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305 comments

So long, (1)

PeterChenoweth (603694) | more than 2 years ago | (#35976614)

And thanks for all the Blackberries. It's been fun.

Re:So long, (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35976806)

For a company that is still selling 15 million phones every quarter, and are only doing 40% more revenue year over year, they definitely sound like they're collapsing.

So they might not continue to grow at such an incredible rate. They're still making money hand over fist and certainly seem to have plans to fix the issues people talk about. I have a playbook and I'm generally impressed with it - lack of a few apps notwithstanding.

Re:So long, (1)

wiedzmin (1269816) | more than 2 years ago | (#35977030)

Remember Palm (a pioneer in PDA's and a very profitable entity) and what happened to them after the flop of Palm Foleo? BlackBerry's Playbook is their Foleo.

Re:So long, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35977086)

Have you used one? Some of the software doesn't exist (yet, according to RIM), but it's by far the best base OS I've seen on a tablet. And the browser is pretty good too. Somehow I don't think they're the same thing.

Re:So long, (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35977146)

I don't think anyone gives a rat's ass about the OS, bro'.

Kind of early to predict that (4, Insightful)

iONiUM (530420) | more than 2 years ago | (#35976624)

While most indications seem to point in that direction, considering the playbook was not well received, and blackberry's current flagship devices are out-dated, at best, I feel it's kind of early to make this kind of claim.

I think blackberry has probably two more quarters to get a solid business phone that rivals Android/iPhone devices that runs "OS7" (nobody really knows what that is yet, though I do not believe it's QNX..) If they can pull that off, maybe they'll have a chance..

Re:Kind of early to predict that (3, Insightful)

Metabolife (961249) | more than 2 years ago | (#35976648)

I have a feeling that they'll begin to focus more on software, perhaps taking their BBM service to other platforms first.

They should do what they did initially.. be rock solid on the business end, then phase back into the consumer realm.

Re:Kind of early to predict that (4, Insightful)

swb (14022) | more than 2 years ago | (#35976810)

My sense is that they jumped the shark by failing to either make BES free or eliminate it and dependence on RIMs network completely.

I can remember the pre-active sync days when it got ugly within organizations when the last BES license got used up. They were expensive and buying another block wasn't always viable.

Just as soon as Activesync became viable and the onslaught of WinMo phones that supported it came out I began to see customers at the mid/small level abandon the expensive and complicated BES for direct SSL communication. No more dedicated BES server, no more expensive licenses.

Had BES become free to use it might have helped prevent the loss of those markets; eliminating it completely would have been even more beneficial.

Re:Kind of early to predict that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35977328)

it's hard to tell a business, much less a sales organization that its not in a high-margin business any more.

Re:Kind of early to predict that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35977004)

Palm did this, worked out great for them.

Re:Kind of early to predict that (1)

dimeglio (456244) | more than 2 years ago | (#35977010)

I just got a work-provided upgrade to the Bold 9780 (standard issue here and for the foreseeable future). I'm not worried for RIM but their tablet need to do better.

Even if not they should be fine (5, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 2 years ago | (#35976762)

Reason is the US government loves Blackberries. Seriously, it is like the one and only smartphone they use. There are a number of reasons for that, not the least of which being BB takes security very seriously and they are all FIPS certified and all that jazz.

So while they might shrink if their consumer market gets gobbled up, unless the government ditches them they should be fine.

Re:Even if not they should be fine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35976892)

People said the same thing about pagers.

Re:Even if not they should be fine (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35976920)

And there are still companies selling them.

Re:Even if not they should be fine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35977164)

not the least of which is that the government can spy on BB traffic.

So probably a quid pro quo deal there.

Re:Even if not they should be fine (1)

avandesande (143899) | more than 2 years ago | (#35977348)

I think if Blackberry wants to survive they should look to the thinkpad model, where the laptop was perceived as a piece of 'corporate warrior' kit. I think their inroads into the consumer market are dead ends....

Re:Kind of early to predict that (1)

purpledinoz (573045) | more than 2 years ago | (#35976784)

RIM has been too slow. I can't blame them because new Android phones have been coming out at a furious pace. I'm looking into buying a smartphone now, and Blackberries are completely out of consideration. The only thing they have going for them is rock-solid security, which is still attractive for the business market. I hope this kind of situation will put the fire under their asses to come out with something more competitive. The next few years for RIM will be rough.

Re:Kind of early to predict that (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#35976952)

Don't see how the security is any better than a direct https link between Exchage and your phone. Going through 3rd party servers means plenty of risk of exploits in future even if things are fine just now. The best thing they have going for them is their cheap international roaming costs IMO.

Re:Kind of early to predict that (1)

xSquaredAdmin (725927) | more than 2 years ago | (#35977036)

Don't see how the security is any better than a direct https link between Exchage and your phone.

I honestly am not familiar with Androids/iPhones - do they have the option for remote lockdown/wiping of the device? I know this has been used a few times where I work when someone has managed to lose their BlackBerry or has decided to not return it after being let go from the company.

Re:Kind of early to predict that (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 2 years ago | (#35977102)

Yes, and a lot more. But the major mobile device management apps deal with those three as well as Palm and Windows Mobile (some have Symbian) controls as well. The list of controls is long, and longer depending on the MDM maker. Some have to use the BES server to do their work for Blackberry while some can control it in lieu of paying RIM's price.

Re:Kind of early to predict that (1)

SteelKidney (1964470) | more than 2 years ago | (#35977116)

Full disk encryption, a firewall, granular application permissions that can clue you in to and even prevent a lot of the spyware nonsense in applications these days. HTTPS is hardly secure, as a Google search of recent news will show, and neither the BIS or BES connections rely on it. And that's just off the top of my head.

Re:Kind of early to predict that (2)

vakuona (788200) | more than 2 years ago | (#35977128)

Don't blame Blackberry's failings on the pace at which Android devices are coming out. Apple is doing very well without refreshing their phone every 3 months. The problem is that they are not making the right products for the market out there. The market is no longer captive, they can't just depend on being blackberry anymore as a marketing strategy. And they totally failed to _get_ apps.

Re:Kind of early to predict that (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#35976824)

Only thing Blackberry had going for it was security, which they gave away with their capitulation to United Arab Emirates and other governments instance on access. There is no reason to get a RIM device over Droid or IOS and many reasons to not get one.

Re:Kind of early to predict that (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#35977018)

How was their security any better than an Exchange https connection? People always go on about Blackberry security being amazing, but I just don't see it, for exactly the reasons you say and more. If you're relying on 3rd party servers, you run the risk of them selling out, being hacked, going bankrupt and someone seizing their servers, etc.

Re:Kind of early to predict that (1)

49152 (690909) | more than 2 years ago | (#35977110)

The security is not any better for you, it is better for your corporate masters.

You see, they get to have complete 100% control on what you can or cannot do with the device. Event to the point of remote wipe if you loose the phone or decide to quit withouts giving it back.

That is the big difference and what they mean by "better security".

Re:Kind of early to predict that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35977320)

How was their security any better than an Exchange https connection? People always go on about Blackberry security being amazing, but I just don't see it, for exactly the reasons you say and more. If you're relying on 3rd party servers, you run the risk of them selling out, being hacked, going bankrupt and someone seizing their servers, etc.

From what I hear, the device encryption and remote-wipe (for lost/stolen phones) was more robust than competitors, and might still be depending on how buggy the competitors' implementations are.

Re:Kind of early to predict that (1)

yog (19073) | more than 2 years ago | (#35976832)

Rim makes good phones. I use Blackberries (I program on them at work) and Android (my personal phone is a Nexus One) and overall the Rim phones are more reliable as phones go. The Android/iPhone is a handheld internet portal that happens to make phone calls, not always very reliably. For example, in bright sunlight it's difficult to even see the keypad to dial a number on.

On the other hand, the app market drives phone sales nowadays, so anyone who wants something beyond a basic flip phone is likely to go with the apps and that's Android and iPhone, currently. Rim has been slow to support their developers, although their phones are reasonably easy to develop for. You do need Windows, unfortunately, or at least a way to run Windows apps, to do anything more sophisticated than a basic Java ME app. OTOH, you can't do JavaME on Android, at least without some clunky emulator.

The Rim tablet that was just announced is a baby step in the right direction, but the fact that it requires tethering a Blackberry phone to get 3G service is a giant step backward. They need to break free of their corporate mentality and market this thing to the general public, not just their loyal BB users.

Re:Kind of early to predict that (1)

MrMarket (983874) | more than 2 years ago | (#35977194)

They need to break free of their corporate mentality and market this thing to the general public, not just their loyal BB users.

...or they could compete in the tablet space where no one else is: the enterprise. I would love to see someone take the paperless office seriously. Developing an application suite to help people do all the things they do with paper in the office on a tablet. There are some settings where writing an annotating is preferred over typing. If I were BB, I'd go after that user experience in the office. They should be thinking of all the reasons people still need to print stuff or write on paper (and lose it), and come up with an alternate experience on the tablet that is better. Healthcare could be a big opportunity here.

Re:Kind of early to predict that (1)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 2 years ago | (#35976942)

Thing is, BB makes their money in the enterprise space, and that population doesn't replace phones on a whim or every 1-2 years. They made big decisions in committee, and aren't as beholden to the "must have the latest thing" mentality

Re:Kind of early to predict that (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 2 years ago | (#35977162)

Why do people keep on talking about BlackBerry running QNX?

It's like talking incessantly about Android phones running Linux and iOS devices running BSD - the core kernel doesn't really matter that much, it's what you layer on top of it.

There's nothing new about QNX, it's been around for well over a decade. Just like there's nothing new about Linux (even about Linux on mobile phones), but Google's userland layer on top of it has made major waves in the smarphone market.

Re:Kind of early to predict that (1)

Briden (1003105) | more than 2 years ago | (#35977232)

I hope that they do better! i'm going to upgrade my blackberry to the latest model soon and buy a playbook to support them as well. I have been a blackberry lover since the good old days. I will never buy an iphone, and android does not interest me.

i still feel that blackberries are the best phones on the market for so many reasons and hope that RIM stays strong.

Re:Kind of early to predict that (1)

sribe (304414) | more than 2 years ago | (#35977244)

I think blackberry has probably two more quarters to get a solid business phone that rivals Android/iPhone devices that runs "OS7" (nobody really knows what that is yet, though I do not believe it's QNX..) If they can pull that off, maybe they'll have a chance..

That would require smart & effective leadership. Have you listened to the delusional babbling of RIM's co-CEOs lately? RIM is already dead; they just won't realize it for quite a while longer.

Sensationalize much? (3)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 2 years ago | (#35976628)

WOW...I guess that's why I don't read IT World.

Re:Sensationalize much? (1)

Moby Cock (771358) | more than 2 years ago | (#35976692)

Agreed. The BB has always been and continues to be very well suited for enterprise use. The foreseeable future has a place for BB and RIM.

Re:Sensationalize much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35976808)

I work in a warehouse and ALL of us management have blackberries. You know the second a recall is put out, know the case total the second the wave is dropped, and communication is instant. Our company is setup so that all stats are tracked and delivered via BBM. I can't speak for the entire business world obviously, but in my company a blackberry is a must have tool.

Re:Sensationalize much? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#35977060)

All smartphones can do that these days.. my winmo phone could do it 6 years ago, and my Android can do it now, as long as the server supports push functionality.

Re:Sensationalize much? (1)

COMON$ (806135) | more than 2 years ago | (#35977268)

Sorry, that is a lie. BB no longer has a place in my enterprise environments. They are expensive, require additional data plans with Verizon (on top of the regular data plan). The devices themselves offer only basic functionality.

In the real world enterprises we are moving away from BB because they are not offering what Apple and Android can. Apple and Android have better word processing, far superior web capabillites, robust applications, and with servers like Good, we no longer have the dependency on BES.

So sorry, NO, in the real enterprise world we are tired of dealing with BB Battery pulls, expensive hardware and software, and a lack of innovation to give us what we want.

Re:Sensationalize much? (1)

wsxyz (543068) | more than 2 years ago | (#35976738)

Yea, keep dreaming that it's just IT World. Go look at Google news and search on RIM. Even the Canadian newspapers are questioning RIM's future.

Re:Sensationalize much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35976852)

Even the Canadian newspapers are saying it? Well now I don't know what to believe!

Re:Sensationalize much? (3, Informative)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 2 years ago | (#35976758)

Indeed. WE'll complete ignore that this is a debt free company with a strong portfolio, significant income, and expanding user base, and go right to the doom and gloom headline.

Re:Sensationalize much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35977228)

No Debt eh?
Then they are a prime target for a takeover.
Companies if their size are better off having a whole shed load of debt if they want to keep their independence in the long term.

maybe nokia could buy them (2)

burki (32245) | more than 2 years ago | (#35976640)

and close them down as symbian before handing the keys over to microsoft

Re:maybe nokia could buy them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35977296)

Supposedly, a big hunk of Symbian is being sold to Accenture. A bunch of the old Metrowerks [wikipedia.org] folks are going to be getting job offers. The deal will take a couple of months to go through.

RIMM Put Contracts (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35976642)

The put option volume on RIM stock is staggering. Just today alone there have been 67 put contracts sold at a $27.50 strike price for January 2013. Even crazier is that even though those contracts are currently $20 out of the money, they still sold in the $1.50 range... Certainly the market is betting that RIM is toast.

Re:RIMM Put Contracts (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35976976)

Jan 2013? That's an awful lot of time decay there. Just a random example--the bid-ask spread on T Jan 2013 puts at 20 ($11 out of the money) is $0.71-$0.75.

RIMM has always been volatile (note, that doesn't mean risky, it just means the stock wiggles around a lot). That increases the prices on all their options.

Glad I don't buy these tech companies though. I'm mostly interested in dividends. Dividends are harder (though not impossible) to fake (Madoff).

Recent marketing (2, Insightful)

AndyAndyAndyAndy (967043) | more than 2 years ago | (#35976650)

As many in the U.S. (and elsewhere?) have probably seen, they've been trying to market the BlackBerry as a social networks platform... quite explicitly at least, for "flirting." You know, the very unrealistic ads featuring hipster boys and girls raving about how BBM lets them connect. (Finally!)

Anyway, it's a huge departure from what people associate with BB and is obviously a bit of a desperation tactic. You can bet they're trying to cash in on the affluent youth, but if it's backfiring, it may alienate the corporate buyers from investing in the newer BB models.

A risky move, and unfortunately for RIM, it doesn't look like it will work.

Re:Recent marketing (1)

kevinmenzel (1403457) | more than 2 years ago | (#35976776)

Seems to be working fine for them in Canada... most of the high school kids I know buy blackberry as their first smartphone... and I know that CIBC just bought a lot of blackberries for one of their departments about 3 weeks ago... (Replacing pagers and older non-BB phones)

Re:Recent marketing (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 2 years ago | (#35976962)

Seems to be working fine for them in Canada...

Question is..."For how long?" The trend lines are not in RIM's favour!

most of the high school kids I know buy blackberry as their first smartphone...

That is until they discover Android. Take the Galaxy line of phones from Samsung. The latest Galaxy S2 leaves the newest BlackBerry phone in the dust if you exclude enterprise capabilities. These features do not matter that much to those high school kids. I know because I teach them.

Sad for Canada (1)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 2 years ago | (#35977014)

It's nice to give little countries a chance once in a while, right?

RIM was a success story for Canada, a chance to present a world-class Canadian-made product.

Total world assimilation into the RDF seems so ... boring.

Re:Recent marketing (2)

mewsenews (251487) | more than 2 years ago | (#35976788)

Up here in Canada the local hip hop station has been playing a song called "swaggberry" talking about how if you don't have a BBM pin, where you bin?

It's an awful song and it's so obviously bought and paid for

Re:Recent marketing (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#35976860)

Given the Sidekick's gruesome demise at the hands of Microsoft, RIM actually has a pretty strong claim to being the dominant "good messaging dumbphone" of choice. Because of the emphasis on solid keyboards, and the ability to reuse the stuff they've been refining for corporate since forever, they are nicer than the no-name junk; but their comparatively modest hardware specs and data use make them cheaper than the smartphones that people actually want. At least if advertising in my area(and observation of what younger student types are carrying) is any indication, they are indeed among the most common devices in the 'one cut above a pure dumbphone' niche. Corporate doesn't seem to care, since this hasn't changed RIM's style very much, outside of a few gimmicky consumer-oriented handsets.

It isn't a high-margin market; but it isn't a small one.

Re:Recent marketing (1)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 2 years ago | (#35976960)

The problem with trying to pull business from the consumer market with Blackberry Messenger is that it doesn't do you any good unless your friends have Blackberries too.

Beginning of Spiral? (1)

BoRegardless (721219) | more than 2 years ago | (#35976662)

I truthfully believe the beginning of the spiral started as a very very small circle of people at the center of a spiral that only the RIM Board and Execs saw and either ignored or misunderstood.

The moment the spiral started was when Steve Jobs stood alone on a black stage and pointed a colorful touch screen at the audience and then spoke convincingly of the world to come in personal communications.

I am an outsider, but from what I see, if you wait 3-4 years in a new market evolution-revolution, you die. What buzz does RIM have with the 15-35 crowd? What patent portfolio will give it substantial leverage against Apple? What magnificent design team exists which will drop the next major jump onto the market to show that RIM is here now?

RIM RIP (3, Funny)

tigqc016 (754659) | more than 2 years ago | (#35976668)

RIM has three options. 1) Continue the course they are on and become a niche player in smartphone market. 2) Transition to Android, port their systems to this new O/S and maintain their viability. 3) Get purchased by third party who transitions RIM's systems to third party's systems. An Apple purchase would be sweet as it would get Apple access to BBM and Enterprises, kill off competing Pad. Purchase by MS would mean port to WP7 (embrace, extend, extinguish). Purchase by Android marker would give similar outcome as an Apple purchase. as I see it (aisi)

Re:RIM RIP (1)

david.emery (127135) | more than 2 years ago | (#35977044)

I think there's a 4th alternative: Understand and focus on their -core market-, which is corporations. One could be very profitable selling secure and manageable (from the IT/CIO sense) phones and pads to just the Fortune 500 and governments.

What surprised/disappointed me about the Playbook was the absence of the level of information assurance support for that device. It's the Blackberry's primary selling point to what I see as their core market. Better to have announced a delay associated with "getting the security right the first time" than to push out the incomplete stuff they did do.

And for the record, I turned down a Blackberry as a govt/DARPA contractor back in '02, and have NEVER regretted that decision since. I don't find much utility in devices (Blackberries or iPhones) for email that don't have a full-size keyboard and something that can display more than a Twitter's worth of text at a time.

Stability (3, Interesting)

TheNinjaroach (878876) | more than 2 years ago | (#35976674)

RIM's Blackberry platform was years ahead of the game. Since then, Microsoft released ActiveSync which furthered their Exchange dominance and enabled email, calendar and contact syncing on just about every other phone platform available.

Meanwhile, RIM clings to their dying subscription-based revenue model and does nothing to address any of the stability concerns on their phones. We have C-level executives today using brand new Blackberries that lock up or fail to sync on a daily basis - and the best help our Email guys can offer is for them to remove the battery for a few seconds before powering the phone back on.

Seriously RIM, you have the most mature EMail-centric phone platform on the planet, but your phones are lagging behind the much younger competition in critical areas like stability. I guess that's why we're recommending Android or iPhone to all of our business users with phones up for replacement..

Re:Stability (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35976912)

Seriously RIM, you have the most mature EMail-centric phone platform on the planet, but your phones are lagging behind the much younger competition in critical areas like stability. I guess that's why we're recommending Android or iPhone to all of our business users with phones up for replacement..

Why do you think they bought QNX? I'm not jumping ship for at least another year to see what they do with that. Their playbook base os is downright amazing, regardless of the lacking applications.

Re:Stability (1)

mrmagos (783752) | more than 2 years ago | (#35977048)

The "won't sync" issue is not unique to Blackberry devices; I've seen the same issue with Android devices and iPhones, albeit much, much less often. Popping the battery out usually helps with Android phones, though you can't do that with an iPhone - you need to completely remove the account info, power down the device, then enter the account info back in before the ActiveSync connection can be reestablished.

I don't know (2, Interesting)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 2 years ago | (#35976720)

My impression is that RIM phones are kinda like Jags. You buy them to 'show off' that you're a buisinessy type.

You'd expect a hot-shot businessman to use serious phones like Blackberries. You don't expect him to mingle with the rest of us and our androids or iOSes.

BB had been technologically backwards for ages. They barely have any touchscreen devices (its 2011 people), and the app store is more 'serious'.

So I don't know, I think RIM was dying for ages. Just that its a 'show off' phone, so its aimed at people who want to look 'fessional but don't know jack about technology. So lots of people.

Re:I don't know (1)

eNygma-x (1137037) | more than 2 years ago | (#35976958)

Thats funny everytime I saw a "business" person with a blackberry.... I always thought of them as technically inept. =)

Re:I don't know (1)

kevinmenzel (1403457) | more than 2 years ago | (#35977016)

They barely have touchscreen devices? They've had the Torch out for a while, and the Storm out for even longer. They're adding touch to the curve and the bold this year. And people don't buy blackberries because they "don't know jack about technology." I bough my blackberry, and will continue to buy blackberry phones in the future because: a) The battery life is wonderful. Stock battery lasts me a good solid 3-4 days between charges. That means that when I switch to a heavy use scenario for some reason, I don't have to worry that I only have half of a battery left, I can still get it to a charger before it dies. b) Phone quality. The Blackberry is a GREAT PHONE. The sound quality is good. The sound quality - for OTHER PEOPLE I'm calling is good. When I go to speakerphone, I can easily hear the other person - and generally those other people can hear me just as well as they could when I was not on speakerphone. It is important to me that the phone I buy be a damn good phone. I have never used a Blackberry that isn't. c) Emphasis on communication first. The entire platform is build around communication. Facebook chat notifications are well integrated into the system. Twitter notifications of all sorts are well integrated into the system. E-mail management is wonderful - and on the BIS side - easy to control. And the keyboard is great. Well placed, and designed so that it took very few weeks before I could not only type without looking at either my keyboard or my screen, but also use symbols, etc. without looking. Those are my priorities, and Blackberry is very very good at meeting those priorities. That's typically why most of my friends also buy blackberries. They don't care about apps - they want to communicate, and if something can take the occasional picture, or whatever - that's just a bonus to the desired use case of communication. And that, I think, is pretty clearly not having to do with not knowing about technology, just having entirely different priorities.

Re:I don't know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35977052)

You mention BB has been technologically backwards for ages yet they were (one of, if not) the first to revolutionize the speed of email delivery to a handheld device with their 'hang and poll' technique. The instant an email arrived on their server, it was also received on each and every device polling the mailbox. This goes back to before they made phones, when they were only selling email-capable pagers - the original BBs.

Re:I don't know (1)

ThatCanadianGuy (1238738) | more than 2 years ago | (#35977160)

And a High end Android or iPhone isnt? They're worse than a BB by a long shot. BB's are very nondescript phones. How many people actually use them for what they are made for?

Re:I don't know (2)

technoviper (595945) | more than 2 years ago | (#35977190)

Not the case any more. I transitioned our firm from Blackberries to iPhones a year ago, and its been a roaring success. Its just so much more user friendly, even our technically inept users who had trouble using some of the functionality on RIM devices took to the iPhones very easily. Add to that the numerous apps available and its become the most popular business tool in the company, even more so than laptops. I know of other firms as well that have moved over with similar results. So I dont think it can be said that business is the sole domain of RIM

Re:I don't know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35977222)

Just that its a 'show off' phone, so its aimed at people who want to look 'fessional but don't know jack about technology.

And paranoid security geeks like me.
Blackberry - the only platform where the user gets to dictate the security permissions apps get (not the app developers).

As soon as the other guys get off their asses on security, I'll jump ship immediately.

Just that its a 'show off' phone

As apposed to the fashion accessory? "ZOMG IT COMES IN WHITE NOW!!!".

Re:I don't know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35977234)

I'm certainly not clueless or corporate, been coding systems stuff for ages.

Blackberries are great phones. With email and messengers integrated it's all I need.
Solid software, battery lasts ages, great sound quality -- hell, I've run one over with the car and it survived with some scuffs (8330); keyboard is awesome. Full-device strong encryption.

So if you want a toy, there's plenty of other options. If you want a solid communications device, the Blackberry platform is great. And that's what they need to continue to focus on.

But they do need to keep innovating. Switching to QNX would be a good step - almost 30 years of RTS development there.

Bad news for RIM Employees (5, Funny)

Antarius (542615) | more than 2 years ago | (#35976744)

In already uncertain economic times, this is terrible news for RIM employees and their families.

I propose we make some sort of action to make RIM Jobs safe!

Re:Bad news for RIM Employees (1)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | more than 2 years ago | (#35976940)

Perhaps it's time for them to accept that producing your own phone OS is just too much work for a small player, and load their BlackBerry software suite on Windows Mobile.

If they managed to become BBW, they would have a truly impressive amount of weight to throw around.

Re:Bad news for RIM Employees (1)

vakuona (788200) | more than 2 years ago | (#35977186)

The problem isn't that it is too much work. They can easily cover their costs for that. The problem is market are notoriously fickle, and producing your own OS is risky - differentiation can be a blessing or a curse. If Palm could afford to o so, then so could Blackberry.

Re:Bad news for RIM Employees (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35977264)

I am not so sure about that, I have heard that a lot of RIM Jobs are pretty crappy.

Too small? (1)

onefriedrice (1171917) | more than 2 years ago | (#35976768)

... and the company too small to compete with huge rivals like Apple and Google.

I don't even know what this means. There are many examples of small companies which are able to compete just fine against bigger (presumably more established) companies. In fact, in this case, RIM was the established company when Apple and Google entered the cellphone business. If RIM has not been able to hold onto their lead, it's not because they're too small. More likely they were just caught standing still.

Troubling Signs, at the Very Least (4, Insightful)

strick1226 (62434) | more than 2 years ago | (#35976774)

The fact that the Playbook tablet was released without a native RIM Email client--and also did not include the official BlackBerry Messenger app--made me stop and reconsider just where Research in Motion finds itself these days.

The news that RIM suddenly just renamed [crackberry.com] BlackBerry OS 6.1 as OS 7 strikes me as an additional sign of desperate moves, too; the OS isn't a major change, as it's not the desired/anticipated move to QNX base or anything.

I used BB's for years, and appreciated them for their excellent email support at the time. The truth is, though, once I had a taste of the Android platform, my days with RIM were over. The nearly-perfect Google data sync and number of applications are big advantages but, for my wife and I, it really came down to the fact that the browser didn't lock up the whole damned phone when a website became unresponsive.

Perhaps they can pull themselves together here--it's not an impossibility--and they're still in much better shape than Microsoft in regards to the smartphone market.

Eh.. (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#35976782)

The golden boys of Wall St. seem to have a very limited attention span for boring commodity producers who aren't continually heaping up the growth or delivering larger profits every quarter. It is unsurprising that they would turn on RIM rather sharply: RIM has, after all, fallen from being The phone of the Serious Set to being a smart-ish phone that lags behind Android and the successor to the sidekick among impecunious text-messagers. Party is over, dudes. Margins are set to be less exciting from here on in.

However, there is a large difference between having your share price plummet and "collapsing". RIM has consistently had, and will likely continue to have, the ability to deliver phones that squeeze reasonable performance out of hardware that is practically Nokia-esque in its distance from the leading edge. This means that RIM can afford to make their handsets cheap. Unlike other cheap handset makers, however, they have a relatively well regarded platform in terms of security and integration with enterprise email systems. Their aggressive pre-crunching of data before it goes over the airwaves(and the fact that their web browser blows goats through capillary tubing) also means that carriers are often pretty willing to make RIM data plans incrementally cheaper than those for smarter phones whose appetite for data reflects their PC heritage.

Given those two sets of facts, I would very much agree that RIM's ability to command exciting margins in the future is in the tank. Apple, among the mainstream, and high end androids, among the techies, have the premium niche sewn up for now. MS and HP's positions are currently unenviable; but both are fresher and more dynamic than RIM. The cheap seats will, increasingly, be dominated by semi-KIRFs running stock android pumped out by the assorted Pacific rim OEMs who used to be the anonymous servitors of brands you've heard of. However, given those two sets of facts, I would also argue that RIM should be able to embed itself fairly solidly in its niche, and hang on for a fair length of time. The market for boring business email phones is not exactly small, and RIM has by far the most mature offering in that area.

Nokia too - body-slammed by Apple and Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35976804)

Nokia is looking at a 800 million Eur drop in revenue in a *single quarter* (Q1->Q2 2011) as the world continues to transition to smartphones dominated by Apple's iPhone and Google Android based phones.

http://www.minyanville.com/dailyfeed/2011/04/08/nokias-outlook-looks-pretty-grim/

Time to trademark the "DroidBerry" (3, Interesting)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 2 years ago | (#35976848)

Sooner or later, RIM will have to ditch BlackBerry for DroidBerry.

fictional 'representation' no longer available (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35976854)

the chosen ones, minions & deities appear to have cast us adrift without so much as a modified forecast. the same old cold wet blanket 'treatment'?

Wouldn't be surprised (3, Interesting)

neiras (723124) | more than 2 years ago | (#35976904)

Several years back I worked on some software for the Blackberry (pre-Pearl). Over the past couple of months I've written software for the Playbook as part of their runup to release. The experience was just as shoddy both times. Just getting started on a project is an exercise in intuition and quite the struggle. Tooling is spread across multiple archives; some of it is/was windows-only; documentation is poor or misleading.

I remember my former CEO standing in my office nearly 7 years ago with myself and a colleague, saying "Hey, I have [some senior RIM guy] on the line... Anything you want to say to him?" Both myself and my colleague looked at each other, then said "Tell him RIM treats developers like crap. We need better tools."

Not the most intelligent thing to say, I guess, but it was a casual conversation and we were both pretty frustrated. Of course, the RIM guy had no response.

RIM's attitude towards developers only works in an environment where they are the only game in town. They aren't anymore, and their enterprise customers' resistance to change is the only reason they haven't already crashed and burned.

Redundancies? (0)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 2 years ago | (#35976906)

I imagine that if it gets worse they'll start doling out the redundancies and a lot of people will lose their Rim Jobs.

Sorry, that was the best I could do with the time I had.

I don't see RIM regaining dominance (1)

jmnugent (705421) | more than 2 years ago | (#35976974)

I'm 37, so I don't consider myself "younger generation"... but in most of the places i know, the younger generation coming into the workplace doesn't want Blackberries. BB's are perceived as unstylish and unintuitive. When given a choice between a "free" (company purchased) BlackBerry and spending their own money on Android/iPhone.. almost everyone chooses non-Blackberry. I personally carry 2 phones (Blackberry and iPhone) and I abhor every second using the Blackberry (hate the keyboard, hate the OS, hate the Email client... the browser sucks donkey balls). RIM...much like Microsoft, seems stuck in an old school business mindset.. and that's going to be their undoing.

Not what I'm seeing (1)

neiras (723124) | more than 2 years ago | (#35977088)

in most of the places i know, the younger generation coming into the workplace doesn't want Blackberries.

Here's the funny thing. Around here (Western Canada), all the kids get Blackberries. The reason? They use BBM and PIN-to-PIN so that they can afford to send text messages without paying $15/mo for an unlimited SMS plan on top of their voice plans. Plus they get multi-day battery life.

If you get a real smartphone, you're out of the loop. Nobody will text you much, and your friends will hate getting texts from you because you're costing them money. The Blackberry TV ads all focus on BBM and look like beer commercials (19-year-old chicks in bikinis jumping into lakes. Summer. Fun fun fun fun weekend weekend. Friday comes after Thursday before Saturday)

Crappy phones (1)

m0s3m8n (1335861) | more than 2 years ago | (#35977008)

IMHO, it was RIMs service that made the company. Once others caught up they had to compete at the hardware level too. They started putting out half-baked hardware and software like the Storm and it's OS (I went through four before giving up). I am now on the 3GS and it has been rock solid for 19 months. Now the Playbook is out the the reviews I have read are like deja vu.

Yes, no, and maybe. (2)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 2 years ago | (#35977028)

Normally when there's an article where the answer is best left, "I don't know." It's usually shit.

However, the author of this article is making a pretty good case that RIM's screwed. Profits are down, marketshare is down, and developers are looking to develop for iOS and Android more than QNX and BB6.

I don't think it's that dire, not yet. The upcoming quarterly results are going to shellack their current stock price even worse and shake off the RIM faithful.

The big question is, what about next quarter? RIM doesn't need to be #1, or #2, or even #5. They just need to be profitable to honestly survive.(This is the maybe.)

The question I have for the BB faithful is whether or not RIM's going to start trimming out it's product tree and offer a more limited lineup of phones and focus on optimizing their OS or if they're going to go do something crazy. I think that the Playbook doesn't need to be a winner in the market, just drive sales for BB6 devices, and BB6 devices aren't bad at any rate. (This is the no.)

OTOH, if they were capable of that, they wouldn't have lost ground share in the corporate world to iOS and Android not to mention share in the consumer market. I've seen friends flee the BB Ecosystem after realizing their device model line of choice isn't getting upgraded. This would be the most likely and really sad big fat yes.

RIM's probably going to take it in the pants, but, they have some outs, let's see if they take them. Even if they pare out some of the more redundant lines, like having 4 or so models of the Curve, other BB devices with modern hardware and an optimized OS with better browser should be enticing enough to bring the BB faithful back to the fold. Just, leave Flash for the Playbook.

Dear God I hope not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35977064)

I start my coop there on Monday!

Hardly a surprise (1)

Ian-K (154151) | more than 2 years ago | (#35977212)

Over the last year I've been able to use a number of devices on a daily basis, not just play with for a couple of hours in order to have an idea. I'm a software engineer and part of my job is to evaluate mobile devices of various sorts and for various usages.

My latest device is a BlackBerry Curve, which I've had for the last three weeks. Usability-wise, the device is very easy and efficient when it comes to texting and calling but anywhere else the software isn't very usable (in most places I'd say cumbersome) and the platform (running 5.2.0.67 on mine) seems very lacking compared to Android and iOS. The menu structure and navigation could have been a lot better and the phone itself isn't very inviting for app-surfing ("where did GTalk get installed now? It's not under Apps. Ah! Instant Messaging folder. But oh my, MSN messenger and Yahoo tagged along in there... oh joy"). Even within the phone app I've spotted many usability hickups.

If most BBs are similar in terms of usability, it's a no brainer that BB is taking the plunge. I haven't set my paws on a touchscreen BB, so things could be totally different there, can't say.

Previous to that I had a ZTE Blade, which for 160 euros is pretty good in terms of build and (especially) battery life. Plain-vanilla Android 2.1 is still rough on many many edges compared to iOS though. On one hand the phone was very inviting to install apps and use them, on the other hand navigation within SMSs and within the phonebook/phone UI was not exactly streamlined. Not to mention the various usability glitches and feature... mishaps still present (one proxy setting for ALL connections, anyone?).

Before the Blade I had a number of Nokias.... which I won't even bother mentioning :| Hopefully they'll make something usable out of WP7 but I'd love them to have given MeeGo a real shot :(

(and yes, my personal phone is an iPhone. The more hands-on experience I have with other platforms, the more I appreciate iOS and Apple's decisions :) )

Developer Interest is the Wrong Metric (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35977266)

The article spends way too much time talking about how much developer interest exists for BlackBerries.

Most of the die-hard BlackBerry users I know don't give a rat's ass about apps. They use the phone stock, out-of-the-box, and feel that doing otherwise would jeopardize (what they feel are) the BlackBerry's key features: reliability and efficiency.

I interviewed at RIM in 2008 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35977292)

Although it seemed to be the place to be at the time, there were troubling signs.

One of these was that the only qualification that they seemed to think was important was Java. Never mind that the position was for BES server development, not phone development. Never mind any other experience, including OO. Never mind that Java is such a simple language that any experience programmer can pick it up in a matter of days, if not hours.

Another was that they didn't seem to thing that there would be any significant competition from iPhone or Android.

I'm glad now that I didn't get that gig.

Finally. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#35977342)

The market place should stomp-out companies that practice trash engineering.

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