Shockingly bad numbers, for a company that was expected to produce bad numbers. Exceeding expectations, but not in the direction you'd want :(
edit: more numbers from same article:
"RIM said it shipped 7.8 million BlackBerrys and 260,000 PlayBook tablets in its last fiscal quarter, which ended June 2. Analysts had projected 8.8 million smartphones and 280,000 tablets, according to a survey of 10 analysts. A year earlier, RIM shipped 13.2 million BlackBerrys and 500,000 PlayBooks."
BB10 is QNX, which RIM acquired 2 years ago. They were ready to ship QNX when they were bought, so the 2 year delay is just evidence of RIM's inability to ship on time.
Sad to see what was such a giant misstep so badly and so consistently. :(
I've no idea where you're getting that but when they QNX was not ready to ship anything on mobile back then. They've been building the whole ecosystem around the core QNX system.
What does that mean? QNX is an RTOS meant for embedded devices. They were already shipping and still shipping QNX for medical devices etc.
I tried and failed to compose a meaningful comment, so, quite simply: I'm switching to Android later this year. Probably a Galaxy SIII.
My current BB is my first smartphone, which I suspect is why I have such a fondness toward it. The fact that Blackberry data plans are dirt cheap and unlimited also didn't hurt.
But features are lacking. For example: If I create a playlist, I cannot change the playlist order. So I was looking forward to BB10 to hopefully achieve something resembling feature parity with iOS and Android. I was checking Crackberry.com twice per day just to hear the latest on BB10. I eagerly digested the reheated leaks of the 2 models and the new BBM interface.
But I can't wait any longer.
Digicel, the dominant carrier in Jamaica, just launched 4G yesterday. Hell, the ad's playing on the radio right now! Prices aren't too shabby (USD17 for a 1GB plan). I can afford it.
It makes sense for me to switch, too. My many domains are all hosted on Google Apps. I use Postbox as my email client because of how well it supports Gmail. Might as well complete the last mile.
Goodbye, RIM. I'll always remember you.
Those able to reliably capture the impact of this negative publicity inside of a model will be very wealthy... but I can imagine Google expanding into deeply into investing, should they ever produce satisfactory results.
Somewhat off-topic, but this caught my eye: USD17 for a 1GB plan [in Jamaica]
Verizon now charges USD50 for 1gb. Have any insight as to why there is such a significant disparity? Does Jamaica have (i) more carrier competition, (ii) pricing regulations, (iii) lower spectrum demand relative to geographic area or (iv) are there other factors you're aware of?
Regarding the pricing, I see from the image that your USD50 plan gets you 1GB data plus unlimited talk and text. The USD17 here is only for the data; voice and text are priced separately. My USD40 plan gets me 165 minutes and 165 text messages, with a subsidised rate for anything exceeding that.
Jamaica has 2 mobile carriers, Digicel and LIME (formerly Cable & Wireless). How these two have competed is an absolutely fascinating look at regulation, branding and consumer behaviour .
Until 1962, Jamaica was a British colony. Hence, Cable & Wireless, a British company had a monopoly on telecommunications. Like any good capitalist knows, this led to atrocious service. I grew up in rural Jamaica, and we applied for a landline for years before we got it. C&W just didn't care, and, as Jamaican's are wont to do, we gave them our own name: "Careless & Worthless." (pronounced 'kayliss' [hard k] and 'wutliss' in Jamaican patois.)
In 2000 or 2001, the then People's National Party (PNP) government, under Technology Minister Phillip Paulwell, liberalized the telecoms sector, and granted a cellular license to the Irish-owned Digicel. Digicel launched in April 2001. 100 days later, they had 100,000 customers. Literally 1000 customers per day, in a country of population 2.8 million. (Take that, SociaLocoMobi startups :))
People flocked to Digicel. I mean, it was just amazing. Soon, people with C&W phones were few and far between. Digicel introduced GSM technology (as opposed to C&W's TDMA), per-second billing, Pay As You Go (you buy prepaid cards at retail stores, corner shops and street vendors.) They drove home their advantage with excellent marketing - they branded themselves as 'young' and 'hip' as opposed to the 'old' and 'stodgy' C&W. They sponsored football. They sponsored cricket. They sponsored track and field (They have sponsored Usain Bolt for years). Their coup de grace was the talent competition 'Rising Stars', - American Idol meets Jamaican music. It was, and is, a phenomenal success, and has launched the careers of major artists in Jamaica, such as Christopher Martin and Romain Virgo.
Digicel was, and still is mostly viewed as Jamaica's 'Mobile Messiah'. They 'saved' us from the eternal damnation of C&W.
Digicel was on top, and C&W was forced to respond.
C&W did this by upgrading to GSM in July 2003, and rebranding as 'bmobile'. For weeks, there were flyers in the shape of the power symbol on your laptop everywhere, with the cryptic message "Get ready to be switched on." No one knew what it was, until the public was invited to an event. 'Twas a huge event - airshow with stunts, the whole shebang. It signaled the start of an era where C&W would spend hundreds of millions of dollars in marketing trying, but failing, to regain market dominance. Quite simply, Jamaicans hated C&W. They replaced about 6 CEOs in a few years.
The kicker is that after this new rebranding, C&W provided better value. Calls were cheaper. Data (GPRS) was cheaper. But the public simply did not care. My older sister, for example, could not be paid to switch from Digicel, and many people share that sentiment. C&W, now bmobile, was in decline. But they would not bow out without a fight.
They rebranded as LIME (Landline, Internet, Mobile, Entertainment) in 2008, and introduced 3G. But they still could not compete, and continued to rack up losses.
But something was amiss, which was not widely known until late last year: When the telecom sector had been liberalised, the regulatory body, the OUR (Office of Utilities Regulation), had decreed that Digicel be granted favourable interconnect fees, so that C&W could not force them out by charging them exorbitant fees to connect to their network. However, Digicel was allowed to charge C&W very high interconnect fees. This was only supposed to last for a few years at most, but continued until a few weeks ago!
As a result of that disparity in interconnect fees, those with C&W phones found it very expensive to call Digicel subscribers, providing them with even more incentive to switch.
Late last year, the PNP was returned to power, and Phillip Paulwell reinstated as Technology Minister. One of the things he has done recently is to set a standard interconnect rate. LIME capitalized by slashing rates across the board, and Jamaicans rejoiced and are finally paying attention. Digicel responded by taking the OUR to court, arguing that procedure was breached. It is still before the courts, but the act has cast a negative light on Digicel. They responded a few days ago by launching the 'Sweet' plan with massively reduced call rates, but per-minute billing and reduced free offers. So the air is rife with the scent of competition, as both of them are gearing up to do battle, to the benefit of Joe Consumer.
A few days ago, when they launched the 'Sweet' plan in reaction to LIME's rate slash, they took their street team to middle of New Kingston, the business district, and had dozens of people dancing, and handing out flyers. Apparently, LIME got wind of it, and rounded up their own street team to make their presence felt. I'm told that due to the some police presence, they were not able to do so.
Very, very interesting times are head. And I'm loving it.
NB. I'm not a supporter of the PNP; but the facts are the facts - they did a better job than the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) where telecoms are concerned.
Sounds like the playing field was evened once the interconnect fees were standardized. It's a shame that we are so far behind in the U.S., at a very fundamental level. Most networks here (particularly the two largest -- AT&T + Verizon) are totally incompatible.
Anyway, thanks again for all that detail, very interesting stuff.
One thing in the US that would never fly in Jamaica is being charged for incoming calls. C&W used to do that when they were the monopoly, but Digicel didn't it. If any of them tried it now, there would be riots in the streets.
Most Jamaicans are on PAYG (or prepaid) plans. As a result, we usually pay full price for phones, whereas you guys can get a high-end smartphone for $200 on a 2 year contract.
It turns out that my sister was actually at the launch of The Galaxy S3 last night! She came back ooh-ing and ahh-ing...
I'll still be developing for BlackBerry 10, and BlackBerry 7 will still be my daily device. But I will be shifting my focus to Android for now, for strategic reasons.
RIM dun goofed if they're losing people like me.
I thought of getting the Galaxy Nexus due to the stock Android, but my carrier in Jamaica just launched the quad-core S3 for USD 715, so I'm gonna go with that.
What's your PIN? Might as well enjoy it while it lasts...
Wanting an updated OS != obsession over OS updates.
 The latest financial statements at http://press.rim.com/content/dam/rim/press/PDF/Financial/FY2... show that the company ended the quarter with close to $1,467 million in cold hard cash and $780 million in investments, and no debt (page 8). Moreover, all of the reported loss came from non-cash accounting write-offs and accelerated amortization; the company's combined cash and investments actually increased during the quarter, from $2,111 million to $2,247 million (page 9) -- that's right: they ended the quarter with more money than they started!
So were they already doomed by the time they chose to act or did they misunderstand the dilemma they faced?
It was both. After years of tech homogeneity, people were looking for a change. Apple came along and it was young and fresh, fun and had awesome technology to boot.
The incumbents were slow to act. When they did act they failed to recognize that it was a branding problem as well as a technology shortfall. They are toast.
Nokia could have done that too. Maemo was comparable to (or better than?) Android in 2007. If they had really understood what made the iPhone a success, they could have spent a year repositioning Maemo to be competitive with iOS, just like Google did with Android.
Of course, they didn't since they were already heavily invested in Symbian, and that's why they stumbled.
Maybe Nokia could have made a technically competitive smartphone in 2008 but they didn't. Why not? They thought they were competing on technology and that they had time. They weren't though. They were in the middle of a market changeover and they didn't see it.
If they came out with a phone that was technically competitive I don't think people would have bought it. They have one today and it's sales are disappointing.
If you already had a Nokia your default choice was usually a new Nokia. And they had a pretty strong brand at the time (and 70-80% market share?).
It's also out of this world how this company can't figure out left from right - they haven't released a single product since the failure that was the "new" Blackberry Bold 9900 - which was a miserable device that crashed 5x a day.
And now they're not releasing anything until 2013. Makes you wonder if they're just buying time in the form of bullshit product roadmaps in the hope of an acquisition.
It should not take this long to release a new device, a new OS or whatever the hell they are doing over there.
It's a shame, BIS and BBM are two great services, but their OS is just such dated trash.
Definitely agree on the battery life issue. But I don't mind since I'm never far from a USB port.
For example images attached to text messages on my wife's Galaxy II open as a slideshow or something and are displayed as a thumbnail, and as far as I can tell that is a common Android issue and there is currently no workaround.
It's too bad RIM hasn't been able to execute better on upgrades.
In a conference call with analysts,
Heins said getting the new system
right was more important than doing it quickly.
“I will not deliver a product to the market
that is not ready to meet the needs of
our customers,” said Heins.
These guys are sitting in the armory of their castle, polishing their weapons, and the barbarians have already stormed over the ramparts, smashed through the walls and set fire to most of the village. But no, it's more important to get those weapons "just right".
Or to look at it another way, if BB10 is in such a parlous state that after all these delays it still cannot be shipped then there are huge, enormous problems with the technical competency inside RIM. And if that is true then we can assume that it will never ship in good shape because time is not actually a solution to such problems.
- no IMAP folders means that I can't get two-way sync without getting every single email, no way to avoid 'bypass inbox' mails, it's that or just one way
- software, and social integration on the PlayBook is really bad and too 'alpha' (hm, can't even send a DM typing the twitter account name) to be used.
And we have unstable software, lacking of the most basic functionality (like… editing bookmarks, storing notes, and with frequent glitches and bugs, disappearing folders…)
You cannot get adoption with such a bad experience, and that's why I understand that BB10 is the way to go. Their hardware is excellent, their software is a few years (and thousands of lines of code) behind of where it should be.
If you cannot attract developers, hire them and make your own ecosystem. In the end, social networks and usual convenience apps (weather, netflix, browser, twitter, facebook, presentations, sync, calendar, contacts) with a good support is all you need to attract a decent user base.
If every time someone tries out my PlayBook they run into a stupid glitch or crash, it's clear that they aren't going to buy one, even if it's cheap and it's a real beauty in terms of hardware and underlying system.
And my dad isn't going to get a new BlackBerry either. They're getting more expensive and he still can't have a decent Gmail integration without stupid 'features' like skipping inbox or two-way sync. There is no flexibility, menus are still too complicated and messy.
It's no wonder that they're making losses. I guess I'm the only one still sticking to BB out there without hating it or being forced to…
Think down the road to when most of us will be moving on from Google to the next great "thing"
I know when that time comes that I will be forever thankful that I was able to share personal documents with family members overseas using Google Drive.
We should be thanking them for being a part of the cycle that is the modern world of technology; a stepping stone and a changing interface for information exchange.
Life goes on. And thank god for RIM.
Given the current trends, taking into account that BB10 has been delayed yet again, and extrapolating that into even more obsolete phones which will sell even worse than they do now, it will be a miracle if RIM is not bankrupt within that timeframe.
Just look at the numbers. They can't afford to keep bleeding like they do now for that long. And they certainly can't afford the increased bleeding the lack of BB10 will cost them.
Six quarters is way too late. If noone has bought RIM within four, there will be no saving them.
Hard to see how that's a win for anyone except Ellison and his army of patent lawyers.
Oracle definitely has the money, patience and will to go against Android and iOS in the enterprise space. And BB does have a Java story which suits Oracle.
The question is whether Oracle needs to get into the mobile space. They could just as easily sell apps for iOS/Android or add better mobile front ends to their eBusiness Suite.
Users rule now, and users are consumers. They don't want to carry two devices, one for home, one for work. The home one being technically advanced.
The cost of the IT fortresses is prohibitive and it is now being understood that IT departments with overzealous IT security policies ruined the actual use cases of technology.
Top15 big pharma co. BB as the corporate standard, fully locked down. PIN lock activates the sec the screen goes dark. PIN is a alphanumeric password. Camera, Browser - pretty much everything is disabled. Windows Notebooks? VPNs, rotating passwords, dongles, e-mail mailboxes of 500mb, no e-mail retention, etc.
IT argues that this makes them "compliant".
Then, suddenly, strangely coincidental with the rise of Apple post 2007 a big shift starts. SaaS solutions are starting to replace on-premise stuff, Big pharco has realized that their IT really sucks in terms of its job. The headcount, cost overhead is in no relation to the pain it causes. Everything is no, everything takes ages, when it arrives it is unusable.
And now we are at bring your own device. Whatever works. iPads everywhere. iOS takes care of security and OS updates. No more we can't update to WinXP SP3 because we're still testing it.
Just had a meeting with another big pharco yesterday, where BB is corporate standard. They are dropping that next month. iPhones are taking over. With far less control.
"Enterprise" for end-users is dead.
Down 18.07% in afterhours trading as of the time of this comment.
Its the speed and acceleration of the decline that just seems to boggle; between RIM and Nokia, its hard to fathom how either former juggernaut could implode with almost Shakespearean-scale tragedy.
How many more staff can they get rid off?
Nortel part two sadly for RIM. Sad, but realy have to make some epic bad managment mistakes for this level of fail and there making them :(.
So sad, but I hear the fat lady is warmed up already.
I'd really suggest starting with upper management this time.
edit: it crushes my soul to know they'll eventually leave what's left of the company they ruined with more money in their pockets than many of their best employees will earn in a lifetime.
Examples: Nortel, Corel
I worked in smart phones since the early J2ME phones hit North America. I too completely missed the iPhone. And I'm no suit. You can argue that I lack vision (you'd probably be right) just like the execs running the big telcos. Then again, I think the entire mobile computing establishment missed it. I know people in academia, at Microsoft, at Motorola, at Nokia, etc ... EVERYONE I KNOW MISSED IT! I don't know when people realized that everything had changed. This isn't a statement about just Apple btw. Google was also a new player in this space and look at their market share vs. the established players (circa 2000).
Honestly ... I'm a bit dazed. I can't believe I missed it. I'm sure neither can a lot of people and companies. I get a bit sad sometimes because it feels like it is too late to catch up.
In the early to mid nineties, Apple spent fortunes on 'crazy new ideas'— it nearly bankrupted them. When Steve Jobs came back, he terminated all those projects and discontinued most of the product catalog. No more PDAs, stylus operated netbooks, printers, scanners, digital cameras -- all gone.
So no, trying 'crazy new ideas' won't necessarily save RIM. Replacing all major executives and the board of directors might. That's one of the first things Steve Jobs did when he returned to Apple, and most of those execs are still with Apple now, 15 years later.
Woah, that was a crazy idea...
The iPhone was released 11 years later, when Apple had already become an insanely successful company.
I always thought that Big Telco wouldn't be the ones bringing the innovation. I did expect that 3G would eventually reduce telcos to big data pipes (exactly their nightmare 10 years ago), but of course I couldn't have imagined that it would take so long to happen, and that it happened to fast once it did (how many sends MMS today?)
On J2ME, the early model was ... you had to pay 2K to get your app approved by the carriers. I was giving away some free apps in those days. I remember politely declining the rep I was talking to and thinking FU!!! You want me to pay you to get a free app into your store? The store that has almost no selection? This is before Ads on phones btw. Still ... many people thrived in that ecosystem. Anyone remember sites like Handango? Heh .. those were the days.
So ... the carriers still live. They didn't get what they deserved. The people who catered to the whims of the carriers are the ones who paid for it. There is a lesson in here somewhere.
I don't see any way to make carriers "pay" until we have technology that can replace their massive capital investment (partially funded by taxpayers). The barriers to entry are extremely high.
Then in late 2006 during a backend upgrade they were rolling out they failed on a test, turned out that even before the upgrade they would of failed on that test as it was a outstanding bug and the role out had neglected to run the tests prior to the rollout. So once they rolled out they did the tests went op's and backed it out.
General fragle managment and no love lost from me who also left in 2007. But that was due to a incompetant manager messing up my expenses and leaving me the otherside of the World without a home to come back to as all my rent and council tax standing orders went tits up as I for all effect didn't get paid.
Since then I've been watching them go from epic fail to epic fail and still certain managment who are there are still doing there thing - clearly.
Sad on so many levels but in many ways I'll not stop until my ex boss is homless and that will happen, i'm patient :).
Essentially the Canadian business elite always wanted to set up protected markets where they could collect easy rent instead of competing on the world stage.
I see these same comments each time and it kind of burns me. Nortel went to conquer much of the world. Under that Canadian management. Then they passed their zenith and failed, like countless companies before. RIM conquered much of the world. Under that Canadian management. Then they passed their zenith and failed, like countless companies before.
To see the same boring comments every time that imagines that only the latter part happened -- completely ignoring the events that led to that even being possible -- someone showing the chip on their shoulder (e.g. someone didn't listen to their ideas. Damn Canadian management!)...it's just such garbage analysis. It is so shallow and instantly discardable.
Both of which conquered their respective markets with their "terrible management". Perhaps you have a chip on your shoulder, but your argument is self-nullifying.
Nortel headed to the shitter, it should be noted, when they recruited management from Motorola.
RIM went into the death spiral because they were committed to keeping BBM as their cash cow long after the world had moved on. They saw themselves as their own competitor, which is how you end up with products like the Playbook missing basic communication functionality.
IMO there's a difference between good companies and good stocks in the public market. A cheap price on an ok company can be a good investment; a high price on a good or great company can be a mediocre investment. Kind of the opposite of startups or other illiquid private investments (which largely have a binary outcome).
I'm starting to think they'll go out at $8-12 though.
Why? What would justify a premium over the after-hours $7.70? Wouldn't a savvy acquirer just wait another quarter or two to get a better price? What's the rush?
At the rate they are destroying value, it would seem more likely that they go out for much less than $8.
It's sad that a company with so much talent can be mismanaged into something as horrible as this, but on the other hand it's hard not to laugh when you read about their continued failures.
We are talking about a company which released a tablet with a OS they called complete, which couldn't check email. They are so completely out of touch with what people want, that there is no way they can make.
Even if the do get BB10 out the door, it will be a disaster. It will be underwhelming. It will be a monument to what bad management can do with product delivery.
I'm with ars technica on this one: RIM is on death watch.
Sadly, it's the last gasp of fallen tech firms.
I’m open to RIM becoming the next Apple. All we need is a company with superior technology and superior management that has been hampered by lack of a strong brand and sales strategy (not to mention certain legal agreements barring them from competing with RIM in its core markets).
Then we have them do a reverse-takeover, booting nearly all of RIM’s management.
Have I forgotten anything? Oh yes, then we need a hit product (like the original Jellybean iMac) that will buy them time to create entirely new markets rather than trying to compete in a business where they have already lost.
Put all that together, and you could have RIM being successful in automotive displays, or televisions, or making movies, or something provided it isn’t telephones.
> What happened at Apple was—for all intents and
> purposes—a reverse takeover. In theory, they bought
> NeXT. In practice, NeXT’s management took over
> managing Apple and its OS became Apple’s OS.
We had built this really nice entry-level mail reader in Netscape 2.0, and it was a smashing success. Our punishment for that success was that management saw this general-purpose mail reader and said, "since this mail reader is popular with normal people, we must now pimp it out to 'The Enterprise', call it Groupware, and try to compete with Lotus Notes!"
To do this, they bought a company called Collabra who had tried (and, mostly, failed) to do something similar to what we had accomplished. They bought this company and spliced 4 layers of management in above us. Somehow, Collabra managed to completely take control of Netscape: it was like Netscape had gotten acquired instead of the other way around.
There also had an army of loyal supporters. Supporters longing for their return to greatness. That and they had, in ways, carved out a safe harbor, they didn't have to compete head to head with MS or the clone makers. We're talking about a rare turn around though, that doesn't happen often. Comparing companies to Apple is going to be the new Godwin's law..
RIM is just in a different spot, the game changed and they didn't. They had some good stuff but the rules are just so different, if they made a product that was on par with Android of iPhone, that's simply not enough.
I think there's a very real possibility that they won't manage to ship BB10 at all.
Is like they are trying to commit company-wide suicide, it still has a big chunk of the market, it's not "done for" RIM still has a chance, but it seems its poised to destroy itself.
I think that about sums it up.
They did so much to slander a product that was for all intents and purposes doing well at the time.
They made it cool to rag on RIM before ragging on RIM was even a "thing"
My old BB Bold was the best phone I ever owned. I'm currently using an iphone, but that keyboard when used right and well can NEVER be beat.
I think people who thought their BB was the best device ever, yet joined the exodus to iPhone or Android killed RIM.
That is- you killed RIM. Not blogs.
Blackberry's value is not in the core operating system. It is in the business apps, BB messenger, unique keyboard, enterprise features etc. It seems like they would be much better off adopting Android as their base and building proprietary features on top.
It just seems like they are spending all their time just to create a product that can barely compete with the 1st iPhone let alone the 5th.
Just like Microsoft, BlackBerry has and will continue to have lots of loyal customers. That's not enough to grow a company, though, and having started out in the consumer market, Android and iOS now have a huge advantage in the enterprise since employees are asking to bring their own device to work.
Maybe they have so brainwashed themselves that they actually believe BB10 is poised to take the world. It has some "killer" feature such "customizable download button" or something and it will just blow away the competition.
All the ones that have not drunk the kool-aid have either left or where pushed out for being negative or not being a team player.
To dissect the last part. They have probably been talking internally about how much iOS and Android suck and how they are just temporary fads. That shit becomes part of the corporate common set of beliefs. Anyone in power of making a change knows, if they all of the sudden admit that BB10 is a failure or Android is better, they are perceived as a traitor and not a team player.
This was when iPhones had firmly taken hold of the market and BBs were already yesterday's handset. I talked about that with him and he threw a lot of jargon at me and listed the reasons why RIM would continue to dominate into the future.
That conversation was unpleasant enough that I still think of it whenever I see RIM news pop up. If he was characteristic at all of upper-level execs there then it's absolutely no surprise to me that RIM is circling the toilet bowl.
I don't know. RIM gets high marks from governments around the world for its platform security, and it's the OS that is certified. Version 7.1, for example, was recently certified by the US, UK and New Zealand governments. So I'm not sure that switching OS would be such a good move.
RIM has over 1B cash, has about 16,500 (soon 11,500) employees. Most of their loss was from writedowns, so their burn rate might not be too bad. They might have time to switch to Android. They can't afford BB10 to flop, but I'm pretty sure it will (even if it's actually a great OS).
If they can loose some heads, and switch to Android, they might generate some confidence which could help them get funding. An Android phone with a competitive advantage (in some niches) over Samsung is something I'd bet on. A phone with a new OS in 2013 is not.
The people left over will not be willing to bust their asses to make great products for 2013, even if they're capable of doing so. They will be exercising their skills at printing résumés. What is RIM going to do: give them raises, while they're losing money? More like their Office Space bosses will tell them how greeaaaaaat it would be for them to start coming in on Saturdays. No, RIM has lost whatever chance it had to try something new. The next series of moves will all be drastic and they'll have only golden parachutes in mind.
People prefer software that has existed for several years to software that might never be released. This isn't psychological, it's the same reason cats are a more popular pet than unicorns.
There seems to be this massive appetite right now for stock Android devices because of the pretty woeful update policies of the OEMs.
It just seems like RIM would have a lot of success having a stock Android + the fancy BB10 keyboard. And then gradually drip feeding new BB only apps.
That said, they should have released BB10 years ago.
I thought they were essentially doing that with QNX. It should utterly kick ass on a phone if they can manage battery life. As a bonus they control the O/S update cycle + avoid open source licensing issues that may sit poorly with some of their core customers. Just need to put the apps on it. I don't think android would have made things work out any better for them. They failed hardcore in other ways.
I've documented my own issues with them here:
BBM is certainly not a replacement for e-mail but it's an alternative to, well, nothing.
When I send something with WhatsApp, I know it will probably get there, but I'm not sure when, in what order, or at what relative time - and it takes a while to figure that out. When I send something with BBM, I know that it will either get there instantly or not at all, and I know that right away. For me, the latter is better.
I do wonder though, if this isn't simply an inevitable case of software eating unnecessary hardware options. That is, whether RIM's only good option was to become a software-only company that builds enterprise software on top of Android and iOS. It would mean the mass contraction of their scale that way as well.
I don't see what the benefit for them would to compete in the hardware business when they can deliver their software on top of 95% of all smart phones instead.
In terms of operating revenue, Motorola died in 2007, Sony Ericsson died in 2008. That left Nokia, RIM, HTC, Samsung, and Apple.
Apart from Apple, the only companies to make more money after Android was released were Samsung and HTC, because they were the only viable phone makers who switched to Android. Motorola and Sony Ericsson were already toast - they couldn't compete with HTC and Samsung.
RIM and Nokia are the other two viable handset manufacturers. If they switch to Android, I think they'd make more money.
> I don't see what the benefit for them would to compete in the hardware business when they can deliver their software on top of 95% of all smart phones instead.
"If we can capture just X% of this huge market, we'll make out like bandits!".
What? I don't get your logic. What do you mean by viable and why do you consider RIM and Nokia to be viable when they're deep in the red?
If switching to Android didn't work for Motorola, Sony, LG, and even HTC(revenues and profits are crashing hard), why would it work for Nokia or RIM?
Competing in a race to the bottom with minimal customer loyalty(see HTC's lack of repeat sales) is not really viable.
Not the OP, but both RIM & Nokia had excellent sales channels (much better than Motorola, Sony or LG) and Nokia especially had fantastic scale to for their logistics chain. Nokia could build and distribute any phone cheaper than anyone else in the world. In the post Tim Cook world Apple may well have surpassed them there now though.
That averages out to losing nearly $50 million in market value every day for the last four years.
I'm wondering, why didn't they try more crazy stuff? With the amount of capital they had, I'm just so surprised that they didn't release some super advanced crap that was impractical. Anyone know? Nothing jumped of the wikipedia page for me.
All I remember is their usage of QNX, but they did a terrible job with growing the community.
Honestly I won't be sad to see them go, by all my friends' accounts it was a soul-sucking place to work. They had the early lead in the smartphone market and completely squandered it.
Well.. there was the PlayBook...
(Maybe it wasn't super advanced, but it was impractical. No email on a Blackberry product?)
Apple's Rhapsody, acquired and released, not unlike RIM's story, during the company's downward spiral, was by and large a failure too. It eventually became the core of their massive success. It is not necessarily too late for RIM to turn it around.
Unless someone buys RIM, it's dead man walking, and they know it.
1. Apple - who makes great hardware and great software winning
2. Google - who doesn't make hardware and gives away OK software winning
3. RIM - who makes good hardware and OK software losing
4. MS - who doesn't make hardware and makes OK software losing
It goes to show that business model both matters and doesn't matter.