money now, but only on paper. A company that has been making money and gaining more subscribers around the world has nowhere to go but up, at least, in the near future. Once RIMM gets its momentum going again, investors will have a windfall....Now is the time to buy more shares....now is the time to invest....

rollingrock1988

you said they were covering up something. What are they covering up??????

guerllamo7

I love RIM products because they are secure, have push e-mail and messaging, they have awesome usability and intuitive menus that also provide great choice.
I think marketing is a big piece.

Go RIM!

juttin3

If I wasn't so aggrivated with my pos blackberry everyday then I would be telling people how great it is. But I complain so much about this phone. I will never ever buy another blackberry due to all the problems there phones have given me. Everyone I talk to at work feels the same way. They are fed up with there cheap quality antiquated technology phones. I probly waste more then a hour a day waiting for this phone to do what its supposed to. Marketing won't help. Yea it might sell a few extra phones but in the long run there done. They screwed up and now they want blackberry fans to wait almost another year for a up to date product. By the time they get there new phones out there will probly be some better faster technology out there. Ths is always what happens there always behind.

Khashayar24

The only thing we can make is to keep our cool.
RIM is on the market since 1999 so the people have still to learn a lot. But I am optimistic that 2013 is our year. I hate waiting but I am sure we will make it.
Dont give up hope guys.

ChainofThought

Goodnight RIM the end is near! :-(

xandermac

It took them 9-10 months to release a phone in 2011 and it looks like it'll take them the same 9-10 months to release a phone in 2012 however they're still around and will eventually bounce back. The only question is whether those two idiots will still be running the show. A $1 salary is merely a smokescreen to try and cling to power. They need to either recognize the market for what it is and adapt to it or they need to make room for someone that can. BB10 phones will be at least 1 year behind the curve (just like BB7 devices) if and when they're eventually released.

mawil1013

"Sure, they were profitable and managed to grow their subscriber base. "

RIM was profitable and did grow their subscriber base, I believe the problem is the stock market system which is cut throat. Too bad rim can't go back to private ownership and cast off greedy stock holders which mainly are large groups who demand gross returns or they run like cowards.

Nick Shadow

Another nightmare conference call. I read a lot and seldom post so I am going to make several points.

1. The marketing is a really big deal, and way overdue. The technical side of the phone, processors etc. goes way over the head of 99% of the users who buy phones, they don't care and don't understand. Rim is basically forgotten with the general consumer and thought to be old and clunky. The consumer has very little idea of what the phones can do and how to use them. Shame on Rim. My wife works for one of the major carriers and has for 20 years. Every possible combo of phone has been in this house. She is also constantly in touch with the retail channel, so we have some context.

2. Waiting for the next chip is probably smart, you never want to launch a new product with aging technology, you get beat up on the spec sheet and the product cycle is short. This is important to the carriers and more importantly, to the techies who write reviews and the people SELLING the product, they guide customers to what they think is hot and cool. So if they don't sell Rim (and it must be sold, not just order filled) then phones don't move. They need some cache. The consumer wants to feel like it is cool to own one. Read Apple.
3. Rim can be very successful with the rest of the world market. The second largest retailer in the world, behind Wal-Mart, is Carrefour (no USA market). But to leave the US out is dumb.

4. The dual CEO thing is a train wreck, and I think pressure will change this at some point.

Pretty windy, sorry

Nick

advil_yum

I had a bad feeling about last night based on conversations I've had with close sources to RIM. Yes I agree that Marketing has been crap, but that's not the reason they're faltering by a long shot. It's all about execution, as mentioned. They are a train wreck.
The delays are happening simply because they can't agree on, or figure out HOW to get BBM working on multiple devices. It's a technical problem and nothing to do with hardware. The system was never designed to work on multiple devices and they've gone numb on figuring out how to fix and change it. As a result nothing's getting done. When someone working there laughs and says, "they don't know how to fix it and don't have an idea how to", you've got problems!
If OS7.1 can tweak the system and get a little more speed, features and battery life out of current devices, then I think RIM can survive until next fall. They so, so, so desperately need BB10 to be everything people want and expect ("leapfrog the competition!"), they simply can't release it with parts not working. iPhone 5 will be out by then, as will iPad 3, and Android will be full-on into ICS, so RIM clearly has a HUGE mountain to climb by this delay. I can't wait to find out what happens, but I'm still saddened by yet another delay.
One thing I ask for in 2012; please don't let Lazaridis talk at any more conferences. He's so lifeless up there, it's embarrassing.

Robert22

9900 could be an incredible device, but it should have a much better camera with AF and a stronger battery. With the crappy camera and weak battery, which it has got, it is only an average phone. A big pitty. Two stupid simple things can destroy a legend. Which stupid person in RIM made this decision for 9900...I cannt understand it.

engineer2001

So, did RIM not listen at all to the carriers? They've been saying for months (some years, like Verizon) that they were all moving to LTE. Why is RIM still struggling to crank out an LTE phone? People don't require two days of battery life, or no Android LTE phones would sell ever. My Droid RAZR makes it about 4 hours if I leave LTE on. It makes it all day if I turn off LTE and use wifi or only turn LTE on to check emails/surf/etc when out and about.

Current LTE chipsets are battery killers. We understand that. But we want the speed in bursts when we need it. I am never going to buy a 3G device again after seeing 4G speeds. Unless they get a power-hungry LTE chip (that can be built TODAY) crammed in a phone and get it on the market, they are going to be behind the times and losing ground in the US. Waiting until more unobtainium is mined for their future devices and pushing slow 3G devices today will only result in more lost ground while the rest of us are seeing 15+ Mbps and blazing speed on our Android phones. If my RAZR can last hours and be super thin, why can't RIM cram a fatter battery in there (to make it the same size as most BlackBerry phones are already) and make the phone last all day with LTE on?

My point: The 9930 I bought my wife is nice (she had to have a BB again but doesn't like the slow-mo data), but I won't even consider a phone that doesn't have LTE, and why should carriers even sell them? More subscribers on 3G means more investment on 3G and less on LTE. Why invest money in the past when you can invest in the future? RIM had better get on the battery-drain train right away and give up on unicorns and future technology saving the day.

lang007

Their marketing SUCKS and that is the biggest problem right now. Do not announce something that is not going to come out for 6 or 7 months not good at all.

bergeronjc

RIM will announce that the handset division of the company is up for sale this time next year.

Why wait a year to announce it?

The CEO’s are supremely arrogant and won’t accept that they don’t know how to respond to the changing phone landscape, until they have to announce the BB 10 phones are being pushed out indefinitely.

They are going to announce at the end of 2012 that they were never actually successful in putting QNX onto a handset (thus pushing it out indefinitely), have decided to put up their handset division for sale and will focus on turning RIM into a services company like IBM.

lnichols

Great writeup Chris. I think the LTE excuse is a coverup for RIM simply not being able to get the OS ready. Look at the delays waiting for 2.0 on the Playbook, which should have everything but BBM. Maybe BBM on QNX is the issue that is delaying the phones. Maybe QNX isn't optimized enough for a tiny battery, large screen, and radio all sucking down power at same time. Also does this mean they are moving away from TI OMAP to something else, and if so what does this mean for BB10 being supported on the OMAP playbook for very long.

Lead_Express

There has been almost no good news for this company for a long time. No business can survive on the lack of strategy shown by RIM. They needed to be heavily advertising a year ago, not now that it's almost too late. PB should have been a soaring success with as solid of a product that it is. The OS7 phones should have never been released-they should have just pushed out the BB10 and put the resources there.

FryBerry

Here are a couple of questions that have popped in to my head when reading this article, and the pushing back of 2.0..........It seems like they made last minute decisions. First, the PB was announced last fall, and released six months later, when first announcing 2.0 it has almost been a year (minimum) to release. To me, that sounds like at some point they scrapped the entire project and started from scratch. Now, with BB10, it seems like at the last minute they said, "maybe we should make this an LTE phone" and are again starting from scratch. LTE has been out for a year or more, and only now are is the braintrust at RIM hearing about it?

I am user of RIM, and have all my employees using BB devices, but I am starting to think I could run RIM with more foresight that these guys.

BillW69

I love my 9800. It's a terrific telephone. It has a QWERTY keyboard. It bridges to my Playbook. It has a good camera (though front/back would be nice). It gets me on the web when I need to get there.
But, RIM is the most poorly-marketed company I deal with. They tell us how wonderful BBX is going to be and then expect us to buy OS7.
From here, I have no way of knowing which of the CEOs is at fault, but I absolutely know the company's sales are in the wrong hands.

Spinalguy

An excellent article.
I do have 1 question, how is it that RIM is always so far behind in addressing the wants/needs of the U.S. consumer?

Robert22

I dont understand the hunt for LTE. For most of the Blackberry users is EDGE still absolutelly enough - for emails, some browsing, BBM etc. RIMs management should realize, that young US people, which want to stream music, videos and play online games, will never buy Blackberries anymore. They have to be older to know, that Androids and iPhones are not the best tools for business. The Blackberry is and should stay a business phone.

Kekus

I'm also a RIM shareholder, and yes, I was a little disappointed at the delay of the BB10 devices, and yes, hind sight tells us that management has made some pretty big mistakes - marketing likely the biggest in my mind.

On the upside - they got burned bad from releasing the not so complete Playbook. Delaying products until they're bullet proof is their only option. Having the Google emulator is also another smart move - as they will become the platform of choice for many people. Third, and I feel most importantly, consumers are dynamic. RIM one day, Apple the next, now Android (Samsung, HTC, Motorola, blah blah blah). Most consumers don't give a rats ass about the platform - we do, because we get the finer details. Consumers want value - and value is a moving target that's influencd by marketing.

For me, the first real opportunity for RIM to stop this train wreck is to release, on time or even early, the OS 2.0 for the Playbook with all bells and whistles in place. Next they need to get their Fusion product running at some of thier biggest customers, again, on time. In other words, baby steps.

I for one will hold my shares for 3 reasons unrelated to financial performance.
1. I support my country, and it's businesses when the chips are down if I believe they are truely trying to fix things.
2. RIM has pumped more money into worthy causes than Apple, Samsung & HTC combined.
3. Finally, the only apps I really need on my 9900 are Bebuzz, BBM, the Flashlight and Solitaire.

This is where all my years of being a Leafs fan are paying off, there's always a glimmer of hope :-)

Clinto

Excellent Post Chris! And really, well done to the whole CB Team! I've been reading some of the comments left by Chris and CB Kevin and I'm impressed by the commitment that both of them have to this site and this particular article.
I am really not that worried about RIM, they are big, and still strong enough to survive 1 more year of bashing and stock worries.
I really disliked my old Blackberry phones, but my new 9930 is awesome. I really love it. And no one knows about this amazing phone. I think if they do some marketing to show off the potential of this device and then come out with a fix for the major bugs on the P.Book and also offer it in a 10" version AND THEN MARKET IT; I think they will do just fine next year. They'll make another 2 Billion Dollars, realease BB10 on Black Friday 2012 and they will hopefull get past most of this ugliness. Then they can move on to being a major player again. We just have to get thru 1 more lackluster year. I love my 9930 and can easily enjoy it for a year until they release BB10.

ghostzapper

A very smart move by many in their new direct campaign to lob criticisms at board members Roger Martin and Barbara Stymiest. Note to the astute - broaden your campaign to a full out frontal attack on all board members. This will be the only way to effect governance change at RIM.

Liquid_Revolver

I have been saying this for months...RIP RIM

Its over they have not blown anyone away, they dont even try

Darlaten

I'm pretty sure that Thomas the Tank could make better decisions about how to run RIM than the current CEO's.

Liquid_Revolver

LOL +10

HTC_DROID_EVO here and I am loving it

siddo_d

Rim is completly under marketed and that is turning it into a train wreck. The iphone 4s got so many adverts but I've only ever seen 5 for blackberry 7 trademark the 9900 or any others. C'mon rim you need to truly fix up.

Accell

two main problems with RIM is that 1) there faceless, apple always had Steve Jobs, and he could really grab an crowd. And 2) there products are not cutting edge, when was the last time you sore people camping out for the release of a new BB?

thecsman

If your idea of a successful product is to have blind sighted credit card wrecking youngsters camping to get immediate self reward just by holding a mobile phone, BB will never be the 'cool' phone you are expecting it to be.

jelp2

Everybody is going to have their opinion of what a good phone is. There will NEVER be the perfect phone that fits everyone. So that aside, after reading all the posts, it seems that marketing is a giant issue, at least in the States. I haven't seen anything here except for 1 ATT commercial and the PlayBook earlier in the year. Consumers have no idea of what RIM has to offer. BB7 is great in my opinion, and it needs to be marketed. Hopefully they stick to their words and start the advertising campaign now.

Robert22

RIM can never produce a good phone without a good camera and a strong battery. So the 9900 can never be a good phone. Thats a big pitty.

HabsSuck

that is why i bought my son the 9790

Laura Knotek

I've been waiting to upgrade since June. I skipped the OS7 devices, since I was waiting for BBX (now called BB10). Then I started seeing many of my friends' 9900/9930/9810 devices getting bricked, which put me off even more.

I am still using a 9700, but I certainly cannot imagine being satisfied with it at this time next year.

At this point, I have no idea what I'll get, but I'm not sure I'll want a BB10 device that might also have bricking issues and possibly won't be supported if RIM goes out of business. The "self-bricking" OS7 devices are especially problematic, since none of the previous models, not even the buggy Storm, had that issue.

I used Nokia prior to BlackBerry. I definitely want to check out Windows Phone on Nokia. However, Windows Phone does not seem to be taking off either.

I'll get something new next year, but what it will be is still up in the air.

Bahrutile

It just seems to me that they dont even seem to think they need to please the U.S. consumers- I moved to droid with the hopes that they would soon bring out a phone... the more I use my droid I long for the things i loved about my BB... Will RIM be able to provide us U.S. Consumers who have moved on from their product something worth coming back to? I hope so... It almost seems the cell phone industry is a game of double dutch and RIM has gotten to lazy to jump rope...

SC457

RIM seems in bad shape to me because the focus is on BB10 now. The majority of people don't even know how much better the OS7 devices are compared to the older OS5 and OS6 devices. MY 9900 is the best phone i've owned to date out of 9000, 9700, 9800, and 9810. I liked the 9810 but just prefer the form factor of a bold.

people still think the new devices are old since RIM isn't marketing to show off how much better they are. I've learned more about them from Crackberry's Youtube page then anything. They have some great commercials but for some reason they only show up on their Youtube page. I never see BlackBerry commercials on TV...

Laura Knotek

I am concerned about the bricking. The OS7 devices seem to brick for no apparent reason far too often, and this issue still has not been resolved. I cannot recall any previous device with that problem. When Kevin writes more than one blog post about a bricked 9900, something is seriously wrong with the hardware, software, or both.

SC457

understandable, i haven't had a problem with bricking on the 9900 or 9810.

jelp2

I haven't had a problem with my 9850.

trsbbs

It does not make any difference if the new BB is better than the old BB.

I MUST be better than its competition.

Marketing will not help to the degree that is needed until such time as RIM sells something folks want and feel is better than the rest.

Tim

Dark_Halmut

Sad but true. RIM is F'ed. No hope.

J_R_TheMotorMan

I should be in charge of marketing. Some strippers, about a million dollars and 3 cars and I can have rim in a spotlight so hot they'll think they've been sunburned. Live demos big asses and long legs. Wikitude, NFC and BBM and giant rims across the southern region. I can make rim hot like its never been. Mike and jim are too wholesome to advertise in this era. Give those guys some prune juice

tstrike34

^^^^^^-------This is what marketing that would apply the jumper cables to RIM.

El Platanero

I just don't see what RIM is doing to increase trust. It's pretty sad when the promise of early 2012 is allready assumed by most that it won't happen by then and the majority is proven right. Nothing has been done (pending this 7.1 upgrade) to fix the bricking of the 99xx phones and these are supposed to be the guaranteed buyers of the bb10.

Loyalty pays the bills, PERIOD!!! You can't move on to new devices and slow down the 2.0 for the Playbook and not fix the bricking problem. I don't have a large income but one thing that has kept me pulling out my wallet when RIM came out with a product has been dependability and when they leave me hanging, how do they expect me to run for the opportunity to purchase again? If they can't support their loyal customers, the ones that have afforded them free marketing, I am worried about their future.

Sulfuric

I think RIM is doing well overseas because the media there doesen't bash it as much as it does here in North America. RIM's unpopularaty has alot to do with unjustified poor press.

flnetman62

I am glad RIM hel an all-Amercias training session in Tronoto this week for Canada, US, and LatAm - and to share with them the goals adn plans, and show the new devices. But.....

1) Marketing - look at BlackBerry.com - do you see ANYHTING that says they have 4G devices? ATT, TMo, etc are advertising them as 4G - but RIM does not. Not even internally. Marketing sucks. Period.

2) Spending $5- $7 million on a Dance With the Stars show in LatAm with Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez (umm did RIM actaully pay the divorce attorneys?) does nothing to increase sales, and is a brand awareness campaing. RIM's entire marketing team is composed of brand aareness, with no tracking of sales results tied to activity.Channels marketing sales - which result in direct sales and metrics - are no longer funded....in fact, to meet margin numbers they reduced marekting: how does someone know you have a product when you don't tell them?

3) There is no RIM advertising, only carrier advertising. RIM considers marketing and advertising the same thing.Doing the same thing eery quarter and expecting different results is a sign of insanity - and poor management.

4) Poor management - egos need to be left at the door, and new management brought in. That means Jim and Mike as Co-Ceos have to go. Clean house of old boy network, and promote talent.

blue_k

RIM can pull it around if they release the BB 10 devices with little to no bugs, and if there are any bugs that are found, they can't be major. BB 10 also has to be able to meet or exceed the expectations of buyers. Also, marketing needs to be increased 10 fold to push these devices.

mdguy99

Train Wreck, pure and simple. The market has voted en masse, if it wasn't for the convoluted stock structure a private equity firm would have purchased them months ago, grabbed the cash and sold off the few remaining bits with any value left in Blackberry. I just hope the final loss of market share happens quickly so we don't have to watch this tradgic and sad death of an iconic brand much longer.

jelp2

If it wasn't for being a public company to begin with, they would be fine. Forget the stock price and the media, they need to advertise.

3Dee

Thomas the Tank Engine FTW

DocDRM

Just a quick input after reading everything - including Chris' and Kevin's additional comments. Especially the referrals here and places to batteries/battery life and what cameras can fit into phones:

What is up with this ridiculous attribution of "thinness" being the end all and be all for phones?

Early Curves were great. I LOVED my 9000! Loved the size, used the size as a REASON when convincing many other people to get one.
I have had a 9800 for about 5 months and have been satisfied, but I am dying to get a 9900.

Why do I want one?

CERTAINLY not because it's so thin!! I want it for the keyboard and the real estate! I WANT to feel a solid phone in my hands that doesn't seem fragile. Make it thicker, bigger battery, more room for cameras (front and back). It's almost like the fashion / modeling industries effect on body image - THIN IS IN. Ok, looks nice, but hows that eating disorder working out for you? Pack on the beef! Give me a solid phone NOT based/advertised on THIN (RZR?) and the complaints about battery life, lousy camera, no front camera goes away as major compromises go away.

Love every BB I've owned, in spite of each one's issues. Love the screen size on my 9800 (don't love the "cramped" keyboard) When I finally bite the bullet for my 9900, I will LOVE the keyboard, (but miss the screen size of 9800) When the BB10s hit, I will hope/wish/wait for a keyboard, or bite the bullet and go virtual.

I'm willing to make concessions as noted above, I just don't get the whole "thin" obsession when it compromises features.

Miso Bill

You need rails to have a train wreck! They (2 two guys) have blown that company up!

Miso Bill

can't say I've seen a train wreck marketed before. Good luch!

beantown85

I have one of the new BB Bold's and I like it, so I really can't concern myself with the phones that are coming out in 2012, especially since I plan on this phone lasting me for another 2 years.

I also am disgusted by people on both sides of the iphone/blackberry bickering as well. I just don't get why people would complain (on both sides) if you are actually happy with the product you paid for, it just doesn't make sense to me at all.

highos

Lots of comments made by people saying that it's stupid of them to be waiting for an LTE chipset that fits their needs and they should make an HSPA phone instead. Can't disagree with this at all, especially when you consider that HSPA is huge market and covers several different carriers in different regions and not just the USA-but also Europe and Canada for example are huge when it comes to HSPA in the near future. They aren't exactly ignoring this market segment considering they do have BB OS7 devices there, but... yeah. BBOS is not the future and not what investors want to hear about even if they do have +75 million current subscribers-they are interested in what tomorrow offers just like consumers.

Yes, LTE is available.. or should I say being deployed considering it is still very young and coverage can be seriously lacking depending on where you go but it is THE future, no doubt at all. I could definitely see this being a huge problem with them and Verizon-as others have state they've made it clear that they need LTE devices on their network.. I mean their other option-which isn't really an option-is CDMA and let's be honest-nobody really wants to upgrade into CDMA. You can't even take a voice call and do data at the same time-get with the times!

However I totally disagree with everyone saying that they should just use current gen LTE chipsets/hardware. Yes, RIM is usually late to the game with the hardware they offer, but at the same time when they pick something it is usually VERY solid and has proper power management and you generally get a solid experience out of it. Have you guys used the current LTE stuff? It's junk. Maybe if you don't mind being tethered to an power cord all the time, but let's be realistic it's still early in the optimization of the chipset game-so I have no problem with them needing to take the time to look at better options... it's just a shame they are ignoring the HSPA+ market because of it. That seems a little short sighted but perhaps focusing long term isn't a bad idea-maybe that's exactly what they need to do.

There was some insightful comments made about how they ignored the North American market and this is SO, SO, SO TRUE. I recall listening to CrackBerry Podcasts back in 2008-2009 where Kevin was going on and on about how RIM kept telling him that the developing countries is what they were putting a huge focus on as the market was still very young there and they could capture the entire market place fairly easily... and that's exactly what they did in a lot of ways. But at the same time they did ignore the North American market and now they've become a third class citizen in their own home turf-it's a shame but also reality at the same time.

I'm torn. I still believe that RIM has a vision of where they want to go that could potentially change the game as we currently know it, however they've definitely not made it easy on themselves when they keep *not* hitting their release timelines or promising features they don't deliver. They need to learn to STFU and only talk about things they know they can do in the short term. You want to show off stuff as a prototype? Sure no problem, but do it the way TAT does it. Show it as a long term vision thing, not something that you say you can deliver in the next 3, 6, 9 months and then fail at doing so. That's what got them into this whole mess.

--
They've identified their biggest flaw-that they haven't been marketing and showing the North American market what their products are capable of offering, and let's be honest the vast majority of consumers hardly even know how to use most platforms app stores. If it doesn't come with the device... good luck. People are learning but you'd be surprised how many people I meet that don't even know how to go get a third-party app downloaded-regardless of the platform. This is basic stuff here, but something that when you start talking about the average consumer can be a big deal. Let's not even get into how retailers push so much misinformation about products because of lack of training / lack of information provided to them.

You know what might be the biggest problem? RIM is so tied to the carriers and what they demand... it would be awesome if they could sell direct like they have been doing with the PlayBook recently! Someone in these comments made this remark-a very interesting perspective: Perhaps RIM should make an Dual-Core HSPA 'SuperPhone' running BlackBerry 10 (PPOS/QNX) and release it to Europe/Canada where the market is smaller and get all the kinks worked out while they spent the time getting a proper LTE design in place so that when they do release it to Verizeon/US market it's rock solid and all the little issues are sorted out.

This could get especially interesting if they made it 'exotic' or hard it get to the US-centric media, bloggers, analysts, and consumers by initially offering it in another market. They would still report all the bad they see, but they probably wouldn't focus on it constantly because it would be a product their users would not be able to purchase so there's not much point hating on it-but it would give them something to check out and take a look at and realize that Very Soon Now(tm) they would be getting something similar-but improved and even faster.

They totally screwed up the PlayBook Launch... but even considering the failures they've had at delivering features and patches on time or not even realizing what most consumers or users view as 'essential' requirements-these are all things you have to expect to run into.. they can turn into nightmares for you.. until you have the time to sort them out-which is what we're seeing with the PlayBook now.
But the key thing most people don't realize about the PlayBook is that the PlayBook software is what they are going to be basis their entire product platform line on. Not just for tablets, but phones, and even cars when you consider how integrated QNX is with manufacturers. It was something that had to be done and there are still problems.. but long term they will sort them out. These things take time and they will have complete control over the platform-the entire package. Unlike all the Android or Windows Phone manufacturers. There is something to be said about having a package deal.

There's all kinds of interesting things coming with NFC, Mobile Payments, BlackBerry Tag, BlackBerry Fusion (integration of BES/non-BB devices with policies into a corporate environment), all their recent companies they've purchased that could tie into some very interesting cloud computing environments-just read some of the other comments in this blog post-some great observations were made.

It's an interesting perspective. And again, as much as it's hurting them because BB OS7 is nothing more then a stop gap.. you know what? The OS7 devices are actually very solid device (and fast for once!) and outside of very key apps for some people it's a perfect device and suits their needs for the most part. Of course, they probably don't have the time considering some of the stories I've heard about how they can't even figure out how to get BBM working with multiple pins. Just makes me shake my head in frustraction considering it seems to me they have everything they need with BlackBerry ID already setup. They just need to tie all of this stuff together once and for all!

Sometimes you need to just pick a direction or vision and go for it. That kinda looks like what they are doing it. Only time will tell now! RANT DONE

BBPandy

Anandtech has a good article explaining why we will not have LTE iPhone 5 till 2nd half of 2012. It's a good read, & I suspect is the same reason we won't have BBX (I refuse to call them BB10) phones till the 2nd half of 2012

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4925/why-no-lte-iphone-5-blame-28nm-maturity

peter9477

The truncated link doesn't work, but it does if you just strip off everything after the "4925".

Good read... I think you've nailed it.

BerryDiva

It's time for RIM's BOD to remove their Co-CEOs and put someone in charge who will instill investor and customer confidence. Not much more to be said. If the current leadership thinks that anything short of late Q1/early Q2 is acceptable for them to push a market competitive device to regain lost marketshare is a clear indicator that they are in need of new leadership.

ibcop

Research in Slow Motion.

saudi_king

What a sorry excuse for a headline and article. I am not surprised at this bias actually. Daily, traders and speculators have a vested financial interest in pumping up the stock of a certain company, or systematically devaluing a company so they can make a quick buck. Shame on you Chris and the other trolls. You know, if you want to bash RIM, there are other sites devoted to Android and Apple products. Please don't do it on crackberry.com.

BeckerSK

The CO CEO must go! They are not up to the task. Where is the board of directors? They should have been fired a while.

br14

Anyone holding RIM stock cannot possibly provide an unbiased viewpoint. Not to mention the fact that it severely compromises your viewpoint (who'd be crazy enough to have bought RIM stock in the first place).

RIM's stock price is entirely sentiment based, which had made it a prime target for short sellers. They've had their fun, made a fortune, and hopefully now will leave RIM alone to get on with business.

The idea that a company that is growing sales and revenue, has no debt, and is investing for the future is somehow at deaths door is not only ridiculous but completely illogical.

I'm sorry for those that have lost a fortune on RIM, but the fact is tech stocks are extremely volatile.

RIM has a terrible record of managing customer expectation. Largely because their senior management is either inexperienced, incompetent or exploitative. Jim Balsillie isn't even in the same league as was Steve Jobs when it comes to strategic marketing and power plays.
(The reason is that Jobs didn't leave anything to chance. If he needed a good review he wasn't about to let someone else write it).

The BB10 fiasco is a case in point. We have a perfectly serviceable OS in BB7, but somehow it will never be enough because RIM led us to expect BB10 (or BBX!).

At the same time they cast off thousands of Java developers telling us to learn C, Actionscript or HTML5.

You couldn't have dreamed up a scenario more likely to drive developers away. And yet we still make more money on BlackBerry than on other platforms. so despite the hopelessness of RIMs marketing efforts we'll still be around next year when they need us.

If the co-CEO's go the company will fall apart.

rim_investor

Down about 80%...what a nightmare!

VanCity778

I love my BB but they are headed for doom and gloom. It really is not RIMs fault. It all comes down to apps. The platform with the most apps wins. It's really sad to see this. The OS7 phones are fantastic but Android comes out with a new phone every month and Apple has an app for everything.

I love my BB kb. I use my phone for email and that about it. It does what it does better than everything else on the market. If i wanted an app to learn how to take a piss on the planet Mars i would buy an Apple.

Nogrentain

So...RIM takes 2.5 years to launch the first phone with QNX, but launches a QNX device nonetheless within 1-1.5 years. That's an unacceptable length of time, but Android takes over 5 years, 3 years and 2 months for the first phone to launch, and that's cool. Yeah, RIM needs to hurry up and launch it yesterday, but they also have the cash and growth to afford to delay a few more months to get something out just right. Longer than that? Not really. So which is it? Launch a half-baked product early, playbook style, or make something to wow?

JackKennedy

The problem, my lad, with this clusterfuck of monstrosity is that there are nothing wowing about London/Milan from the released information. People were feeling quite negative about Milan, aka Dell Venue Pro upgrade. There is something seriously wrong about the delay purely for the LTE chip. In a customer perspective, most of us don't care about LTE support, we all expect RIM to be launching something 2013 too that will have LTE support and many of us do not expect to see a miraculous surge in LTE usage. RIM is in a sense saying that the consumers should wait for something that is almost useless to them and not making any indication of improving the strongly disliked design.

djrupey

These forums are inevitably inhabited by geeks and users with an interest in how to get the best out of their phone, but this leads to endless debate about technical specifications when the real problem for RIM isn't the specs (although they are important) but the marketing. It is abysmal.

If I build a better moustrap, will the world beat a path to my door? No, not on account of it being better, but on account of me telling them so and making them want to trap six mice at once.

It doesn't matter how wonderful or cutting-edge a phone is, if it is not marketed well, it won't sell. When the iPhone 4s was launched, I received a message on my Storm 1 telling me about it, even though I have never had an iPhone or any other Apple product apart from iTunes (briefly). When the BB7 phones were launched, I heard zilch from RIM. They could easily have
sent me a text or email to get me fired up about the new Torches and the Bold. Nobody I know has the faintest idea what Blackberry phones are available, not unless they go into a phone shop. But everybody knows about the iPhone 4s. Lots of people know about Android phones. They don't know the details, they just know that Android is out there, it's popular, and unless you have an iPhone they are the in thing to have. They don't give a toss about whether it is single core, dual core or whatever, all they care about is what is can DO. And RIM isn't telling them what Blackberrys can do. It's the classic mistake of engineering/techie-led companies, thinking that because the Playbook has amazing multitasking, it will sell itself. It won't.

If it wasn't for me selling the Torch 9850 to my brother when his Storm 2 contract ended, he would probably have gone the iPhone or Android route. RIM owes me one for that.

Blackberry is still the biggest selling brand here in the UK (with Android the biggest OS) but unless RIM get their act together and ramp up the advertising, especially on TV, they will get trampled on by IPhone, HTC, Samsung and the rest.

I haven't seen a single ad for the Torch 9850 here in the UK, anywhere. Not on TV, not on radio, not in print, not on posters. It's a great phone, and my brother is very pleased with it, but its position in the public consciousness is zero. No wonder RIM is going down the pan. They are relying entirely on the networks to push their phones, and that is a big, big mistake. What RIM need is for people to be going into phone shops and asking for their phones by name. Apple, HTC, Samsung and the other big players understand that, which is why they are rapidly gaining market share.

tharrison4815

You make a very good point. I know how popular BB is here in the UK but its definitely going down slowly. And you're right I think the marketing is poor. As I've mentioned in my other comment I've never been interested in any BB1-7 phones. I'm only here for the PlayBook and BB10. So I have no knowledge of current BB phones at all and as a good example of what you are saying: I have no idea what a Torch 9850 is. I know what a Torch is but wtf is 9850? Is that the newest? The oldest? Version 2/3? How many torches are there? I have no idea. And being a tech savvy person and having a great interest in the mobile space that just goes to show how poor the BB marketing really is. Why don't they just market it as the Torch 3 or whatever it is and leave the model number for the spec sheet like Samsung. The Galaxy S II is technically the GT-i9100 but they never ever market it as this.

The iPhone has clear branding. You know a 4S is an improvement on the 4. And Apple tell you in a few simple words what it's main features are. Nice clean marketing for the consumer so they don't get confused in a world of numbers and specs.

tharrison4815

Well I have never been interested in BB before the PB. I really hate every BB phone made to date because of the terrible OS (no offence to BB1-7 fans) and the only reason why I now have a huge interest in RIM and spend a lot of time on Crackberry is because of QNX/BBX/BB10. I've been very interested and have been waiting and waiting.

I have a Palm Pre 2 and I've been having many issues with not receiving texts unless I restart my phone periodically and not receiving/dropping calls etc, so I'm desperate for a new phone and so far I've been holding off under RIM's promises. But with the recent announcement I think it's time to give up and invest in WP7/Android/iOS. Not sure which yet as I've not really got much of an interest in any of them but I surely can't keep this phone and with the amount of mobile web browsing I do I'm certainly in need of a decent smart phone.

I would love for the BB10 line to be a success but RIM seem to take soooo long to do anything it's unreal, just like with the PlayBook OS updates. So to me their problem is simply how slow they are to get things done.

BBPandy

Well looks like you will be getting an android then becuase the iPhone 5 is delayed till 2nd half of 2012 due to LTE chipsets (exactly like BBX phones) And I'm hearing that the Nokia phones are as well.

The change from a 45nm process to a 28nm process has been a lot harder then chip manufacturers expected. No one is making low powered LTE chips right now, & are all expeting it to be mid 2012 before they are able to.....lets just hope these guys don't run into any more problems.

I for one do not want a BB with a 3 hour battery

Hloewen61

One point that no one is making is that a few years ago RIM had no domestic US competition and now both the iPhone and all the android phones are essentially US phones (or percieved that way). Americans are amoung the most protectionist people on earth. Americans buy American so it's no big surprise that RIM is going to face increasing challenges in the US. It may not matter what they do.

The fact that RIM is still doing well outside of US is encouraging - especially if they are doing well in Europe. Europeans tend to value quality much more than price and if they can preserve their customer base in Europe that is a very good sign.

The idea of changing co-CEOs is nuts. They have a strategy that is sound (actually quite good - they've made a number of very very smart acquisitions over the past couple years that show they recognise weaknesses and take action to correct those weaknesses) and they are executing it. The fact that it is taking longer than expected is nether here nor there. Switching operating systems is a very big deal and it will take as long as it takes.

Maybe they need more marketting but maybe not. If they can remain competetive without spending a ton of money on advertising then more power to them. Having to spend a lot of money to get the word out on your product is a sign of weakness not good marketing.

It is not a good idea to pay too much head to the animal sentiments of the stock market. The market has a very short term view. RIM was obviously way too high at its peak and is now probably badly undervalued.

Cantime77

The 9900 Bold is an awesome phone but it took them three years to get it updated from 9000... this was such a flop. Really?...three years?
So they finally had a refresh of their phones...
And now everyone expecting Spring completed redesigns again, with a new OS?
Naah... I will just pay myself a million and sit on my ass until late next year.

flhr

This is how I see things. I love my 9900 and would buy another in a heart beat. Though not as functional as i like, I love my playbook and see great potential in it. If the potential is never realized it will be a shame but so be it. I have used a lot of different phones and they all have their good and bad points. if one day RIM is gone or the blackberry just becomes another apple or android i will go back to a dumb phone because of serveral reasons, the lease being security.

I see a lot of people moaning about share prices. all i can say about that is, who cares. The only people that care about share price are people foolish enough to buy shares in ANY company, all publicly traded companies and exchanges are a joke. If RIM was a private company the conversation would be completely different. That is a topic better left for another day.

Another issue to a lot of you appears to be in importance of the American market. Yes that is important but not for long. With the recent declaration of marshal law in the USA via the passage of S1867 and the very rapidly imploding American economy, the American market will become a wasteland that will not recover for hundreds of years.

If I can have a phone as good as my 9900 is now, and if RIM uses bankruptcy to jettison a bunch of moaning investors so it can survive then i am perfectly happy with that. I don't care if RIM in #1 or #10 in the market place. If they are making a product I like and they make enough money to keep the lights on thats good enough for me.

If one day my blackberry is no more and my choices are apple or google then i will go back to a dumb phone or no phone because they don't deserve my business with the way they treat their customers data and privacy.

coffee-turtle

Is this another Palm-aggedon?

D.Vader

All right RIM, you have all these BB7 phones Rocking 1GHz CPUs+ that means you need to put QNX on these Muther Loving Phones.

Get to work! LOL

maxjsalas

Ive been a blackberry user since the javelin 8900, and since then I´ve been faithfull to the brand. But everything just fell apart when the Torch 9800 came out, it was new, attractive and expensive, but slow, heavy and the overal feeling was old tech, slider phones are tacky period. And now the blackberry 7 phones are not really new and improved, they´re just redesign and better looking.
The mistake is the lack of new ideas approaching the future, like apple they do have an imagination for the things to come. RIM simply does not. They are focused in how to fix the damage, not proposing something new and excited. If we take that along with the service outage and the extra sucky playbook, we have my friend the end. Time is everything, and RIM dug its on grave with the delay of BBX. Basicly 3 years? Fail big time.
So Kevin, from a blackberry user from Caracas Venezuela, Blackberry is plain dead dude. Move along!!!!!!!!!
Thanks!

maxjsalas

Ive been a blackberry user since the javelin 8900, and since then I´ve been faithfull to the brand. But everything just fell apart when the Torch 9800 came out, it was new, attractive and expensive, but slow, heavy and the overal feeling was old tech, slider phones are tacky period. And now the blackberry 7 phones are not really new and improved, they´re just redesign and better looking.
The mistake is the lack of new ideas approaching the future, like apple they do have an imagination for the things to come. RIM simply does not. They are focused in how to fix the damage, not proposing something new and excited. If we take that along with the service outage and the extra sucky playbook, we have my friend the end. Time is everything, and RIM dug its on grave with the delay of BBX. Basicly 3 years? Fail big time.

So Kevin, from a blackberry user from Caracas Venezuela, Blackberry is plain dead dude. Move along!!!!!!!!!

Thanks!