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An Inside Look At the Rise and Fall of RIM

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the behind-the-curve dept.

Blackberry 267

zacharye writes with this excerpt from BGR: "Research In Motion is in the midst of a major transition in every sense of the word. Publicly, the company is portraying a very defensive image — one that is very dismissive, as if RIM is profitable and class-leading, and the media is out of line to criticize its business, as are investors. Internally, however, there's a different story to be told. It's a story filled with attitude, cockiness, heated arguments among the executive team and Co-CEOs, and paranoia. ... The three-year roadmap for RIM products focused on refining the technology in phones had already been released, rather than looking at where to add major new componentry or trying to identify or even shape future trends. 'One of the main reasons RIM missed the mark with the browser was because they were always proud of how little data usage a user would use,' a former executive said. 'There was no three-year plan at RIM.'"

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With the end of unlimited data plans...? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36750314)

With the end of unlimited data plans shouldn't RIM be positioned to make a comeback?

Re:With the end of unlimited data plans...? (5, Insightful)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#36750472)

Nope, to RIM 1 or 2 MB a month is normal data usage, “RIM would be proud of the fact that someone would only use 1MB of data in a month in 2005."

"Mike is convinced people won’t buy an iPhone because battery life isn’t as good as a BlackBerry,” a different source said. Mike apparently is in disbelief that people can use over 15GB of data on their iPhone and Android devices,"

So this genius at RIM is so much in denial that he doesn't get that Apple is cutting away at RIM while Android and iOS are raping RIM because he doesn't understand the market anymore.

Re:With the end of unlimited data plans...? (5, Interesting)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#36750886)

Reasons RIM is circling the drain:

#1 - You used to have two options: Desktop Redirector or on-server redirector. Desktop Redirector "worked" but was otherwise always Pure Fucking Crap, and required that your home or work desktop be on 24/7 and that you be logged in to it with the program running. On-server redirector worked a hell of a lot better, didn't require a running PC, but ate up a ton of server horsepower, required some pretty arcane setup, and cost an arm and a leg to license.

Now, you can do the same damn thing on a Droid or iOS phone with Outlook, Google, or a hundred other options... at no extra cost beyond the server.

#2 - Attachments. Back in the day, Crackberries had "a few apps" and could occasionally read a text-file or really, really freaking small attachment (again, only on server: desktop redirector didn't "do" attachments). Now, I can load and read virtually any attached document on a Droid or iOS phone.

#3 - Apps. Face it, the amount of stuff I can load onto my Droid phone is incredible... more to the point, useful. RIM, meanwhile, has made programming for even their newest phones so arcane that developers who were gung-ho on the platform initially have thrown their hands up in disgust and walked away [informationweek.com] .

#4 - Hubris, Hubris, Hubris.The only reason RIM is even still alive is that it's going to take another year and a half for people who are "locked in" to a free-handset contract with their phone provider to get out. Meanwhile, we're recommending to every person that comes in wanting help with their blackberry that when the time comes, they should really strongly consider looking at the iOS or Droid phones, that play well with our environment without requiring dozens of hours of tweaking, constant settings resets, and can do a lot more.

Re:With the end of unlimited data plans...? (2)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#36751062)

My cousin works for a company that up until 1 Jan 2011 was RIM exclusively, you could not have another mobile device at work there.

We are at dinner, his phone has "locked up" and he proceeds to start taking out the battery, I ask why and he says "thats what you do when a Blackberry locks up, you don't do that to an iPhone?" When I asked how often he has to pull the battery, he answered "Once a week or so." I can't remember the last time my iOS devices required a hard reboot.

On 1 Jan 2011 his company lifted the restriction on mobile devices, he got an iPhone 4 when they rolled out on Verizon, now he also has a company issued iPad to replace paper maps (he is an airline pilot).

Re:With the end of unlimited data plans...? (1)

TheNinjaroach (878876) | more than 3 years ago | (#36751200)

When I asked how often he has to pull the battery, he answered "Once a week or so."

Some of our executives are stuck doing this maneuver at least once per day. We're slowly rotating them into iPhones and Androids -- ActiveSync devices don't need no stinking BES Server.

Re:With the end of unlimited data plans...? (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#36751304)

My uncle is a Doctor and he was stuck with a Blackberry too, apparently it locked up on him one time too many and he shot it the next time he was out in the country at his family farm.

Re:With the end of unlimited data plans...? (1)

pnewhook (788591) | more than 3 years ago | (#36751924)

Some of our executives are stuck doing this maneuver at least once per day. We're slowly rotating them into iPhones and Androids -- ActiveSync devices don't need no stinking BES Server.

This is invariable caused by a malfunctioning app. Stop putting crap on the phone and it works fine. I had to reboot mine when the OS was brand new, but after the first patch its been completely trouble free.

And you don't have to pop the battery out to reset - that just means you don't know how to use your phone.

Re:With the end of unlimited data plans...? (1)

SmilingBoy (686281) | more than 3 years ago | (#36751962)

Tell your executives to use ALT-RIGHT SHIFT-DELETE - it does the same as a battery pull. Still annoying but less than taking out a battery.

In our SME, we are planning to move away from BlackBerries soon. They used to offer stability and security, but they are now less stable than Android or iPhone (and probably Windows Phone). Plus you need to maintain an additional server plus it costs more. There just doesn't seem to be a reason any more to stick to BlackBerry.

Re:With the end of unlimited data plans...? (5, Interesting)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 3 years ago | (#36751280)

Blackberries lock up, and theyre slow, and the browser sucks, but I still would take it any day of the week over an iPhone or even an android (unless they release a Galaxy S with a decent battery and a better keyboard...). Why?

1) The keyboards are always phenomenal. I can take notes on a blackberry quite well, keeping pace with a speaker. And the notes are always, automatically synced to the Exchange server, so I dont even have to worry about backups.

2) Battery life is phenomenal compared to Android power-devices. If the thing doesnt last through 8 hours of talking and data usage, then its worthless to me. Most days I dont use it quite that much, but others Im on the phone all day.

3) Keyboard shortcuts are phenomenal. It is trivial to fly around the menus on my Bold, compose a mail, copy/paste, bookmark and all the rest. Very little fiddling with menus.

4) BES is king. Active-sync is nice, and has its pros (like not needing yet another server and yet 2 more GB of RAM), but it also has a lot of cons-- certificate woes, iPhone woes (where it simply refuses to connect, even if the certs are all correct-- could be any number of things), lack of manageability, and not as many things are synced. Its getting better all the time, but BES still has fewer issues, easier deployment, better security, and more management options. And the new 5.0 BES has a web-management interface which (despite being ActiveX-style crufty) is great-- allows you do manage which public folders you sync, lets you do backups, etc.

If your idea of a smartphone is occasionally getting some emails and doing phone calls, sure, get an iPhone or Android. Some of the folks in my office have iPhones, and love them in general. But if you (like me) find yourself typing email on your phone even if theres a computer nearby, you really want to use a Blackberry. Theyre wonderful for business use, and I think it would be a mistake for RIM to start catering to home users-- theyll never beat iPhone at that game. The strength of a Blackberry is productivity.

Re:With the end of unlimited data plans...? (2)

stoanhart (876182) | more than 3 years ago | (#36751598)

On the keyboard note, I find that with SwiftKey for Android, touch-screen keyboard complaints are a thing of the past. I can tap out a full length, properly written (no txt abbreviations) message in no time, with little effort. Granted, I was never a BlackBerry user for more than a few days, so I can't compare directly, but I think I can type on my Galaxy S just as fast as anybody with a BB.

Re:With the end of unlimited data plans...? (1, Flamebait)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#36751672)

1) The keyboards are always phenomenal. I can take notes on a blackberry quite well, keeping pace with a speaker. And the notes are always, automatically synced to the Exchange server, so I dont even have to worry about backups.

You must have womanly-small fingers. I could never use a BB keyboard without constantly getting the wrong key.My HTC Evo Shift, meanwhile, has a gloriously useful keyboard that I can take notes on better than any BB I ever had.

2) Battery life is phenomenal compared to Android power-devices. If the thing doesnt last through 8 hours of talking and data usage, then its worthless to me. Most days I dont use it quite that much, but others Im on the phone all day.

If I'm going to need 8 hours of talking and data usage, I'm going to be somewhere I can plug in. My charger is standard micro-USB, easily plugs into the car adapter, wall adapter, or the nearest device with any sort of USB plug no problem.

3) Keyboard shortcuts are phenomenal. It is trivial to fly around the menus on my Bold, compose a mail, copy/paste, bookmark and all the rest. Very little fiddling with menus.

Funny. On my Droid, the stuff I use most is trivial to get to as well. The top 8 things I do are a homescreen touch away. That's a lot of things.

4) BES is king.

You're insane. BES is expensive, barely workable, wonky as hell crap that gives our server admins nightmares.

Active-sync is nice, and has its pros (like not needing yet another server and yet 2 more GB of RAM),

That's just the beginning.

but it also has a lot of cons-- certificate woes, iPhone woes (where it simply refuses to connect, even if the certs are all correct-- could be any number of things)

Funny, we have yet to have an iPhone have a problem connecting. Likewise with Droids. Supply username, password, server name, and they sync right up.

For Blackberries, meanwhile, you have to provide:
- the EXACT https OWA link
- Username/password
- User's "box" name, which could be anything at all and is likely different from the username
- AND every time they reset their password, you don't just have to reset the stored pword on the Blackberry, you have to delete the entire account setting and re-create it to get the fucking piece of shit to resync correctly.

This is a BLACKBERRY problem, not an OWA problem.

lack of manageability, and not as many things are synced.
Email, calendar, and contacts all sync. What else are you looking to sync?

Its getting better all the time, but BES still has fewer issues, easier deployment, better security, and more management options. And the new 5.0 BES has a web-management interface which (despite being ActiveX-style crufty) is great-- allows you do manage which public folders you sync, lets you do backups, etc.

I'm now convinced you have never actually seen an AD/OWA implementation, and are simply talking out your ass.

If your idea of a smartphone is occasionally getting some emails and doing phone calls, sure, get an iPhone or Android. Some of the folks in my office have iPhones, and love them in general. But if you (like me) find yourself typing email on your phone even if theres a computer nearby, you really want to use a Blackberry. Theyre wonderful for business use, and I think it would be a mistake for RIM to start catering to home users-- theyll never beat iPhone at that game. The strength of a Blackberry is productivity.

Blackberries help with productivity? You really must be joking. We've got users defecting to iPhone and Droid models in droves, who 2 years ago insisted they loved their blackberries and would never part with them, merely because of how cranky and impossible to use their blackberries are compared to the simplicity and elegance of the iOS and Droid models.

Re:With the end of unlimited data plans...? (1)

wiedzmin (1269816) | more than 3 years ago | (#36751356)

That's a user issue. Some people have to reboot their Windows PC's once a week two "to speed them up". Don't confuse product problems with PEBKAC.

Re:With the end of unlimited data plans...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36751774)

My Blackberry hard crashes every couple days. It's not a user issue.

Re:With the end of unlimited data plans...? (2)

ryanov (193048) | more than 3 years ago | (#36751668)

Good thing too, as it's not as if you can pull the battery on an iPhone.

Re:With the end of unlimited data plans...? (1)

Machtyn (759119) | more than 3 years ago | (#36751574)

5. From a more casual consumer point of view, the features aren't that great. The camera is at a crappy 3MP and the resulting images are blocky to smeared.

6. The screen is smaller and there is only the physical keyboard. On the plus side, it is a smaller device than an iOS or Android phone. Still, I'd rather have the screen size.

I don't have to do the battery pull trick too, often, but it does happen. My screen, within the first week, got smudges on the underside of the plastic. How that happened, I don't know, and I tried cleaning it to no avail. The latest OS for my blackberry (Curve 8530) seems to have sped things up, reduced battery pull lock ups, etc. Only reason I went with Blackberry? Cost. When getting my current plan, the BB was $50 and the Android phones available were in the $150+ range and didn't impress me with features. (I'll never own anything made by Apple.) The next time around - costs be damned, I'm getting an Android phone.

Re:With the end of unlimited data plans...? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36751610)

#3 - Apps. Face it, the amount of stuff I can load onto my Droid phone is incredible... more to the point, useful.

Your boss may not agree that Angry Birds is really a useful app to have on your phone - especially when you play instead of paying attention in meetings.

Re:With the end of unlimited data plans...? (1)

pnewhook (788591) | more than 3 years ago | (#36751886)

#1 - you can also do this for free with any email client

#2 - pdfs, excel, word attachments can all be read on a blackberry

#3 - I've got a bunch of useful apps for my torch, all I really need, but yes apps are in general inferior to apple apps.

#4 - Bullshit. Blackberries dont require constant resets or tweaking. they just work, out of the box. Mines trouble free and is teh FIST phone, smart or not that I actually find useful.

Re:With the end of unlimited data plans...? (1)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#36752006)

Bullshit. Blackberries dont require constant resets or tweaking. they just work, out of the box.

Except when they don't [google.com] .

OWA support on Blackberries, btw, is an absolute fucking joke.

Mines trouble free and is teh FIST

Wow. I worry about any phone that is "teh FIST." I mean, seriously, they have creams for that.

Re:With the end of unlimited data plans...? (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 3 years ago | (#36751156)

We often forget about the power of Good Enough when you compare it against excellent.
When we make decisions to buy x over y. We usually have a feature count, vs. feature quality. Especially if the matching features are good enough per match.
The iPhone out Featured the Blackberry. Blackberry had some features superior (Really nice keyboard, battery life for example) to the iPhones but... the iPhone was good enough to make such a feature superiority a minor detail. Then after you get the market share and you become a leader, then you will need to be either a Lot Better (bigger feature count of good enough or better) or a lot cheaper where you feel that you got a better deal.

Re:With the end of unlimited data plans...? (4, Insightful)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 3 years ago | (#36751868)

So this genius at RIM is so much in denial that he doesn't get that Apple is cutting away at RIM while Android and iOS are raping RIM because he doesn't understand the market anymore.

Sadly, this type of yesterday thinking permeates most of Fortune 1000 and is what most CEOs aspire to. To be a good CEO today, you need to be able to lie, talk bullshit, and have a two week plan. Period. And oh ya, be on the board of your friend so you can continue to vote for ever higher and completely unjustified salaries and benefits.

Seriously, most CEO's have a plan for tomorrow and maybe the next product release. That's it. If they have a one year plan or hell, even a two or three year plan, its a complete farce and a joke. They have it because its deemed a requirement to have for stock holders, not because they actually believe it or intend to follow it.

American CEOs have been shorting the shit out of the entire country for decades now. Its SOP. Its why so much manufacturing has left the country. In in part why American is sliding from prominence all the while the pay divide has never been larger.

Pragmatically, with no hyperbole, most CEOs should be fired - and justifiably so. Realistically, they get bonuses and higher salaries while destroying the economy around them and anything else if the next guy's problem because their sole job is to short the company, you and me, to day.

"Rise and fall" is a bad analogy with RIM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36750340)

More like going around and around in circles followed by the urge to brush your teeth.

Netcraft confirms it... RIM is dying. (5, Insightful)

grub (11606) | more than 3 years ago | (#36750356)


RIM was cool back in the day when data was super-expensive. They came up with a then-innovative end-to-end service to cut data consumption to a trickle.

Those days are over, people want streaming video, full email, full browsers, etc. on their phones.

Re:Netcraft confirms it... RIM is dying. (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 3 years ago | (#36750760)

people WANT to stream, but when carriers cap limits, what good is it? wifi, sure, but what about WAN?

I agree, I admire and prefer small updates over networks than piggish ones. I like lightweight protocols. I remember when snmp was created and they argued about a few BITS in the header and how to save them. each message was 'sacred' and you got good designer points if you minimized the amount of stuff that had to exit your computer and go over the network.

and with lossy networks or laggy networks, the same is true. you should not write apps and protocols *assuming* a piggish amount of local LAN-like bandwidth. that's mostly a sign that you grew up in the last 5 years and never knew what its like pre-internet or pre-fastethernet.

seems to be a lost art of those that still respect keeping net usage down. same attitude is when you see 1M files in .doc to say a few words.

Time to make a name change... (2)

Infiniti2000 (1720222) | more than 3 years ago | (#36750398)

Doesn't their "three-year roadmap" conflict with the company name?

Use the Droid platform (2, Interesting)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#36750428)

If RIM was smart, they would use the Droid platform running on another CPU core. That way, users could have both a BB that corporate users and developers want, why tapping into the popular droid market for future expansion. Eventually, they could migrate 100% toward the Droid platform with some additional BlackBerry APIs glued on to it.

When you're not in the position to negotiate, sometimes you have to dance with the elephant.

Re:Use the Droid platform (5, Insightful)

sunfly (1248694) | more than 3 years ago | (#36750482)

Droid is a race to the bottom. Why go with something you will be racing against JustStartedCompanyYesterday Corp. for slim or no profits?

Re:Use the Droid platform (2)

ninthbit (623926) | more than 3 years ago | (#36750640)

Because they have NO other choice. It's a "stay and play with the new rules" or "get out of the game" market right now. They no longer have a unique competative advantage other than their established userbase. Setting up a blackberry app that runs within an Android environment could setup a system in which people can bring their own device, but not have to deal with complete Corporate-IT lockdown of the phone since BB runs in it's own little sandbox.

Re:Use the Droid platform (2)

kevinmenzel (1403457) | more than 3 years ago | (#36750872)

They are about to start playing with the new rules. By bringing QNX to phones. Moving to 'Droid WOULD be "getting out of the game". Instead, they're moving to a new platform, and releasing it on phones when it's ready.

And they still have a competitive advantage. It's called a kick-ass keyboard.

Re:Use the Droid platform (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 3 years ago | (#36751508)

A significant minority, if not an outright majority, of smart phones have no physical keyboard. The best-selling model (iPhone) never had one. The BB keyboard may be great, but it's not much of an advantage.

Re:Use the Droid platform (1)

u38cg (607297) | more than 3 years ago | (#36751892)

I'm not sure. Yes, in this space you have to constantly innovate, but that's true no matter your platform. There is no platform out there that will let you create an inviolable market segment for long.

Re:Use the Droid platform (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#36750686)

I don't think so. Have you actually looked at the new system they have for the Playbook? It is really nice. Screens scroll smoothly. It is simple and straightforward. From a developer standpoint, you have the option of writing in Flash, or in native C++, or in Blackberry Java, or in Android Java.

Right now they only have the bare bones, and we haven't seen how their Android VM will be, but if it turns out as nice and clean as the rest of their system, it will be very good. And they will get all the Android Apps for free.

Re:Use the Droid platform (2)

Eponymous Coward (6097) | more than 3 years ago | (#36750960)

The dual-platform strategy didn't work for OS/2 and I don't think it will work for RIM either. I think they would have better luck getting out of the hardware business and go software-only. Build on top of the successful mobile OS's.

Playbook is a disaster. It's neat and is built on the best (IMHO) embedded OS out there, but it's too little, too late. It would be interesting if they were able to ship a tablet with a better display, longer battery life, and less expensive than the iPad, but they didn't. RIM doesn't have enough talent and capital to pull this off.

I predict somebody (Microsoft or Dell) will buy them soon for their IP.

Re:Use the Droid platform (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#36751208)

Yes, but the dual platform strategy did work for the VM/370, and it also worked for OSX.

You can say it is too little too late, but you are thinking of Palm. RIM has been hitting record profits for the last few years and is sitting on a huge pile of cash, much like Apple was when they introduced OSX. They introduced a decent platform, and they have the time to make incremental improvements, which is what it will take. Palm didn't have the same cash base and went out like a shooting star.

RIM actually has a chance if they play their cards right.

Re:Use the Droid platform (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 3 years ago | (#36751544)

Both of your examples are cases where the "other" platform was owned by the same company. They are not in any way comparable to a BB+Android pairing.

Re:Use the Droid platform (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36751880)

too little too late?
The ipod was just an mp3 player with a better UI.

It wasn't much, and there were already a lot of other mp3 players on the market.

Unless you think we've hit the end of the road in mobile computing it's too early to say "too litte too late".

Realistically RIM either independently or part of a larger organization is quite capable of developing and deploying new products.
They can make a good product.
I think they've still got the capacity and resources to push through another few products, all they need to do is snag a few good innovative ideas on the product and they can come back. Not that I really care, if they don't, I'm sure someone else will.

Re:Use the Droid platform (5, Informative)

sarhjinian (94086) | more than 3 years ago | (#36751262)

I don't think so. Have you actually looked at the new system they have for the Playbook? It is really nice. Screens scroll smoothly. It is simple and straightforward. From a developer standpoint, you have the option of writing in Flash, or in native C++, or in Blackberry Java, or in Android Java.

Yes, but your users don't have the option of running any of that because RIM hasn't released any of those environments, nor have they provided any hint as to when they might.

I have a PlayBook. It's pretty slick at it's core, but when it has next to no apps, can't do autocorrect, has all sorts of bizarre interface inconsistencies and stalls mysteriously when browsing the web (no, not because of Flash, which is a non-feature, IMO). This article is dead-bang-on in it's analysis of RIM's problems lying with Laziridis' engineering-induced blindness, and the PlayBook is an example of that mindset: hits all the features, has an amazing foundation but is hideously crippled in ways that matter to average people.

When people talk up the PlayBook, it's always "It runs Flash" (yes, it does; it does so better than any other tablet, which is like the old "winning a race at the special olympics" joke) or "It multitasks" (yes, it does, but you're challenged to find more than four apps worth running, and even then the memory management will fall down). That you can't type on it, that it's impossble to mark text, that it has no email client (and Bridge is a glitchy bastard) tell you everything you need to know about how RIM and it's people don't think about what actual consumers want.

It kills me, really. I love the form factor---I wish there was a 7" iPad---and the gestures are brilliant (even though they're not consistent across all apps), but RIM needs to fix this think fast. The problem is that I think they've already moved onto the OS7 phones, which in turn are evolutionary dead ends because a few months after that there's supposed to be QNX phones. I suppose, in a year, the PlayBook might be usable. Maybe.

It reeks of Nokia, actually.

Re:Use the Droid platform (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#36751382)

Yeap. It all depends on what Rim does with it. They have potential, but can they deliver? That is the question. Sounds like they are right now having the kinds of internal discussions that they need to be having if they are going to deliver.

From my perspective, the more quality platforms we have, the better. The rise of Blackberry does not hurt Android or IOS, it is better for all of us.

Re:Use the Droid platform (1)

idiot900 (166952) | more than 3 years ago | (#36751934)

I have a Playbook. It's nice to use but doesn't do much beyond browsing the web. My Android phone does a lot more, and has many more high-quality third-party apps available.

Developing for RIM platforms is frustrating. Developer documentation is poor quality and App World takes weeks to months to approve apps. Not acceptable when the base of app-buying users is not near that of iOS and Android. And since when have you been able to develop for Playbook in Java, with Android, or natively? These SDKs have been "coming soon" for a long time now.

Arrogance rarely wins... (5, Insightful)

sunfly (1248694) | more than 3 years ago | (#36750444)

Arrogance rarely wins, why is it so popular?

Re:Arrogance rarely wins... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36750588)

Its fun.

->Insert witty comment about never having to say you're sorry -

Re:Arrogance rarely wins... (1)

ninthbit (623926) | more than 3 years ago | (#36750704)

Such is the nature of CEO disease... they just happen to have a double dose of it.

Re:Arrogance rarely wins... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36750762)

It's rarely viewed as arrogance by the arrogant ones.

Re:Arrogance rarely wins... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36750878)

Because it's a good strategy. People believe the CEO making arrogant predictions for long enough that they can cash in their stock options and move to another company before anyone notices that they broke the last one.

Re:Arrogance rarely wins... (3, Insightful)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#36751002)

Because, when arrogance wins, it reaaaally wins. See Apple.

Re:Arrogance rarely wins... (5, Informative)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 3 years ago | (#36751246)

ITs fair to say that Steve has earned his arrogance. Founded PC company, was ousted, invents a computer that the WEB WAS INVENTED ON. Comes back to company he founded with the design THE WEB WAS INVENTED ON, said design becomes a decade long OS foundation for the company. He BOUGHT WALT Disney Inc, with a studio he paid a pittance for from Lucas. Itunes, ipod, Ipad all complete revolutions in the marketplace. But yeah, he doesnt deserve his arrogance.

Re:Arrogance rarely wins... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36751608)

Arrogance wins BIG. So long as you're right. It is the cheapest, and most profitable model. The problem is that not everyone is a rock-star, and it is tough to be right. Until you make a mistake, you can't make a mistake.

to top it off (2)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 3 years ago | (#36750512)

they're probably pissing off a lot of their customers by preventing them from deleting apps that are of no use to them, for example, MySpace

Bit offtopic thou but... (2, Interesting)

yoshi_mon (172895) | more than 3 years ago | (#36750530)

http://www.brightsideofnews.com/news/2011/7/5/wanna-be-the-ceo-of-nokia-take-the-simple-quiz.aspx [brightsideofnews.com]

It is a little scary and sad to see the parallels in these two once giants make so many mistakes. Not that they are making the same mistakes but they both clearly have one thing in common: inept top level leadership.

Re:Bit offtopic thou but... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36750922)

Nokia's management ineptitude wasn't limited to the top tier.

do what NeXT did. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36750688)

RIM needs to do what Jobs did to next in the mid 1990s. It's time for them to accept that their phone business is cooked. Nobody is waiting a week out in front of any stores to buy a RIM device. Nobody even knows what differentiates one device from another. It's 2011, not 1991, cellphone sets are widespread and the market has spoken, nobody wants a RIM phone.

RIM needs to get out of the hardware business, and port their mail reader to an application and sit on top of android, iOS, and Windows mobile (lol).

They need to focus on making BES suck less, and getting their application into as many hands as possible.

Loose the hardware, nobody will miss it.

Re:do what NeXT did. (1)

metalmaster (1005171) | more than 3 years ago | (#36750902)

Its a shame you posted as AC because this is a good idea.

Re:do what NeXT did. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36751242)

I know... Let's just say I'm WAY too close to the hurricane.

My prediction is that realestate along 450 Phillip St,
in Waterloo is about to get a whole lot cheaper.

What really led to their downfall is the 'echo chamber' culture. You see RIM is in a college town, all the campuses are here, and they just keep hiring locals. There is no 'global feel' to RIM. These are the same yokels that ran Watcom into the ground...

Re:do what NeXT did. (1)

sarhjinian (94086) | more than 3 years ago | (#36751338)

This is true, but they problem is revenue. How do they do that without slitting their throat? Apple tried and it nearly killed them; it did kill Palm.

I don't think they can, not unless they can find a way to make their software essential. Something like a secure BlackBerry Balance environment for the iPhone and Android might work (something that allows secure access to corporate resources, can be removed easily) along with porting BBM. Do you really think Apple or Google will allow such a move?

Re:do what NeXT did. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36751492)

It's either that or RIM find another product in another industry. I know it's a newsflash but the whole '3rd party obscure cell phone market' is shutting down rather quickly. RIM needs to enter into some kind of licensing agreement to bring their software to the other platforms (think executive iPhone powered by BB enterprise sw!) much the same what happened with NeXT going to the SPARC CPU's in exchange for patent licensing and development.

If SUN hadn't done Java there was a massive push to use OPENSTEP as a cross platform framework..

I'm pretty sure the big players will 'ease' the death of a hardware competitor... Much like Microsoft did with Nokia. Deals could be made, stuff could happen but Mike & crew are too busy daydreaming about QNX (Another Ontario disaster that just needs to freaking DIE) and retaking an industry that has left them behind.

Besides if we've learned anything from 1981, the big bucks are in software, not in the hardware.

Re:do what NeXT did. (2)

Rob Y. (110975) | more than 3 years ago | (#36751790)

Why not just stay in the hardware business and produce an android phone with their mail service as a value-add?

It's not that their hardware sucks. Its that they're trying to go it alone with a smartphone OS, and were too late to make that work.

Re:do what NeXT did. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36751906)

Ha, thats was already done--Good Technology is basically a push client on your platform of choice. Right now Good is replacing RIM and kicking their butt here as well.

Once Android and iPhone were released, it has all been about the applications on the phone, and no one wants to develop for a dying platform.

Battery life (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36750776)

I remember going to sit with the CMO of one of the largest wireless carriers, and we would deliver features like “increase battery life by 40%” in the next model, and we would get a blank look on the other side of the conference room.

Funny, that's exactly why I like my BlackBerry. I doubt the company is going to go under...I still see plenty of new BlackBerries. They should just stick to the low-end of the market and create cheap, reliable devices.

How much of this is fud? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36750794)

I always wondered how much the of this is volcal idiocy.

Sure, the RIM device isn't an i-Phone... but it isn't an i-Phone. Truth is they sold into a market they weren't in 5 years ago, and that's the brain dead consumer market. The brain dead consumer doesn't care how much data their phone uses 'till they get the bill and they don't care that it supports bluetooth sim access profile with 3W car phones untill they find out that it doesn't. They care that there isn't 5000 useless apps that are all pimped by a 3rd party and they don't notice copy and paste doesn't work until the 3rd software version.

First it was NORTEL... (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 3 years ago | (#36750852)

...next appears to be RIM. Is there something wrong with Canadian tech giants?

I have always asked myself why Canada is the only major industrialized country without a car name synonymous with it.

USA has GM, Italy has Fiat, UK has Landrover/Rover, Japan has Toyota, Germany has Mercedes/BMW, France has Peugeot, Russia has Lada...but Canada has...?

Re:First it was NORTEL... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36751040)

Canada had Studebaker...

Re:First it was NORTEL... (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#36751160)

Studebaker was an American company with a plant in Canada.

Studebaker Plant 7 was at Walkerville, Canada, where complete cars were assembled from South Bend, Detroit, and locally-made components for the Canadian and British Empire (right-hand-drive) trade. By locating it there, Studebaker could advertise the cars as "British-built" and qualify for reduced tariffs.

After World War Two, Studebaker moved operations to Hamilton, Ontario in 1947, until December 1963, it manufactured automobiles as a satellite facility using engines produced in the United States. Studebaker half-ton pickup trucks were assembled at Hamilton from 1950 through 1955.

Re:First it was NORTEL... (1)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 3 years ago | (#36751228)

Studebaker was an American car company that did some manufacturing in Canada. If Studebaker counts as Canadian, then Toyota is American and GM is Chinese.

Re:First it was NORTEL... (1)

DaemonRun (2363728) | more than 3 years ago | (#36751076)

I was just asking myself the same question; RIM, Nortel, Spar, Avro.... we have a track record of fantastic innovation (Blackberry keyboard, Routers, Canada ARM, Arrow jet)... but for some reason no successful tech companies long term. Sooner or later these cutting edge companies shut down and our best/brightest end up moving to the States for work. Are we stuck as hewers of wood, drawers of water and (now) diggers of Oil?

Re:First it was NORTEL... (1)

Lieutenant_Dan (583843) | more than 3 years ago | (#36751372)

Companies falter ... I see your Nortel, I raise you Wang Labs (snicker), Commodore, 3DFX, RCA, etc ...

Re:First it was NORTEL... (1)

mrops (927562) | more than 3 years ago | (#36751098)

Canada has manufacturing off all those GM and Ford cars.

Re:First it was NORTEL... (1)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 3 years ago | (#36751110)

The Campagna T-Rex!

Re:First it was NORTEL... (1)

Lieutenant_Dan (583843) | more than 3 years ago | (#36751270)

Well, not automotive but Canada has Bombardier.

Re:First it was NORTEL... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36751320)

Canada has Magna. The average consumer's never heard of them, but they engineer and build critical systems for almost every other car company out there. If they vanished, the whole global auto industry would shut down for a year or more.

But your point is valid- Canada's given up any semblance of industrial leadership, in favour of simply shipping out raw materials for China and the US.

Re:First it was NORTEL... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36751522)

The REO Speedwagon!

Re:First it was NORTEL... (1)

master_kaos (1027308) | more than 3 years ago | (#36751558)

Canada had ATI, but then sold it to AMD.

Re:First it was NORTEL... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36751682)

Well, there's still OpenBSD.

I wouldn't be surprised if GM built more cars in Canada than the US.

Re:First it was NORTEL... (0)

radtea (464814) | more than 3 years ago | (#36751718)

...next appears to be RIM. Is there something wrong with Canadian tech giants?

Yeah, they don't have the US military as their major customer and don't have access to capital from banks that get bailed out by the American taxpayer when they get into trouble.

Apart from that, they are badly run as any American company.

Re:First it was NORTEL... (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 3 years ago | (#36751896)

I have always asked myself why Canada is the only major industrialized country without a car name synonymous with it.

USA has GM, Italy has Fiat, UK has Landrover/Rover, Japan has Toyota, Germany has Mercedes/BMW, France has Peugeot, Russia has Lada...but Canada has...?

You've never heard of CC&F?
There are others: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Motor_vehicle_manufacturers_of_Canada [wikipedia.org]

People overestimate the value of "cool" (4, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#36750866)

I read the first paragraphs and then skimmed further into it. What I got was "RIM started out well but then didn't really do anything new or good after that."

Okay, let's be clear on what RIM and Blackberry are and what they are not. RIM and Blackberry are about business. They target business users and cater to the needs of business. What they are not and never have been is a pop consumer devices. Many of the comments were targeting recent trends in phones such as iPhone and Android and the like. As much as I like my Samsung Galaxy phone, it's a consumer device just as the iPhone is. Both can be retrofitted with "needed business features" but from its core to its shell, RIM and Blackberry are business first and foremost.

RIM is not going anywhere just yet. They have their place. Business and government want central control and management of their infrastructure and Blackberry can be used as an extension of their infrastructure in ways that others do not... not yet anyway. (And I presume some of that is based on patents held by RIM.)

And I am rather disappointed that people these days are unable to look down the road or even back up the road where they came from. I think market trends are good to watch as it is an indicator of what works, what doesn't, what's long-term and what isn't. The iPhone/Android battle makes the market exciting. It's a catalyst for change and improvement... or it would be if it weren't for every business with an "on the internet" patent trying to sue one another to death. It's certainly very lively, I'm sure all will agree. But moving at a rapid pace when you already have a steady market niche would present further risk to RIM that isn't really present for the likes of Apple, HTC or Samsung.

While Android and iPhone are used in many business environments, only Blackberry doesn't compromise the sovereignty of the business over its data. Apple wants to control all iPhones and the apps that go on them. Android is anarchy. Blackberry provides tools of control and configurability to business over even those of the phone carrier. (For example, using a BES, I was able to turn on tethering for a phone whose carrier did not permit it.) This is important to business people who understand the difference. (Unfortunately, since executives are prone to buying the pie-in-the-sky "cloud" idea for everything, what business people are willing to understand is demonstrably limited.)

The basic notions that made Blackberry great from the beginning are still valid today. The things I see happening in the industry right now is a lot of glitz and eye candy but not so much in the way of new ideas. RIM isn't making a lot of noise right now, but they don't have to. If RIM wanted to play in the Android market or to create yet another line of phones, they would do so at the peril of their core market. If I were RIM and felt it were necessary, I would create a new brand and not call it Blackberry at all so that people would know the difference. RIM has something that no one else has and they need to stay with it.

Re:People overestimate the value of "cool" (5, Insightful)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#36751198)

"RIM has something that no one else has and they need to stay with it."

Falling market share and profits.

Re:People overestimate the value of "cool" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36751734)

Pretty sure Apple has it covered.

Re:People overestimate the value of "cool" (3, Insightful)

DaemonRun (2363728) | more than 3 years ago | (#36751350)

I would completely agree with all of that... but it doesn't change the fact that the stock price has dropped by half and the market share keeps falling. I think RIM should have taken your advice and stayed focused on the business market... their attempts at "pop phones" as you call them (great term BTW), has been a disaster (think Storm).

Re:People overestimate the value of "cool" (2)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 3 years ago | (#36751366)

The problem is, that the other guys are taking such a huge share of hte market on the consumer side that its impossible for RIM to shape the market even on the business side. Economy of scale is going to kill RIM in your scenario. Make no mistake RIM is in a death spiral and will not remain independant for long. The weight of the other players will be too much for them. Its like gaming consoles. For years PCs were king, but the economics of the console masses cannot be denied and geenrally adversely affect the PC experience. Even if Rim survives, they will be very much a 'me-too' player.

Re:People overestimate the value of "cool" (3, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 3 years ago | (#36751420)

Yes RIMs are about Business. But the iPhones and Androids are entering the business field too, and they are entering very fast. As they are a Good enough phone for work plus a toy after hours.

Re:People overestimate the value of "cool" (1)

acoustix (123925) | more than 3 years ago | (#36751806)

But how do you manage those devices? Like the OP said, businesses and government like centralized management of devices. So far RIM's BB wins that feature category and its not even close.

Just because someone has a smartphone for a personal device doesn't mean that they should be able to use it to access the business network. Users aren't allowed to put their home computers and notebooks on the company network. Why would mobile devices, with shady privilege practices be any different?

Re:People overestimate the value of "cool" (4, Interesting)

JamesP (688957) | more than 3 years ago | (#36751464)

You're thinking exactly like RIM, and that's why they're going down the drain.

The basic notions that made Blackberry great from the beginning are still valid today

Absolutely not. Several things changed in smartphones and carriers and IT.

Why would you bother configuring Blackberry email forwarding if you can have an IMAP client?

Especially, why would you pay to only have what blackberry offers? And why only sell to corporations?

You can have a stripped down version of your phone for the tin-hat crowd, no problem there, but evolve!

Re:People overestimate the value of "cool" (1)

acoustix (123925) | more than 3 years ago | (#36751840)

Why would you bother configuring Blackberry email forwarding if you can have an IMAP client?

MAPI > IMAP in the enterprise. Why would any business user choose only email vs email/calendar/contacts/notes/etc?

Re:People overestimate the value of "cool" (2)

JamesP (688957) | more than 3 years ago | (#36752042)

Why would you bother configuring Blackberry email forwarding if you can have an IMAP client?

MAPI > IMAP in the enterprise. Why would any business user choose only email vs email/calendar/contacts/notes/etc?

You're right I forgot about that. But iPhone syncs with Exchange. Android too, apparently out of the box.

MAPI is good if you have an exchange environment, and bad for everything else. Of course Outlook only syncs with MAPI properly.

Re:People overestimate the value of "cool" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36751502)

"I read the first paragraphs and then skimmed further into it." then proceed to write several paragraphs of your own opinion. So, you'd rather talk about yourself rather than RTFA and learn something. Wow.

Re:People overestimate the value of "cool" (2)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 3 years ago | (#36751636)

I would agree, and there will be a niche for RIM for quite some time, except that people are getting less and less tolerant of having multiple, overlapping devices they have to carry. The newer phones targeted at consumers can do what RIM does from a user point of view, and they do most of it better.

In business, the old adage is that you're either growing or you're dying. And RIM is not in the position to grow with their current plans.

Layoffs are certain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36750908)

There will be a lot of people without RIM jobs.

For those who read TFA... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36750954)

RIM will always survive off a fairly large niche group of users. The article mentions RIM placing battery life and speakerphone volume and build quality/durability over features such as an mp3 player or camera. I for one support this approach which is why I will continue to purchase blackberry phones...I'm sure there are more than a few people right now that have a blackberry next to them that's survived many years of abuse.

Re:For those who read TFA... (0)

the_B0fh (208483) | more than 3 years ago | (#36751586)

You never had to reset a crackberry by removing the batteries? You must be one of those mythical people who love crackberries

Anyone remember Palm? (1)

DoctorFuji (1331807) | more than 3 years ago | (#36751054)

Remember Palm? How they watched as the tech passed them by and never quite caught up. In their heyday, they had the market cornered for PIMs and saw the smartphone just kill them off. Their attempts to become relevant again were feeble at best.

Re:Anyone remember Palm? (1)

the_B0fh (208483) | more than 3 years ago | (#36751620)

Treos worked fine.

Palm's biggest problem was hiring the CEO of Reeboks to be their CEO. And what did Mr. Genius CEO do? Mr. Genius CEO (this is when Palm Vx came out) said - our biggest asset is our brand. So we are going to expand on branding ($$ into marketing) and stop doing R&D. Because, you know, people buy a Palmpilot or Treo because of the brand...

Blame the board for hiring an idiot.

Re:Anyone remember Palm? (1)

ryanov (193048) | more than 3 years ago | (#36751740)

They were not feeble, they just were a little to late to make the impact they needed to. I have one of their phones now and it's great.

What a waste of electrons... (2)

sirwired (27582) | more than 3 years ago | (#36751096)

That article to me seemed to be nothing more than a bunch of sour grapes and gossip from anonymous sources. I'm not saying RIM is, in fact, a thriving titan of mobile technology on the cusp of taking over the world. What I am saying is that that article provided no more useful information about RIM than US Weekly has about the Celebrity Train Wreck of the Week.

Why a blackberry (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36751196)

I have a 2yr old blackberry, and I'll share a few product comments.

Message indicator light.
  - pop ups are annoying, why Apple hasn't realized this, I don't know.
Blackberry messenger.
- as long as your contacts also use it, it's great.
Keyboard shortcuts.
- Designed for blackberry apps can be really fast to use. Ported apps often feel clunky.

I think the other features are pretty equivalent.
Native web browser sucks, third party browsers are better
App selection is narrow, but there are quite a few excellent apps that let me get things done.
Endomondo, poynt, honeydew
Camera is pretty good, I've seen better and worse on other phones
keyboard is nice, but I'd likely adapt to a touchscreen

Dumb things, lots of them
Arbitrary limits on email addresses for a contact, only 3 email address?
Can't set the default calendar
Some bugs just never get fixed, I don't think they care.
memory leaks & not enough memory,
Reboots are a normal part of usage, a reboot app is one of the most popular.

At the end, since I mostly just send sms & email, the keyboard and no-pop ups are great. But such trivial features are really not much of a competitive advantage.

"Mike is brilliant...Mike is brilliant..." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36751224)

You can tell the hallmark of a true RIM loyalist (bootlicker) is the "Mike is brilliant" mantra, and this is oft repeated throughout this article. And yet, this article is full of counter-examples of just HOW he isn't brilliant, how he completely and utterly missed "where things are going."

And this is the heart of the problem. RIM's executive team, especially Mike Lazaridis, is surrounded by a group of fawning yes-men who are afraid to tell Mike he's full of shit. It was true in the 90's to early 2000's when I worked there, and is apparently still very true now. Wanna know why the BlackBerry didn't have a touch screen until recently? Because Mike hates touch screens (as was the edict back in 2000). To say they missed the boat on this is an understatement.

"...how little data usage a user would use..." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36751434)

From the Dept of Redundancy Dept.

Obvious usage is obvious.

Speed/Efficiency (3, Interesting)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 3 years ago | (#36751688)

For a corporate device, nothing beats the speed and efficiency with which you can use the BlackBerry. I have an Android device and a BlackBerry and I can still respond to email/text messages faster on the BlackBerry. I will give Mike the benefit of that one. It's battery life is also incredible and I do appreciate that feature. That much said, outside of the corporate/government arena, the BlackBerry is pretty well useless. The Android wins hands down for features of web browsing and social networking. I like both of the devices. RIM builds a device that is a workhorse, not full of bling. I think RIM could begin a comeback by not requiring carriers to use their NOC and opening the device up just a little bit.

They got their name wrong to begin with (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36751818)

If you're gonna give yourself a name that can refer to part of a toilet or an asshole, might as well make it stand for Research In the Market.

Sent from my Android.

two words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36751858)

Open source. Release BB OS as open source.

Probably the only solution that can render company viable.

Why so much FUD? (1)

Fractal Dice (696349) | more than 3 years ago | (#36751860)

There seems to be an intense eagerness on slashdot to predict RIM's demise. It smells like deliberate FUD, whether from a competitor or just self-flagellating Canadian doomsayers who no longer get their regular fix from staring into the abyss of Nortel.

They did the one thing right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36751948)

They certainly have a great niche that they've cut out for themselves, the question is can they apply the same principles that allowed them to get there to a new product line so that they show some growth and are able to transform their original product when the time comes... such a simple notion, if you fail to plan...

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