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BlackBerry 10 Unveiled

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the hail-mary dept.

Blackberry 185

arcite writes "Research in Motion Ltd's new CEO, Thorsten Heins, unveiled BlackBerry 10 in Florida today. Will new features such as a virtual keyboard that learns from typing behavior and a camera that easily focuses on faces be enough to scrape back precious market share (which could possibly fall to 5%) from the likes of Apple and Android? With no physical device yet revealed and a release date ranging anywhere from August to October, it will be an uphill battle." Engadget had some brief hands-on time with a dev Alpha. It seems RIM is trying to jumpstart app development through its App Generator and financial incentives.

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185 comments

RIM is dead (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39860759)

RIM is dead. Shit sux. Amateur hour [mashable.com] apparently is only over for them.

in other news, Philco has a new audio tube. (3, Insightful)

swschrad (312009) | more than 2 years ago | (#39860807)

and the all-new 2013 Tucker will run on air.

RIM is out in the garden at this point with all the other vegetables, and you can write your investment off.

Re:in other news, Philco has a new audio tube. (4, Funny)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 2 years ago | (#39861895)

I'm thinking of cashing out my bitcoins to buy RIM stock, RIM seems like a good bet.

Rimm should pull a Nokia (3, Insightful)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 2 years ago | (#39862285)

RIMM needs to decide it can compete as a hardware maker against samsung and HTC. If they can, then they should switch to android (for the apps and open platform) and implement their own enterprise technoogy over it. They should further do like the Amazon Fire and pre-process web fetches not just for speed but also for security (e.g. maintain ssl, filter out phishing attacks and viruses, restrict access to corporate approved functions, disable features like cameras or recoring in restricted corprorate areas). They will thus become the premier value added corprorate android phone.

If they can't compete against Samsung and HTC on hardware then they need to stay away from android. Windows 8 would be the logical choice and it is aligned with bussinesses. Their best route there would be to be the premier Intel based smart phone. Windows 8 is going to run better on intel and arm. Corporations will be able to port their proprietary windows platform codes to win8 on intel. And windows RT (arm) appears to be a disaster. So they could beat Nokia in the corporate smart phone area. Let nokia have the developing nations market. High margins for their enterprise system and a high barrier to entry for everyine else in that sector.

Re:Rimm should pull a Nokia (4, Insightful)

shmlco (594907) | more than 2 years ago | (#39862443)

Problem is, RIM thinks they're in the mobile phone business. They're not. They think they're in the handset business. They're not.

They're in the communications business.

The value behind the BlackBerry phone system is BlackBerry Messenger, not yet another new handset that in itself offers little over its competition. BBM, and the backend services, are what make the platform valuable. Without it, a BlackBerry is just a so-so phone with a decent keyboard.

To survive, RIM needs to roll out a secure, cross-platform messaging system for use on existing smartphones and tablets. That's iOS. That's Android. And that's Window's Phone.

See http://www.isights.org/2012/04/rim-would-prefer-to-license-blackberry-os-wrong.html [isights.org]

Re:Rimm should pull a Nokia (5, Insightful)

xaosflux (917784) | more than 2 years ago | (#39862611)

The value behind RIM isn't BBM, it is BES. RIM does exchange integration very well, and that is from BES.

Shouldn't shareholders demand an asset auction... (3, Interesting)

swb (14022) | more than 2 years ago | (#39860811)

...and wind down of the company while it is still somewhat profitable? i.e., before management does all those desperate things they like to do at the end, like pay themselves huge retention bonuses and blow metric assloads of money on hail-mary projects metaphysically certain to fail, all of which buries the company in debt that will cause shareholders to receive nothing from the bankruptcy certain to result.

Re:Shouldn't shareholders demand an asset auction. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39861025)

You could have said the same thing to the Apple shareholder when Mr. Pepsi ran it to the ground.

Re:Shouldn't shareholders demand an asset auction. (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 2 years ago | (#39861151)

And you'd be correct. Apple sold off all their assets to NeXT (for -400 million).

Re:Shouldn't shareholders demand an asset auction. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39861349)

So, no debt. Billions of cash on the books. A rapidly growing equity position. $500 milion in free cash flow each quarter. Prem Watsa on the board of directors (a very famous value investor the likes of Warren Buffett).

So, you say that management is hoarding the cash to themselves. OK, show us hte SEC statments to prove this comment. Otherwise it is all misleading garbage.

Re:Shouldn't shareholders demand an asset auction. (1, Offtopic)

alienzed (732782) | more than 2 years ago | (#39861363)

What's SO wrong with a few small players in the market? Doesn't anyone see the danger in only having mega-corporations making all our products? RIM is selling millions of devices per quarter, sure that's less than they used to sell but is that not enough to be considered successful? So what if they aren't breaking sales records, they are still huge and their products are still high quality. Personally I can't wait until these mega corporations are deemed illegal. They leech every last penny out of the system in the name of capitalism, forcing competitors out of the market and making the chance of other small businesses competing almost impossible. If products were made, marketed and sold locally, the distribution of wealth wouldn't be so skewed.

Re:Shouldn't shareholders demand an asset auction. (2)

JMZero (449047) | more than 2 years ago | (#39861695)

The only reason they're selling a few million is because they used to be selling many millions. On their current course (which they seem to be accelerating on), they soon won't be a small player, they'll be non-existent. As the parent poster suggests, at that point the random shareholders lose everything and anything of value they've made will be lost. If they sell now, it means the random investors get something out, and the things of value they've created will be more likely to be preserved. It also means some executives have to swallow some pride and find a new job, so it won't happen.

If products were made, marketed and sold locally, the distribution of wealth wouldn't be so skewed.

For most of history, this was the case. Almost everything people used was made within a few mile radius (often by themselves). I don't think you want to live in "most of history". Tremendous specialization of labor and mass production are what created modern civilization, and neither of those ideas work without large distribution networks.

Distribution of wealth is a growing problem because individual humans are worth less and less to the economy. The economy used to need more people for all sorts of things. Now it needs less. Eventually it will need very few. People will cling to capitalism long after it has ceased to be an effective way to distribute wealth.

Re:Shouldn't shareholders demand an asset auction. (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | more than 2 years ago | (#39861889)

And books still get translated into Esperanto – but less then Estonian. And more are books are translated into Spanish then Estonian.

But 3rd party Apps are proving to the killer app in the smart phone market. Why would a developer want to build a polished optimized app for the Blackberry – even if it’s a 6 month old version of their current product?

While Betamax was the gold standard, Sony got out when it realized it was going to be a nich product. Now, nich products can survive and thrive – but they tend not to rely on the networking effects on the modern computer era.

I just don’t see much life for a small, propriety phone OS. They are going to need to dig Steve Jobs out of the ground and come up with a new dead brilliant idea if they are going to remain independent.

Re:Shouldn't shareholders demand an asset auction. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39862497)

But 3rd party Apps are proving to the killer app in the smart phone market. Why would a developer want to build a polished optimized app for the Blackberry – even if it’s a 6 month old version of their current product?

That's the real problem here: the fragmentation of the application marketplaces. There's no good reason for the vast majority of iOS and Android apps to not just be written in cross-platform HTML5/JS/CSS except that neither Apple nor Google wants to support that as a first-class application platform because that would make competition too easy. To be fair, it may be true that only newer smartphones/versions of WebKit are powerful/efficient enough to actually run HTML5 apps at speeds and power usages comparable to native apps.

Re:Shouldn't shareholders demand an asset auction. (1)

Wovel (964431) | more than 2 years ago | (#39862607)

Betamax lived until everything went digital. Not sure you can say Sony really "got out"... In fact all of their digital stuff is still based on Beta (Betacam). They have been very supportive of the niche market Beta has with professionals.

Re:Shouldn't shareholders demand an asset auction. (1)

mr1911 (1942298) | more than 2 years ago | (#39861899)

Personally I can't wait until these mega corporations are deemed illegal.

Who is going to deem them illegal? The same government that deemed mega corporations "too big to fail" and poured hundreds of billions of taxpayer money in to prop them up?

If products were made, marketed and sold locally, the distribution of wealth wouldn't be so skewed.

That is nice when you are talking about produce at the grocery store, but the "gotta have it" gizmos everyone is enamored with wouldn't exist in such a system. What did exist would offer significantly reduced utility at a much higher price.

Spreading the wealth is a nice concept, but in reality causes there to be much less wealth to be spread around. That makes it easier to achieve the stated goal, but doesn't do much toward the intended goal.

Re:Shouldn't shareholders demand an asset auction. (2)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#39862085)

That is nice when you are talking about produce at the grocery store, but the "gotta have it" gizmos everyone is enamored with wouldn't exist in such a system. What did exist would offer significantly reduced utility at a much higher price.

Exactly; the reason these electronic gizmos are so affordable is because they're made by a few players in enormous quantities for a global market. Smartphones made in small quantities and only sold in a certain region would cost millions, and simply wouldn't be made. The economies of scale that apply to hardware and software development don't apply to vegetables grown on a farm, so there's natural limits as to how cheaply you can grow and sell a cucumber, and larger agriculture companies end up cutting corners to get their prices down and yield up, by doing things like picking fruit way too early or spraying it with toxic chemicals so there's room for local growers to compete on quality (by accepting a lower yield and not spraying pesticides, or by leaving fruit on the plant longer since they don't have to ship it to another continent but only 100 miles).

Re:Shouldn't shareholders demand an asset auction. (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#39862041)

If products were made, marketed and sold locally, the distribution of wealth wouldn't be so skewed.

Ah yes, I'm sure that locally-made smartphones, totally incompatible with smartphones made in other regions, and totally incompatible with cellular networks in other regions or countries, would be a great thing for the economy. I'm sure app developers would be jumping up and down to write apps for dozens or hundreds of different proprietary smartphone OSes used all over the world.

Re:Shouldn't shareholders demand an asset auction. (1)

rainhill (86347) | more than 2 years ago | (#39861767)

+1, but they'l never do that.. as always, investors the suckers.

"App Generator" is what's killing phones. (0, Troll)

GerbilSoft (761537) | more than 2 years ago | (#39860827)

"App Generator" and similar services for iOS and Android are the reason why crApp stores are filled with millions of worthless crApps. What exactly is the point of a single crApp that functions exactly like a web browser but is limited to a single site, when you could just use the system web browser to do the same thing?

Of course, Apple and BlackBerry love the concept, because it means they get to claim they have "millions of crApps". (Ironically, just a few years ago, Apple fanboys were claiming that the Mac platform was better because even though it had fewer applications, the quality was higher than Windows. Funny how their tone changed when the iPhone App Store was unveiled.)

Re:"App Generator" is what's killing phones. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39860899)

Really? You're on Slashdot and you can't figure out why the average person is more interested in a portable app platform than a basic phone?

REALLY?

There's a point in life you reach where you realize you have become an out-of-touch curmudgeon, for you, this time is now.

Re:"App Generator" is what's killing phones. (1)

GerbilSoft (761537) | more than 2 years ago | (#39860987)

When the software is actually useful? Maybe.

When the software consists of nothing more than worthless single-site browsers that do nothing but show a webpage? Definitely not.

Tell me: Would you like all the software on your computer to consist of nothing but web page frontends? If so, you may want to switch to Chrome OS, and I hope you enjoy your laggy response time and inevitable "cloud" data loss.

Re:"App Generator" is what's killing phones. (1)

Tarlus (1000874) | more than 2 years ago | (#39861909)

When the software consists of nothing more than worthless single-site browsers that do nothing but show a webpage?

It doesn't, though... There's a vast selection of useful applications. Many of them interface with centralized web services (Evernote, Facebook, Netflix, weather forecast, just to name some examples) however I wouldn't consider them to be worthless. I don't doubt that app stores are riddled with useless webpage loaders, but I never really see them...

Re:"App Generator" is what's killing phones. (1)

ChatHuant (801522) | more than 2 years ago | (#39861111)

What exactly is the point of a single crApp that functions exactly like a web browser but is limited to a single site, when you could just use the system web browser to do the same thing?
 

Better performance, much more efficient, and complete control over the app's behavior, which in most cases means a much better user experience. Add not having to deal with the various browser quirks, and it's often a compelling case - as Apple, Google and many others have proven.

Re:"App Generator" is what's killing phones. (1)

GerbilSoft (761537) | more than 2 years ago | (#39861205)

Most of these single-site browsers don't actually have their own browser software. They just reuse the browser component that's included with the phone OS, which is also used by the regular browser.

Rendering shouldn't be any different between a program that uses a component and the original browser. If it is, then something is wrong with the browser.

Re:"App Generator" is what's killing phones. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39861461)

crApp? Ha ha ha, I see what you did there. It's a portmanteau of "crap" and "app". You're right to use it over and over and over again, as something that witty can't possibly become tired. Your humor is as cringeworthy as seeing an 80 year old man flirting with a 15 year old. I agree though that these apps that are nothing more than a replication of the website are fucking pointless. I'm tired of sites offering me their app, knowing full and well that the app will likely do nothing more than the website does. Incidentally, what are you rambling on about? Whose tone changed and what the fuck does it have to do with iOS being bogged down with shit? Mac platform is the same as iOS in the sense that XBox is Windows. Are you like really old or something?

Re:"App Generator" is what's killing phones. (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 2 years ago | (#39862565)

"crApp"?

You're trying too hard. We get it: you don't think smartphones are useful or worthwhile. Perhaps they're simply not for you?

Not a single one (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39860837)

Research in Motion...unveiled BlackBerry 10

And not a single fuck was given that day.

Re:Not a single one (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39860961)

Yup! Even all the developers at QNX (It's in my city and I've actually worked there), won't care, because the OS has other solid customers. In the worst case, they'll get sold off by a dying RIM and it will be business as usual build dashboards for Harman-Becker and all the other companies who swear by QNX.

Re:Not a single one (1)

Tarlus (1000874) | more than 2 years ago | (#39861939)

I gave a fuck. I have to be able to support these damn things on a BES when they are released.

But it wasn't a happy fuck. Indeed, it was a rather troubled fuck.

BB is a business phone (2, Insightful)

Alworx (885008) | more than 2 years ago | (#39860859)

BB is a business phone, I think any attempt to make it more of a toy can only make matters worse.

Apple and Android are very tough competitors, no point aiming at ousting them.

Business people (if they exist, of course) need a phone which performs the usual basic office tasks, can be used a whole day without the battery dying and easily ties in to the corporate communications suite.

Re:BB is a business phone (4, Insightful)

BagOBones (574735) | more than 2 years ago | (#39860967)

You must have missed all the news about users opting out of outdated business devices to purchase their own devices and how business is are going nuts over bring your own device initiatives thinking it saves them money.

Also the latest RIM devices are no-longer monochrome devices that last days on a charge, their touch screen units are barely on part with others in the market for battery life.

Re:BB is a business phone (2)

CharmElCheikh (1140197) | more than 2 years ago | (#39861209)

Amen to that. I don't care whether or not my smartphone has Angry Birds, but I care that I can quickly browse my inbox and answer a few emails, reply to meeting invites and proof read documents without having to wonder when the heck will I have one hour near a power socket to charge it.

Re:BB is a business phone (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#39862121)

Most other users, however, DO care if their phone has Angry Birds or other such apps. So if they have a choice between a) boring business-only phone, or b) cool do-everything phone that has zillions of apps and games, they're going to pick b). Of course, there's a few weirdos who'll tell them to just carry around two phones, one for work and one for personal use, but what kind of idiot wants to carry around two phones?

Re:BB is a business phone (2)

war4peace (1628283) | more than 2 years ago | (#39862471)

but what kind of idiot wants to carry around two phones?

Me, for example.
I don't mix business life with personal life, and when I'm off duty, I shut down my business phone but am still available to family through my personal phone. It helps.

Re:BB is a business phone (1)

Alworx (885008) | more than 2 years ago | (#39861279)

My point exactly. So called "business people" prefer a phone where they can muck around throwing birds left, right and centre and miss the occasional call because they forgot the phone charger at home... and RIM has fallen between the two proverbial stools not satisfying either need.

Re:BB is a business phone (1)

narcc (412956) | more than 2 years ago | (#39861815)

Also the latest RIM devices are no-longer monochrome devices that last days on a charge

That's true. They're now full-color touch-screen devices that last for days on a charge.

Re:BB is a business phone (0)

alexander_686 (957440) | more than 2 years ago | (#39861955)

I’ll second that.

At my company everybody had a BlackBerry because of it’s secure e-mail push feature.

Then we went with “Good”. (I love modern names – I still have fond memories of working on a enterprise piece of software that was called BETA.) In any event, we now can have secure e-mails on any phone.

Everybody turned in their business Blackberries and started using their personal phones (Mostly Apples).

As far as I can tell their dead in the water.

Re:BB is a business phone (1)

thsths (31372) | more than 2 years ago | (#39862177)

> As far as I can tell their dead in the water.

As far as I can tell
  - you can't spell

Re:BB is a business phone (1)

war4peace (1628283) | more than 2 years ago | (#39862557)

Depends.
He's basically saying he only can tell their dead in the water (presumably able to tell their dead apart from other dead) up to some extent :) - the phrase still makes sense, but it's constructed in a weird way, not to mention that it makes no sense in the given context. But strictly from a literary standpoint... it's correct.

Re:BB is a business phone (1)

Anonymous Psychopath (18031) | more than 2 years ago | (#39861085)

BB is a business phone, I think any attempt to make it more of a toy can only make matters worse.

Apple and Android are very tough competitors, no point aiming at ousting them.

Business people (if they exist, of course) need a phone which performs the usual basic office tasks, can be used a whole day without the battery dying and easily ties in to the corporate communications suite.

You're dead wrong. RIM must offer devices that can be used for work AND play, because that's what their competition offers and that's why customers aren't choosing Blackberry when they are offered a choice. If they don't change, they're sunk.

Re:BB is a business phone (1)

horza (87255) | more than 2 years ago | (#39862051)

I don't know. I loved my Nokia E71 before Nokia suicided, and many of my business friends swear by their Crackberries. Most of the business people that jumped on the iPhone train are now sick of it and looking to switch. Much as I love my S2, I miss the proper keyboard and battery life is as bad as the iPhone once you put on several VoIP apps to speak with friends abroad for free.

If Blackberry produced a razor thin phone that lasted for days on end and had keyboard plus slick integration, then I would love to have one for business which I put in my suit pocket and then a Note for personal use.

Phillip.

Re:BB is a business phone (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39861199)

Unfortunately, I think that ship has sailed for RIM. Two years or so ago, when most businesses were still extremely reluctant to let personal phones (and really any non Blackberry) on the corporate network, that would probably have been a valid strategy for RIM. If there were still competitive, acceptable Blackberries at the time, then corporations could have continued to justify the non-BB ban, and people who wanted a good personal phone would have continued to carry two phones. But now that iPhones and Androids have a foot in the door in the corporate world, people want a phone that's good for both work and personal use, and Blackberry will have to make a phone that satisfies both those needs if they intend to be remotely competitive ever again (and no, I don't think that's even close to the only thing they'd have to do).

Re:BB is a business phone (5, Insightful)

jimicus (737525) | more than 2 years ago | (#39861329)

Both the iPhone and Android can just as easily be integrated into an existing business environment.

Both can be forced to follow corporate policies.

Both can be remotely wiped if lost or stolen.

Both can connect to Exchange - and I mean a full connection, syncing email, calendar and contacts - without having to buy extra software or hardware (which for years was a pre-requisite to get the best out of Blackberries; I don't know if it still is).

Essentially, RIM's unique selling points were on borrowed time the day ActiveSync was made available for licensing. The only amazing thing is the length of time it took for any handset developer to actually integrate it properly.

Re:BB is a business phone (1)

tom229 (1640685) | more than 2 years ago | (#39861819)

As we speak I'm working on a mobile fusion deployment so that "iPhone's and Androids can [not easily] be integrated into an existing business environment". If you're suggesting 'Find my phone' and other consumer-grade nonsense as a way to get similar IT policy management out of non-blackberry phones then you're delusional.

Re:BB is a business phone (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 2 years ago | (#39862025)

Be that as it may, the important question is "Do the features we care about work?". If your employer relies on a number of features that really are Blackberry-exclusive, then obviously you're a bit stuck. But for many businesses, that's not the case.

Re:BB is a business phone (1)

Samalie (1016193) | more than 2 years ago | (#39861919)

without having to buy extra software or hardware (which for years was a pre-requisite to get the best out of Blackberries; I don't know if it still is).

It is still true, for the most part.

You do still HAVE to have extra software in place to connect a Blackberry to Exchange. However, there is now a truly free version available....the paid for version has more bells and whistles.

In the overall topic at hand, RIM is completely fucked. Completely. They just haven't realized it yet.

My boss is a hardcore RIM fanboi...his first BB goes back pretty much to the second commercially-available blackberry (The 857 IIRC). Just bought himself a couple of months ago a new 9900 - and has been harassing the everloving fuck out of my IT department ever since. Reboots, shit battery life, crashing apps, you name it, he's experiencing it...to the point that he's about to buy himself an iPhone 4S.

RIM is barely a shadow of its former self, and its because they make shitty devices today. Forget the apps, forget everything else where iPhone/Android are cannibalizing RIM, the bottom line isn't that Timmy the Executive can't play Angry Birds...its that RIM's devices do, in fact, lick balls. And not in a good pleasing-to-the-scrotum way, but in a toothy biting death-to-all-penises way.

Seriously, fuck the "average consumer" - RIM has completely gnawed off the cocks of those that made them the powerhouse RIM once was....corporate executives. When RIM can't even hold onto the corporate buyer, they're completely and unilaterally fucked in the ass.

Re:BB is a business phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39862193)

I see an overwhelming emphasis on cocks and ass...

Re:BB is a business phone (1)

Lucky75 (1265142) | more than 2 years ago | (#39861997)

BES still offers some unique control features, though. I'm not saying you're wrong, but I really dislike having to give complete control over my phone to my company. I'd much prefer if they could wipe portions that relate to work while still keeping my personal stuff separate. From my understanding you can do that with the BB but not an Android phone.

Android phones are also less secure, since their internet connection isn't going through a work-controlled server.

Re:BB is a business phone (1)

Wovel (964431) | more than 2 years ago | (#39862711)

My phone gets backed up pretty regularly. Wipe away.

Re:BB is a business phone (2)

Foolhardly (1773982) | more than 2 years ago | (#39861519)

Having supported BB business users before and during a transition to iPhones, I can say that in most cases a user's satisfaction with BB was inversely proportional to their exposure to Android/iOS. In short, BB users may simply not know any better.

Re:BB is a business phone (1)

SpryGuy (206254) | more than 2 years ago | (#39861585)

Windows Phone "Mango" has built in office apps, connectionst to the cloud/skydrive (move apps between desktop/laptop/phone), and one of the best phone email apps out there.

This new BB 10 OS and device will have to compete against WP8 "Apollo", which will have even more "business' features, as well as being a competitive consumer phone, with a solid HTML5 browser in IE10. It will also have to compete against, presumably, the iPhone 5 and iOS6.

I'm not seeing much of a market left for BB.

Re:BB is a business phone (1)

Lord_Alex (710459) | more than 2 years ago | (#39862043)

Exactly - I need a device which can sync to my exchange and IMAP systems. BlackBerry can't do that. I get hundreds of emails a day, most are crap and get auto-sorted into folders other than my inbox. But every damn one hits my BB making it useless for email.

This iPhone however only sees the mail I want it to see. There's the killer feature I wanted from a smartphone. The business is happy because they can remotely integrate it into existing policies, the user is happy because... it just works, AND it can do cool things users expect a smartphone to do.

Too bad my corp bans jailbroken iFads, because a BB really is better for power users out of the box.

RIM is local to me. (2)

drunkennewfiemidget (712572) | more than 2 years ago | (#39860909)

As such, I'd /really/ like to see them succeed. I watched them grow from a little company on Shoemaker Dr in Kitchener to the conglomerate they are now. They employ many of my friends.

That said, I don't think they can. They've been waaaay behind the curve and resting on their laurels for a really long time now. And it's bit them in the ass.

The Playbook is still a disaster. Their current phone offerings suck. And this device has ditched hardware keyboard, which was one of the things RIM really did right.

Pass.

Re:RIM is local to me. (1)

Presto Vivace (882157) | more than 2 years ago | (#39860999)

RIM does have one thing going for it, Blackberry is the smartphone of choice for our political elite. [tumblr.com] I hope RIM can turn this around.

Really? (5, Interesting)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39861059)

I spent all day in a meeting in which I did all my necessary stuff with a BB phone and a bridged PlayBook. I am not a corporate drone; I'm a small company person who has to stay in contact with a number of people, watch my servers, and attempt to capture a load of customer requirements before I get back to the office and start redesigning the architecture and doling out the jobs. With a phone and an unobtrusive tablet I can do all of that without having the wall of a laptop screen in front of me. without needing a power socket. Since Nokia abandoned Maemo/Meego, BB is the only company that meets my needs in a well integrated way.

The PB is not a disaster; it is the most business-friendly tablet out. That might change if Samsung does a really good job on ICS for the Note, but at this point they are behind RIM, even though they are ahead on consumer tablets.

One key thing for Blackberry is that, if they go for a touchscreen keyboard, they must do it better than anybody else (or I will stay on my 9810 till it dies...) My belief, having seen the report, is that they get this. Six months ago I too had written them off. Now, I'm not nearly so sure.

Re:Really? (2)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 2 years ago | (#39861223)

The Playbook was a huge flop especially after their arrogant 'amateur hour is over' campaign. RIM had to take a $485 million write off due to the deep price cuts just to move units. And even with those price cuts it took nearly a year to supposedly sell 1 million.

Re:Really? (1)

narcc (412956) | more than 2 years ago | (#39861883)

Commercial failure? Sure. From a technical and user interface perspective it's completely unmatched.

Re:Really? (1)

Lucky75 (1265142) | more than 2 years ago | (#39862075)

Just because people didn't buy it in droves doesn't mean that it was a bad device. Like I said in my above post, they need to fix the SDK because it sucks right now. Hopefully they will have that done well for BB10.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39862083)

What exactly are your needs that can only be met by RIM???

 

Re:RIM is local to me. (3, Interesting)

narcc (412956) | more than 2 years ago | (#39861855)

The Playbook is still a disaster.

Have you used one? It blows everyone else out of the water. I've yet to see an Android or iOS user that wasn't completely shocked and amazed when they get a few minutes hands-on with the PlayBook.

Re:RIM is local to me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39862419)

Ya, shocked that they would have to pay money for apps that are free on Android and iOS. Or maybe you meant shocked that they can't Skype to all their buddies. The Playbook hardware was great a year or two ago but is only average now. The OS is nifty but I doubt it will gain any traction over the incumbents.

RIM's offerings will not reach critical mass. Period. There is no special sauce left.

Re:RIM is local to me. (1)

Wovel (964431) | more than 2 years ago | (#39862723)

I have spent a few hours with one, it does not blow anything away. The Xoom is a much better tablet. Neither is even in the same category as an iPad 2 or 3.

The playbook is clumsy and slow. I never understood where RIM finds these cheerleaders.

Re:RIM is local to me. (2)

Lucky75 (1265142) | more than 2 years ago | (#39862059)

The playbook CONCEPT is phenominal. The OS is outstanding and rock solid. The hardware really is sufficient, especially for a tablet that's over a year old. It was just as good as the ipad2 was in terms of specs.

RIM's problem is that their SDK doesn't allow enough control over things yet. The native SDK essentially allows you to use openGL, and that's about it. There isn't any form of background processes yet or interaction amongst apps, and that's what is killing them. It's not just that app developers don't want to write apps, but that many of the apps that one wants to write (or port) cannot be done currently without rooting.

I hope that they fix it for BB10, because the OS and interface actually is really nice. I don't need many apps, but I do need powerful apps, not just games or things that run in a card (i.e. a gtalk app would be nice). If they can accomplish this then IMO they'll have a solid device and will start to attract developers and then customers.

Re:RIM is local to me. (1)

kae77 (1006997) | more than 2 years ago | (#39862561)

I'm no developer, but from what I've read, this is only partially true. Up until this point, nearly all development for the Playbook has been done through Adobe Air -- including the keyboard, browser, etc. At BB World, they have released a further iteration of the NDK, with their UI Components (Cascades). So many of the apps that couldn't be written before now have much deeper integration. The rooting discussion doesn't even come into it -- you can sideload apps, so there is really no need to root, other than for a USB to go integration. Nor is it possible to root the tablet any longer. What's encouraging to me is that RIM gets it... they are quite self-aware of their position in their market, and finally giving voices to the people inside the company that get it too. They're pivoting -- with a fundamental paradigm change in their design and OS philosophy. Will it pay dividends in 6 months? We'll have to wait to see.

Too late... Blackberry is on my 'Do Not Buy' list (1)

bit trollent (824666) | more than 2 years ago | (#39860931)

I bought a blackberry because I couldn't stand the idea of letting Apple control another one of my gadgets, much less my phone.

What I got is an obviously flawed piece of technology that had to be replaced twice and even when working correctly was underwhelming at best. Even iTunes is better than using a Blackberry.

While I bought a BB with high hopes which were crushed over the next two years, my trusty Android has served me well for over the past couple years. Unlike with my blackberry I wasn't impatiently waiting out my 2 year contract eager to get a new phone.

That said, I'm really looking forward to the Galaxy S3

Re:Too late... Blackberry is on my 'Do Not Buy' li (1)

redfox2012 (1150371) | more than 2 years ago | (#39861547)

I was a BB user and couldn’t wait for my contract to die; I won’t trouble them ever again.

I was desperate for Samsung to release the S3 already, but I couldn't stall any longer 'cos the three other guys on my shared plan wanted their iPhones, so I went with the HTC OneX and I’m pretty darn pleased with it!

One of the iPhone users has already admitted he made a mistake and another is wavering!

Loving the schadenfreude Android gives me at the moment!

Re:Too late... Blackberry is on my 'Do Not Buy' li (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 2 years ago | (#39861559)

which BB did you get? i have had a bold 9700 working flawlessly for 2 years now. BB is the only (mainstream, i don't wanna hear about some mil spec 3 pound brick) phone with real crypto security that cannot be cracked or bypassed

Re:Too late... Blackberry is on my 'Do Not Buy' li (1)

Lucky75 (1265142) | more than 2 years ago | (#39862125)

A lot of people who hate their BBs have old curves like the 8300. If you were using a 6 year old phone, you'd hate it too. It'd be like using a first gen iPhone.

Re:Too late... Blackberry is on my 'Do Not Buy' li (1)

hendridm (302246) | more than 2 years ago | (#39861701)

Even iTunes is better than using a Blackberry.

Wow, now that is saying something. *cringe*

Encouraging tourists who've tired of travel? (2, Informative)

wanderfowl (2534492) | more than 2 years ago | (#39860949)

It's not unreasonable to say that at this point, most people who want smartphones and would be in their market have purchased one, and many are one or two years away from being able to by a Blackberry 10 device anyways.

Many people have already become involved in a non-RIM ecosystem (iOS, WM, or Android), and ecosystem inertia is a huge factor. The sunk cost in buying the compliment of apps one wants or needs is huge, and makes people very reluctant to "try something new" for a phone. At best, I think RIM is competing to keep the people who use Blackberries now, and haven't yet moved to another system. Which is good, but not ultimately sustainable, and is aiming for reduced shrinkage rather than actual growth.

They can lure developers, but all that that does it make it hurt less for users to switch to Blackberry (because they'll still never compete with Apple or Android in app variety). They could lure consumers with pricing, but for most people, any ecosystem switch has a $100+ app re-purchase penalty, not to mention the apps that simply can't be purchased at all and the time it would take to move over.

Simply put, the only thing (I think) that can save RIM would be something revolutionary. Some feature, certification, approach, or situation that makes people say "You know what, screw the apps, screw the extra time and money, I want THAT, and I'll do what it takes to get it."

I don't see that having happened here, sorry, RIM, but the writing's on the wall.

Re:Encouraging tourists who've tired of travel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39861377)

What about RIMMs market position outside of hte US? Like in China nad India and the UK?

The USA is a small slice of hte smartphone pie worldwide and worldwide, RIMM is readily accepted.

What's a BlackBerry? (-1, Redundant)

kaizendojo (956951) | more than 2 years ago | (#39860979)

EOM

Faithful Enterprise BB user here. (1)

Gordo_1 (256312) | more than 2 years ago | (#39861023)

I recently had an opportunity to change phones from the absolutely disastrous experience I was having with my BB Torch 9800 (keyboard too small, unbalanced when slid open, crashy and laggy OS, battery sucking bugs, etc...)

My only choices at work were BB Bold 9900 or an iPhone 4S. My wife owns an iPhone 4, so I'm very familiar with both platforms. What it came down to for me was that after all the gee-whiz novelty of apps, games and fancy touch screen gestures wears off, what I need my phone to do is handle email, texts, phone calls and some light RSS news feeds without pissing me off. The iPhone blows Blackberry away in almost every way, but the physical keyboard is just that good on the Bold, so I went with (possibly my last?) Blackberry.

At this late juncture, for RIM's sake, they either better have a lot of people like me still out there or they'll need to need to play the consumer catchup game seriously, which means equaling or surpassing Apple on the hardware and OS fronts and building an ecosystem that doesn't completely suck. Microsoft looks poised to become #3 as it stands, and you don't want to know what happens to the #4 player in this space.

Re:Faithful Enterprise BB user here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39861465)

I was in a very similar situation, my employer provided pretty much any BB I wanted. Started off with the pearl (big mistake, that was garbage, should have opted for the curve) then went to the original Bold 9900 after the dog ate the pearl. I was very happy with the Bold except that the web browser was a giant steaming POS. But for getting work done, it was great (email, phone, SMS, limited SSH, all good). After a while the Bold started having serious audio problems (kept switching between handset and headset when I was on a call, even though I had no headset plugged in). Speaker and bluetooth were affected as well, It got so bad that it became unusable as a phone.

I decided to replace it with the Torch 9800 (liked the larger touch screen and new OS, assumed the KB would be equivalent). This was a HUGE mistake. Simply put, the Torch sucks hard. The battery was awful (worst ever on a phone I've used), but the most unforgivable aspect was the keyboard. It was slightly smaller than the Bold (which made a big difference) but the worst part was that it was recessed, so on the outside edges of the keyboard you have this lip that gets in your way. Finally, the vertical travel on the keys was so short that I would either not hit a letter at all, or end up hitting it twice.

Then I won an iPhone 4S as a prize at our sales meeting. I'm still not as fast or accurate at typing emails as I was on the Bold, but I'm at LEAST as good as I was on the Torch. Also, I have an actual usable web browser and a metric shedload of more apps to choose from.

I'm a very happy iOS convert. The ONLY things that I really miss from my BB Bold are the near perfect keyboard, and bedside mode (the iOS apps that try to mimic this functionality are not nearly as good).

However, the pluses by far outweigh the minuses.

One saving grace... (1)

HerculesMO (693085) | more than 2 years ago | (#39861083)

And that is to release BES for all devices and cease being a hardware company.

BES is still the standard for all governmental agencies for some reason, so if they double down here using their already entrenched marketshare, expand it with feature packs, addons, and more management, then they could have a real good win. The company would have to shrink in size but would be more profitable due to not having the overhead to deal with devices any longer either.

But of course, the leadership at RIM will probably just do as another poster suggested -- pay themselves huge amounts of money, let the company wind down in debt and walk away saying it was "the other guy's" fault.

Re:One saving grace... (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#39861557)

What can BES do that can't be done without it, though?

Re:One saving grace... (1)

narcc (412956) | more than 2 years ago | (#39861917)

Do you really need to ask?

Honestly, a quick google search and you'll go "oh, no wonder RIM is loved by IT departments everywhere".

Re:One saving grace... (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#39861999)

I did a quick Google search and looked at Wikipedia article, but nothing of note was found. Why don't you just list a few points, even without references?

RIM's big last gasp comes down to a camera? (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | more than 2 years ago | (#39861159)

This is almost as painful to watch.

And nobody cares.... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#39861187)

Most businesses I deal with have flocked away from BlackBerry. and yes this is Fortune 500 companies as well as mom and pop places with less than 50 employees.

Rim dropped the ball, kicked it off the field and is trying to fake they still have it. Everyone knows they are dead.

the ONLY chance they have is to stop the RIM email fees, give away the enterprise server software for free and make it less of a ugly evil turd as well. And finally, tell all governments to stuff it in their ass and revoke all email+messaging interception to regain the trust of the corporate world. yes that means telling the UAE to stuff it in their Bursa.

they have one chance this year to become relevant once again, and this device is not it.

Re:And nobody cares.... (1)

Lucky_Norseman (682487) | more than 2 years ago | (#39861455)

the ONLY chance they have is to stop the RIM email fees, give away the enterprise server software for free and make it less of a ugly evil turd as well. And finally, tell all governments to stuff it in their ass and revoke all email+messaging interception to regain the trust of the corporate world. yes that means telling the UAE to stuff it in their Bursa.

Why would RIM tell governments to stop email interception, and what does this have to do with BlackBerrry Enterprise Server?
BES is the only mobile mail solution that UAE and other governments cannot intercept.
There was a lot of press when RIM allowed governments access to the consumer messaging, but that only made them equal to Android, iPhone and WinPhones. All of them are equally open to snooping by governments ( and others), the only exception is BlackBerry phones connected to a BES server where the company can have their own encryption key so not even RIM can decode the messages.

Re:And nobody cares.... (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#39861571)

BES is the only mobile mail solution that UAE and other governments cannot intercept.

What about IMAP, or ActiveSync, or virtually any other protocol over a secure channel?

The only reason why interception is even an issue is because the data goes through RIM servers. Why you'd want that when you have your own mail server is beyond me.

Re:And nobody cares.... (1)

narcc (412956) | more than 2 years ago | (#39861943)

Looks like someone *still* doesn't understand BES!

Here's a hint: RIM's servers need not enter the equation.

Re:And nobody cares.... (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#39862011)

If RIM servers don't enter the equation, then how can RIM provide access to customers' data to those governments that have requested such (and were granted)? Also, what about this [bbc.com] ?

Re:And nobody cares.... (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39862119)

"BIS", the service likely shoving email for consumer blackberries, is RIM-hosted, authenticated through a carrier-branded RIM system, and can be compromised with RIM's cooperation, since they run it. This is the one that various governments(India, UAE, probably a whole lot of others who are quieter about it) are leaning on RIM to have hosted domestically, so they can keep an eye on their little consumers and ensure that they aren't getting up to mischief.

"BES", the historically pricey and complex enterprise offering, is hosted by the customer and wraps its tentacles around the customer's mailserver. Communications between the BES and the company blackberries do rely on RIM's network(which is how their mistakes can cause outages); but are encrypted at the BES with a secret that is generated at the customer site and not known to RIM.

Newer blackberries, at least, can also manage at least rudimentary email connectivity on their own(POP/IMAP) which is yet a third distinct situation in security terms.

The people who emphasize blackberry security usually mean 'in a BES context', along with the relative absence of trojans and bugged apps and whatnot, rather than the consumer version, which is about as secure from RIM as your webmail is from whoever is providing it...

Re:And nobody cares.... (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#39862201)

Thank you for the detailed explanation!

At this point it goes back to the original question: what's the point of BES? You describe it as "wraps its tentacles around the customer's mailserver" - so what does it actually add on top of what mail server itself offers? My understanding is that, historically, this has mainly been push email, but e.g. ActiveSync and Push-IMAP also do that. What else?

Re:And nobody cares.... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#39861615)

I guess you missed all the stories over the past few years about RIM handing all BES traffic to the whiny governments that demanded it.

Re:And nobody cares.... (2)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 2 years ago | (#39861627)

that was BIS traffic, BES goes through your corporate server, even RIM can't read it because they don't have the keys.

Blackberry lost it's cachet (1)

Duncan J Murray (1678632) | more than 2 years ago | (#39861225)

In 2005, before people realised the enormity of the pending financial crisis, having a blackberry in the city gave you the look of a soon-to-be rich cityboy/girl. Afterall, these people had had RIM's pager's since the late 90's - issued to them so that they could be on-call for their respective banks 24/7. Back then, they were expensive, and generally, only people who needed them, had them.

Fast-forward to 2010, and suddenly every kid seemed to sport a cheap plastic phone with a qwerty keyboard. Suddenly, the city-types didn't look quite so good with their company-issued ball-and-chains, and asked for iphones instead.

Blackberry have taken a step in the right direction by returning to the their old market - as long as their image isn't permanently tarnished and they get the blackberries off the children, I can see them becoming a small, but important mobile manufacturer catering for city/business/enterprise types.

Tablets & Smartphones go Hand n Hand (1)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#39861227)

People who are used to using iPads/iPhones, and Android Tablets/Phones are not going to jump over to BB. People are used to the apps they love with Apple or Google and I see no reason why they should switch. The company I work for can't live without the Apps they're used to, and I see nothing on RIM's app store that make people say "I need that!".

Advice for app developers (1)

ddd0004 (1984672) | more than 2 years ago | (#39861287)

If you get an incentive check, do not wait to cash it.

I'm a fan but they are STILL missing the boat. (4, Interesting)

XB-70 (812342) | more than 2 years ago | (#39861429)

To regain market share, RIM needs a product that will:

1. Be the BEST and most integrated social networking tool.

2. Be a WALLET by leveraging their existing encryption infrastructure.

Humans are social creatures. Making a product directly targeted at these two areas will be a winner. Humans are fed up with carrying around a ton of credit cards, bank card, coins and bills.

RIM needs to get away from feature-itis and gimmicks. There are no legs to this approach. Leveraging the existing social and commercial ecosystem is the way to go.

Re:I'm a fan but they are STILL missing the boat. (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 2 years ago | (#39862305)

To regain market share, RIM needs a product that will:

Whatever they need to do to regain market share they should have done 3 years ago. Now it is too late, unless they can revolutionize the market. I think we all know how likely that is.

gn4a (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39861771)

40q,000 coming [klerck.org]?

Microsoft or Apple (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 2 years ago | (#39862249)

Should just buy them to put them out of their misery and get what is left of them out of the game so they are no longer an irritant.

An Apology and Another Prediction (1)

NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) | more than 2 years ago | (#39862315)

One year ago, see http://slashdot.org/submission/1533832/microsoft-buys-rim-in-q4-for-39b [slashdot.org] , I wrongfully predicted that Microsoft would buy RIM in Q4 2011. Even though there were rumors in Q4, they were nothing more. However, my much greater mistake was the price, $39 billion. I could hardly have been farther off.

I thought this because RIM had the best integration with Exchange (better than Windows Phone7), and I could not see a future for RIM as an independent company. Well, Steve Balmer made his second best decision as CEO not to buy when they were high (Yahoo was his best no-buy decision). Now he could pick up both for lunch money (they eat well in Redmond).

RIM's latest vapourware presentation with a vague rejoinder about a phone in the fall (fall ends on December 21st) seems like a desperate marketing event. Once again, apologies about the prediction. This time, I predict that RIM will recover and gain market share, becoming handsomely profitable for years to come. Of course, given my last prediction, you might find now the time to take out a payday loan and short their stock.

BlackBerry 10 (3)

chinton (151403) | more than 2 years ago | (#39862325)

Is that the nickname for their user base?

Looks Nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39862491)

The Blackberry 10 Dev Alpha looks nice to me, at least in the pictures. It looks a lot better than the Windows phone.

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