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RIM May Need To Write Off $1 Billion In Inventory

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the build-a-fort-out-of-blackberrys dept.

Blackberry 220

benfrog writes "Blackberry maker Research in Motion may need to write off more than $1 billion in inventory, according to Bloomberg. The potential 'writedown' comes after RIM took a $485 million pretax charge to write down the value of its PlayBook inventory in December. RIM has said it aims to save $1 billion in operating costs this fiscal year by cutting its number of manufacturing sites and is 'reviewing its organizational efficiency' across the company, which may lead to job cuts of 2,000-3,000. Its shares have tumbled 75 percent over the past year and are down 90 percent from their all-time high."

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Not Surprising (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40147955)

I've used all 3 major platforms professionally, and BB is so far behind now it's just pitiful. Remove the Federal workforce from the client base, and BB is a memory.

Re:Not Surprising (3, Interesting)

norfolkboy (235999) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148497)

Not quite.

It's very popular in the UK for teens, who use BBM rather than SMS.

Other than poor chavs and kids, you're right.

Re:Not Surprising (1)

evilRhino (638506) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148827)

They could just as easily switch to a cross-platform alternative like XMPP (Google Talk) or a proprietary alternative on a better platform like iMessage.

Re:Not Surprising (4, Interesting)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#40149007)

Here in the Netherlands (and as I understand it, most of Europe atleast), WhatsApp is the current chat method, and it's available on most mobile platforms, including BB. It's still proprietary, but atleast it's practically platform agnostic.

Re:Not Surprising (3, Informative)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148581)

Perhaps you live in America?

Here in the UK, BB ownership is very high. However, most users also have another device.

There are two BB communities:

Teenagers, who want BBM for a variety of reasons, and remote wipe for many reasons.

Business users who want integration into corporate infrastructure.

The remaining markets are babies, the elderly and the unemployed, who are not very lucrative.

BB's current problem is that they have saturated the market with long lived devices, and are trying to sell devices to people who dont want them. They need a strategy that trades on that position instead. An old BB works fine, and there is no need to upgrade. Keep supporting the existing customers, and BB will live on, with a solid market base that will sustain them for a long time to come. Trash their customer base by abandoning the existing devices, and they really will die. Maybe they need a paid software upgrade bringing tangible improvements to the really old units?

HP should buy them (5, Interesting)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148027)

HP is convinced they need to embrace the 'post-PC' world. They could actually salvage part of their 2 billion investment of Palm and Web OS. BB has a terrible platform right now and is dying, but they have a great brand name, and some great apps. Their mobile email client is absolutely the best.

If HP was smart, they'd reach out to Google to help develop Android phones and tablets with some Web OS influence (some great UI concepts actually) and a BB email client. Honestly, wouldn't that be a legit Apple killer than enterprise shops would embrace en-masse?

Re:HP should buy them (5, Insightful)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148173)

If HP was smart,

They've outsourced their intelligence to the lowest bidder.

Re:HP should buy them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40148393)

They've outsourced their intelligence to the lowest bidder.

Which then didn't deliver as expected, because the contract was trying to be too specific and too vague at the same time.

Re:HP should buy them (5, Informative)

Eponymous Coward (6097) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148277)

Almost the entire WebOS team has been hired by Google. I don't think HP is doing anything with WebOS anymore.

Re:HP should buy them (2)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148743)

That's part of what spurred the thought process. I think HP and Google could work together to integrate some WebOS UI concepts into Android to improve it.

Re:HP should buy them (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40148311)

What is so great about the Blackberry email client? Not a troll, genuinely curious; I've owned iPhones, a Nexus One, and a Lumia 800, and email on each of them was pretty bare-bones. What does BB email do differently?

Re:HP should buy them (0)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148465)

>What is so great about the Blackberry email client?

Security.

Re:HP should buy them (2)

Michael Meissner (520083) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148557)

In the past perhaps, but blackberry recently caved into demands from India to allow security to tap into RIM messages. So, I don't see them as being secure any more.

Re:HP should buy them (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148781)

That's their IM platform which goes through RIM's servers. The email goes through your Exchange/whatever mail servers.

Re:HP should buy them (3, Insightful)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148587)

The problem with Blackberry is that it required (at one point) a server component for Enterprise. And it was EXPENSIVE (at the time). Meanwhile Apple used ActiveSync and now Android does as well, which allows for "security" that most enterprises actually need.

However, what is MISSING that Blackberry had YEARS ago was app management that is still better than anything Apple or Google offer. We are actively looking at MDM that can manage Apple and/or Android and so far, we've got nothing worthwhile to choose from. Apple's MDM is pretty good, but it is based on Apple's model, and not any enterprise.

If HP or any other company wanted the Enterprise market for Smart Devices, they could be had in a second. My guess, is the market is too fluid to build anything that will work in three years.

That, and the whole BYOD in the enterprise is really starting to take off. Why pay for smartphones when your employees will buy something else anyways (and not want what you bought)?

Re:HP should buy them (1)

Macka (9388) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148753)

There is nothing great about it. I have both an iPhone and a BB, and the BB email client is clunky, slow, and unintuitive by comparison. I can't even file an email on the BB into any folder I like without getting a support bod at work to enable that folder first. I hate it, and wish I could junk the thing.

Re:HP should buy them (2)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148767)

A few points that come to mind:

* Detailed alerting rules. I don't want every email waking me up in the middle of the night, but I can configure a rule for an audible alert with specific emails when I'm on call.
* Detailed filtering rules.
* Search that's worth a damn.
* Being able to delete all emails that fit those search results.

Re:HP should buy them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40148327)

turd + turd != diamond

Re:HP should buy them (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148391)

HP should buy them? Why, to put them out of their misery? As you point out, that 2 billion "investment" in Palm was more like a bullet to the head. HP might be good at pushing cheap laptops into the consumer channel, but it has shown no real talent for products in years.

HP has this bad problem of not being able to decide whether it wants to be Apple or IBM. The problem is, it's neither and never has been.

Re:HP should buy them (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148819)

HP at this point has no identity. They tried selling off their PC division while publicly saying there was no future for the PC market, which was fucking idiotic. Way to devalue what you're trying to sell off. They abandoned their WebOS investment way too early and never captured developer interest even for a moment. They still make good servers and laptops, but they don't own those markets.

Either HP makes a bold move to salvage the mess up to this point, or they die out.

Re:HP should buy them (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148669)

hp could have made WebOS work had they stuck to their guns...they turned and ran after a month just like they always have when profits weren't forthcoming.

Considering a member of Apple's board of directors [businessinsider.com] still uses a BlackBerry I'd say the platform is decent enough and BB OS Ten looks to be hitting all the right chords except timeliness.

Their mobile email client is absolutely the best.

I believe you meant to say their mobile ecosystem [n4bb.com] . Their email client is good but without the RIM infrastructure it would be just another email client.

I want RIM to succeed and I still believe they can but they must execute the rollout of BB OS Ten flawlessly and convince a lot of demographics what they have to offer has value beyond an iOS/Android/WP ecosystem. A very tall order but far from impossible.

Re:HP should buy them (1)

noh8rz3 (2593935) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148785)

wf? ArhcAngel == Archangel Michael? Companion accounts for mod points? bussted!

Translation (4, Insightful)

mr1911 (1942298) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148031)

by cutting its number of manufacturing sites and is 'reviewing its organizational efficiency' across the company, which may lead to job cuts of 2,000-3,000.

No need for manufacturing sites or employees when sales have fallen off a cliff.

Re:Translation (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40148489)

The company has Research In Motion, Product Just Sitting There.

Playbooks on Sale? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40148035)

Well, if they are discounting Playbooks, I'm buying. Nicest piece of hardware for the price I've seen - already purchased 3 for family, and a blackberry phone makes a great remote control for it when you plug one into your tv.

Re:Playbooks on Sale? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40148157)

Ya, nice hardware...for last year. I bought one way back when they were first discounted and returned it. No skype. No major apps to speak of. The free apps for Andorid and Apple are not available on playbook and those that are cost money. All round bad deal. But...

If by some unknown means (heheheh) the secret key for the playbook was released and the device became unlocked, I'll bet real money that it would become one of the most popular devices ever. Of course, then it would be running Android or Debian and RIM would find it difficult to monetize it. Sure would take care of RIM's inventory problem, though. Hey, I can dream!

Re:Playbooks on Sale? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148477)

And that's the best RIM could do at this point; open the damned thing up and they could probably get rid of their stock in a month.

What's With All The RIM Hate? (2, Interesting)

MogNuts (97512) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148049)

I can only conclude that basically companies are just planting RIM hate and RIM apocalypse stories. I see them all the time. But yet if you actually used a Blackberry, as a smartphone (and not an App machine) it's pretty damn good. But yet we see it day after day all these RIM hate stories. Besides, why would you want, as a consumer, one less competitor in the field. Because all that means is the remaining ones will compete less, charge more, and give you less features.

Don't believe the hype planted by companies and their collaboraters in the media. Forget all the rest of the crap--if it's a good phone and you like it, buy it. And even though I use an Android phone now, I absolutely LOVED my two old BB's (old BB and that BB Bold 9700).

Re:What's With All The RIM Hate? (3, Funny)

tibit (1762298) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148119)

Apparently, Blackberry-the-smartphone is not enough to keep RIM afloat. There you go.

Re:What's With All The RIM Hate? (0, Redundant)

MogNuts (97512) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148305)

It'll be a sad day if RIM ever dies. But they can easily stay afloat by catering to their niche: enterprise. Because we all know Apple has never, and never will care about enterprise customers. And google's fragmentation and missing enterprise security features don't cut it.

Companies can still succeed by catering to a certain niche. You don't see people bitching that LinkedIn is dying because FB is the king. LinkedIn is doing fine. Or the perfect scenario. Apple makes a ton of money, yet OSX only has 10% market share. RIM just decided to take on Apple and the crowd that needs to play the piano on their smartphone. And the two don't mix. And they didn't understand until too late what showy snotty d-bags go with and want (read: piano apps). So they lost.

Re:What's With All The RIM Hate? (2)

MogNuts (97512) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148791)

Oh boy. Some fanboy didn't like me pointing out the obvious.

Re:What's With All The RIM Hate? (4, Interesting)

MadCow42 (243108) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148141)

RUFKM?

Do you even have a current BB phone? I do, and I hate it with a passion, but I'm stuck with it because it's all my company supports for corporate email.

Battery life? half a day if I'm lucky.

Usability? It freezes for minutes at a time.

Apps? Really? Have you compared to any other platform like Android or iOS?

Talk about astroturfing... you're doing it pretty well.

(no, I have no affiliation with RIM whatsoever, besides being hampered by having one of their crappy devices - the 9960)

Re:What's With All The RIM Hate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40148257)

Do you even have a current BB phone?

How current? I find that when most people make these complaints, they're referring to their POS OS 4.5, 4.6 or 5.0 devices issued 3, 4, 5 years ago.

Re:What's With All The RIM Hate? (4, Informative)

epiphani (254981) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148275)

Funny, I have a current Bold 9900, and the battery easily lasts a full day with heavy email use and several hours of conference calls. I'm not sure what you're using, but I haven't run into the issues you're talking about since the original Bold like 4 years ago.

Re:What's With All The RIM Hate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40148317)

Apps? Really? Have you compared to any other platform like Android or iOS?

You missed GP's point. The BB isn't good at 'Apps,' it's good at being a smartphone. I can't comment on anything else, but you clearly skimmed what he was saying in your eagerness to lambast your device.

Re:What's With All The RIM Hate? (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148495)

"Good at being a smartphone" now means apps. And that's the problem. Apple and Android were late to the party, but they pushed past RIM, and now we're reaching the point where, if investors are lucky, someone will just swoop in and buy it up, rather than waiting for it to turn into the next Nortel.

Re:What's With All The RIM Hate? (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148881)

What good is a great smarthphone that doesn't run the one app you want?

While the phones are locked-down as they are now, the main deciding factor will be apps.

Re:What's With All The RIM Hate? (1)

gstrickler (920733) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148917)

The BB isn't good at 'Apps,' it's good at being a smartphone.

So, just what is a smartphone without apps? Sounds like a feature phone to me.

Usability (1)

Dennis Sheil (1706056) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148419)

Continuing on the usability theme, I find that trackball like middle button difficult to handle. Doing things on an iPhone or Android (or even WinPhone) is just so much easier.

Re:What's With All The RIM Hate? (2, Insightful)

MogNuts (97512) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148449)

Latest one I used was the Bold 9700. Though I saw the new 9900 and I think ergonomically it's the best designed phone I've ever used. It feels perfect for typing, wonderful keyboard, wide enough to hold but not too big to be unwieldy.

But anyway, I seriously doubt you on the battery life. I used to get like almost a week with whatever OS was pre-BB 7. And neither iOS or Android get more than half a day either anymore. iOS was like 2 days in the 4.x days (I had a 3GS too). But with 5.1, it's gone to crap.

Apps? Has everything I need. But then again, I don't have the need to play the piano or punch the monkey on my phone. I use it for productivity. And as such, BB's market has most of what I need. Not even equivalents, but the actual apps. What exotic apps do you need? No seriously--give me specifics. Otherwise I smell BS.

As for astroturfing, miss the part where I said I own an Android phone? Besides, astroturfers sign up new fake accounts and post like crazy. Look at my UID. I've been posting since Chips and Dips.

I think you just have a case of feeling like u don't look cool with your BB and being too weak confidence-wise. So u bitch and moan at how "i hate it so much but my company gives it to me so that's why I have it." Because u need an iPhone as a status symbol to make u feel better out in public.

Re:What's With All The RIM Hate? (1)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148523)

I get 3-4 days up time without a recharge; 2-3 days with heavy usage. You probably need a new battery. You can just buy one and swap it out, unlike some others that you mention.

Re:What's With All The RIM Hate? (1, Insightful)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148185)

I can only conclude that basically companies are just planting RIM hate and RIM

It's not that diabolical. The press is just magnifying the generalized "shruggs" of the industry when the subject of RIM comes up. RIM has waited far too long to try and resuscitate their potential. They've been very adamant about any kind of radical change and seem convinced they can continue to do foolish things (releasing their fondleslab and *then* nixing it's Android support) and remain on life support with tax dollars from government contracts. In the end, they will probably file chapter 11 and leave the debt with the US taxpayers.

Just a guess, but this may indeed foster a fair amount of distaste for RIM.

Re:What's With All The RIM Hate? (5, Funny)

Nexzus (673421) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148245)

In the end, they will probably file chapter 11 and leave the debt with the US taxpayers.

I know it's hard to believe, but RIM is a Canadian company.

Re:What's With All The RIM Hate? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40148901)

In the end, they will probably file chapter 11 and leave the debt with the US taxpayers.

I know it's hard to believe, but RIM is a Canadian company.

RIM also carries no debt and has $2.1bil in the bank.

But the OP shouldn't let facts get in the way of a good rant.

Re:What's With All The RIM Hate? (4, Interesting)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148325)

I don't hate RIM. But I do think RIM is dying. The disease is reversible, I think, but nobody over there seems to be seriously looking for a cure. TFS says RIM stock is down 75 percent from last year alone. Imagine a patient who has lost 75 percent of his body weight but keeps insisting, "I'm not sick!"

My own experience: My last three phones before my current one were BlackBerrys. But I started looking around and comparing prices and it seemed to me that other phones could provide at least most of the functionality that my BlackBerry gave me, plus more besides. I also wasn't impressed with the hardware of the current crop of BlackBerry devices. It seemed like RIM's focus had drifted from its core business market and it was trying to sell camera phones to college students. They didn't seem like they were targeting me anymore, and other manufacturers were. So I switched to Android.

I'd be more than happy to switch back to BlackBerry if they'd show me a really great phone, though. Do they have something like that in the works? I don't see it. The market doesn't seem to see it, either.

You know who you remind me of? Me, when I was a Mac OS admin in the late 90s. Back then, everybody thought Mac users were a cult. We were all convinced our platform was the best, but everybody else kept focusing on how Gil Amelio had fucked up a once-great company. We Mac fans were right, but so was everybody else. It took Steve Jobs' return to get Apple back on track. Unfortunately, I don't think RIM has a Steve Jobs.

Re:What's With All The RIM Hate? (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148561)

I don't hate RIM. But I do think RIM is dying. The disease is reversible, I think, but nobody over there seems to be seriously looking for a cure. TFS says RIM stock is down 75 percent from last year alone. Imagine a patient who has lost 75 percent of his body weight but keeps insisting, "I'm not sick!"

Is it curable? Activesync isn't quite what Blackberry has, but it's good enough for most things, so on the Exchange-hookup end of things, RIM doesn't have any particular edge. Yes, it could go full Android, but then, well, it's fighting in a sea of Android devices, some, like Samsung, who have been sailing these waters a lot longer.

RIM sat on its laurels during very crucial years of 2007-2010, when Apple, and then Google, began rolling over the market place. RIM utterly misjudged the market, assuming that Apple and Google would just be consumer-grade products, and RIM would always hold the corporate ground... except that didn't happen, and now iPhones and high-end Androids are all over the place (where I work, three staff in the last month have got permission to start checking mail and scheduling via iPhones or Androids, and I expect we'll probably have ten or more by the middle of summer). The dividing line between consumer device and business device has utterly melted, and RIM is so far back now that short of basically buying someone else's high end Android and slapping their name on it, I don't really see what they can do.

I think RIM will either die, or will be bought up. I don't know who exactly would buy it up, though. I can't imagine Microsoft wanting to end up competing against its own Windows offerings by buying RIM, but there is still some RIM technology that might be attractive to someone.

Re:What's With All The RIM Hate? (1)

PerfectionLost (1004287) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148801)

I think you are on to something--purchased for patents. Plenty of people would want them for that, and they are so cheap these days. There was also a thought about facebook buying a phone company. I dunno that RIM is the model hipster that facebook would want, but they have atleast some talent.

Re:What's With All The RIM Hate? (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148859)

I think RIM will either die, or will be bought up. I don't know who exactly would buy it up, though. I can't imagine Microsoft wanting to end up competing against its own Windows offerings by buying RIM, but there is still some RIM technology that might be attractive to someone.

I think it's sitting on some lucrative patents. If someone twists my arm and forces me to say what I think might happen, I usually say licensing its tech is probably the next step. The Nokia 999, powered by Windows Phone Featuring BlackBerry.

Re:What's With All The RIM Hate? (0)

MogNuts (97512) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148931)

RIM really always was an enterprise. But they decided to give a new emerging market a shot. But they forgot you can't win at the uninformed easily seduced consumer market that apple owns. Just can't. They lost. But they can easily succeed in their niche: enterprise. Just like Apple succeeds with OSX market share at 10%. RIM will just go back to it's original success. Nothing wrong with it.

I don't think RIM is best. Actually, I think Android is best. But it's not a zero-sum game. I think BB is superb too. I think BB is superior as a smartphone, and Android as a general purpose mobile computer.

As for reminding you of a former Apple zealot, I wholeheartedly disagree. I always thought Apple products were inferior. Because they are. The reason Apple failed with Gil at the helm is because he attempted to make it a successful computer company. But that's not Apple. Apple isn't a hardware company like most on here think. It isn't a software company. It's a *marketing* company. It's a status company. It sells the image. Why do you think they always make the joke that you could put the Apple logo on a piece of shit and it would fly off the shelves? That is why Apple is successful. Enterprise and Business clients actually do their homework and research solutions. Consumer people think with their guy and will give their left nut for "image" and "status". Are Sean John Tshirts, which go down to someone's knees, worth $150? Steve knew this. He invented it!

Re:What's With All The RIM Hate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40148341)

Well if there wasn't something else to lack fondness over, ties to Microsoft is what did it for most. They didn't exactly show self-love in giving up on their own technology and turning to MS. And in mobile, MS hasn't exactly been the most successful or loved brand either.

It generates excitement as would introducing a new food having 20% fewer mouse droppings.

I think those most apt to go for an MS OS are the ones who know the least about what they're buying. But that segment is also likely to be the least compelled to buy a "smart" phone. And the crowd buying on price alone may just stay clear of paying for a data plan entirely.

Re:What's With All The RIM Hate? (2)

Eponymous Coward (6097) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148383)

I absolutely LOVED my two old BB's

And I absolutely LOVED my Handera 330 (a Palm OS device). Just like your old BB was a good phone, the Handera was a pretty good "app machine". These days, you have to be good at both. RIM is going to be a great business school case study in what happens when your market gets disrupted and you pretend everything is still fine.

Re:What's With All The RIM Hate? (1)

MogNuts (97512) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148499)

Hah good 'ol Palm. I had one too (Treo). I see your point, but c'mon at least BB has the ability to do Apps and modern smartphone features. ;-) I can't use the Treo for Pandora, Dropbox, Google Maps. :)

Re:What's With All The RIM Hate? (1)

noh8rz3 (2593935) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148851)

I loved my NES. Except for the part where I had to blow on the cartridges. Now I use OnLive cloud gaming, and I love that too.

What the fsck... (2)

swb (14022) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148429)

....does this mean?

But yet if you actually used a Blackberry, as a smartphone (and not an App machine) ...

So a Blackberry is a "smartphone" if you use it as a phone and presumably as an email device, but any other use isn't "smartphone" but is instead an "app machine", which presumably means stupid shit like Angry Birds and not useful apps, like a SSH client or a mapping client or something else.

It sounds like the problem Blackberry has is that it's not a very smart phone.

Re:What the fsck... (1)

MogNuts (97512) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148609)

SWB, your UID is too low to *not* know that Angry Birds are NOT useful apps. Your post makes no sense. And u also should know what the intent of my sentence was because with your UID (i'm guessing you've been compiling kernels since the 1.x days) you've been around long enough to have used a Blackberry.

So how is it not a smart phone? It has SSH clients, VoIP clients, mapping, etc. so what's your point?

All I can say in reply to your post is... huh?

Re:What's With All The RIM Hate? (1)

echusarcana (832151) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148447)

I have used Blackberry, and no, it doesn't even rate being called a smartphone. The constant operating system upgrades always messed up your settings. The little keyboard was poor and always inserted double characters. The bizarre network setup routed everything through RIM.
The Blackberry was a useful device that does one particular thing well at a particular point in history. But even a cheap Android phone is a better device. Time for RIM to go.

Re:What's With All The RIM Hate? (1)

MogNuts (97512) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148655)

Apple and Android has constant upgrades. The issue is moot. Messed up settings? Never had a problem with either BB. As for keyboard, I think you're smoking something. ;-) The Bold was terrible--too small. But the prior one, and the new bold 9900 are bar none the best in existence. I can type as fast as a computer keyboard with those suckers.

Re:What's With All The RIM Hate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40148467)

I've been saying for the last few years.. if I want a personal phone I sometimes use for business I'm going to go android/iphone. If I want a business phone I occasionally use for personal use then blackberry is the way to go. Unfortunately for RIM more and more people are using a single phone for work/personal and the personal is going to win out. When a company gives me a stipend for a phone I carry, I'm going to pick the phone that is best for personal use. Most companies I know work this way now.

Re:What's With All The RIM Hate? (0)

MogNuts (97512) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148543)

That's a sweet deal. I come from the financial sector. There, you NEED a BB. You don't even get a choice, and for good reason. One breach and it's millions/billions. I see your point though.

Though if I were a CTO I wouldn't allow anything other than BB's and definitely no BYOD's. And I'd only let people remotely in via VPN's and passcode generator devices. But that's me. Trade secrets are too important.

Re:What's With All The RIM Hate? (1)

Ravensign (134410) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148567)

You simultaneous ask what's with all the hate, then indicate that you use an Android phone now. It's people like your very own self, people that used to love their BB's that now don't that is causing their implosion. A real one, that the "haters" are reporting on, accurately.

Is RIM supposed to make money for eternity based on what people like you "used" to love? What kind of economic model is that? If people *exactly* like you stuck with their BB's there would be no financial collapse and nothing to report on.

Re:What's With All The RIM Hate? (1)

MogNuts (97512) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148745)

Only reason I switched is I wanted something different. I had 2 BB's over like 3 or 4 years. Just needed a change, plain and simple. I went with the 3GS after that. iOS stunk, so I went with Android. Love android too. But my next phone will be that awesome BB Bold 9900.

And other people? Please. They just buy into the hype machine that is Apple. They see "ooh shiny" and then they get bombarded with commercials during the douchey primetime tv shows. Then they see all flakey and all-about-the-appearance people at the clubs whip it out to be seen talking on it, and then they HAVE to have one.

Ever notice that they don't look to see if X program is supported or that Y program can work with a device? No, they just go "ooh that's cute" and then buy it at the cell store.

Re:What's With All The RIM Hate? (1)

thestudio_bob (894258) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148911)

I can only conclude that basically companies are just planting RIM hate and RIM apocalypse stories.

Andriod, Apple, Microsoft and Linux fans are all going to throw you RIM fans a special concert performed on the world's tiniest violins. Consider it a "Welcome to our World" tribute concert.

Re:What's With All The RIM Hate? (1)

cant_get_a_good_nick (172131) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148929)

I have a blackberry bold, from work. New 7.1 OS. Touchscreen, aluminum design obviously takes from iPhone. yay.

But it sucks. Partly it's a chimera, gestures on the touchscreen battle with gestures from the keypad. The phone is awkwardly sized, trying to get a landscape wide screen with a need for a keypad.

The OS is better, but still lacks basic things. They've tried hard to embed Twitter in the OS for example, but the browser is horrible. Being horrible is in fact an improvement - the old browser made me want to stick a fork in my eye.

If i buy a smartphone, i buy it for the apps. If i just want to make calls, I'll buy a much cheaper feature phone. Or a low end android.

So, built in apps: It has a killer app (BBM) that is hard to use. Its usefulness depends on network effects, and as people move away from Blackberry, BBM becomes less useful. iMessage is shows you how this should have worked from the beginning, and as iMessage gets broader adoption (any iOS 5 device, and soon OSX 10.8 will do iMessage), BBM will become even less essential, and Blackberrys also.

A standard, essential tool (browser) is horribly implemented. I'ts slow, and has a horrible interface. A Bold is too expensive and bulky to be a simple phone, and very bad at being a smartphone. Even charging is a pain now - my Bold takes more current than other BBs so a subset of my chargers don't work any more. Though iPads warn you of this, they still charge (slowly), With RIM, you're SOL. This is why they're sitting on inventory.

Why doesn't RIM abandon their terrible OS? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40148063)

I think that RIM would have a better shot at survival if they abandoned their BBOS Operating System in favor of partnering with Google to produce a Blackberry that runs Android with all of the most popular services that Blackberry provides ported to Android. This may seem like a crazy move for them this late in the game but if a Blackberry that had good specs that also ran Android would seriously be a great device to have, since Blackberries usually had excellent build quality as well as enterprise support. If RIM could replicate what made them popular pre iOS and Android on the Android platform I could seriously believe that this company would have a fighting chance as a corporate Android Smartphone company.

Re:Why doesn't RIM abandon their terrible OS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40148347)

I'd Hope that working with Android would lead to licensing the BES connector to Android, and using the existing Enterprise toolkit for MDM. BES is a significant install base in the enterprise, and could still rival Good, et al. if RIM would just port the BES connector.

Re:Why doesn't RIM abandon their terrible OS? (1)

Eponymous Coward (6097) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148425)

Because then they would have to compete with Samsung and they just don't have the talent. I don't know if it's possible, but they should abandon hardware entirely and figure out how to offer secure messaging on top of Android or iOS. They are big enough and bring enough customers that Apple or Google might even be willing to grant them privileged access to the operating system that other 3rd party apps don't get.

Re:Why doesn't RIM abandon their terrible OS? (1)

aaarrrgggh (9205) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148519)

RIM made some very bad decisions dating back to 2007 and before; their business model relied on effectively having a monoculture at a business, and to pull in the BES licensing revenue. When the iPhone came out, they really needed to scale back expenses, because that BES revenue would disappear if it still relied on the monoculture. It wasn't until 2009 (IIRC) that they began supporting other devices, but they had long-since lost the lock.

If they had bought Palm and used that as their next-generation OS, they would have stood a chance. I don't think Android helps them any; it makes it easier for a customer to switch out of their ecosystem. At this point, Facebook is their only hope as a suitor... which would be a really bad combination for existing markets but might not be the end of the world for long-term strategy.

Re:Why doesn't RIM abandon their terrible OS? (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148685)

They are abandoning the traditional bb os in favour of the qnx platform used in playbook. That does run android apps.

Sad (1)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148089)

Some of this is due to fashion and some of it to what has looked at times like a concerted negative PR attack from the competition. The Playbook on which I'm writing this is a convenient and useful tablet. RIM is now like Apple was at OS 9.2, except BB 7.1 isn't as bad as 9.2 was. Perhaps they will emulate Apple. Perhaps they will sink without trace.

Still, old people like me who like real keyboards may hope to pick up a 9900 or a 9790 for silly money later this year. The 9790 is a small, convenient, well built and specified phone which would have been eye-opening - in 2010.

Re:Sad (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148385)

Some of this is due to fashion and some of it to what has looked at times like a concerted negative PR attack from the competition. The Playbook on which I'm writing this is a convenient and useful tablet. RIM is now like Apple was at OS 9.2, except BB 7.1 isn't as bad as 9.2 was. Perhaps they will emulate Apple. Perhaps they will sink without trace.
Still, old people like me who like real keyboards may hope to pick up a 9900 or a 9790 for silly money later this year. The 9790 is a small, convenient, well built and specified phone which would have been eye-opening - in 2010.

To RIM's credit, they did survive the smartphone apocalypse that happened in 2007. The iPhone, iike it or not, changed everything. The old stalwarts of smartphones were wiped out - Symbian, Windows Mobile, PalmOS. A new generation of platforms emerged - Android, Windows Phone (and of course, iOS). RIM is basically the only "old stalwart" smartphone company still selling smartphones of that era today.

Of course, the blackberry also represents stuff hated these days - the leash to the office of 24/7 connectivity, and while the iPhone and Androids evolved, the blackberry has had minor updates. (Until later this year, when BBX comes out).

The playbook is basically a decent tablet, yes, but that's because all the other $200 tablets suck. The playbook was a joke when it was released at $500 and only until they took a massive price cut did it even begin selling.

Two words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40148095)

Apple 2003

Ok, it's one word and one number...

I will bet that it is still a top 5 tablet... (1)

haus (129916) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148099)

... among the remaining executives at RIM anyway. Elsewhere, nobody cares what they are doing.

RIM may be in freefall (4, Informative)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148115)

RIM still made $3.64 billion in revenue last year, for $197.5 million in profit (a huge drop from last year, but they are still making money). RIM definitely could still succeed, but not like this. They are still a massive company with a huge name-brand, they just need to figure out how to use that. It may be unlikely, but I wouldn't mind seeing them succeed: more competition in the smartphone industry could be a very good thing. I'd hate to see it turn into a pure Android/iOS duopoly with no chance of a third competitor (Windows Phone... doesn't really count).

Re:RIM may be in freefall (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40148181)

Those are the quarterly numbers. In the year ending March 2012 they made $18B in revenue and $1.5B in earnings.

Re:RIM may be in freefall (2)

rsmith-mac (639075) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148761)

What makes this interesting is that one can so easily see the future of RIM so far out. All things considered they're doing well - they're still making a respectable profit and phone sales are near their peak. Yet at the same time they're almost entirely coasting by on momentum, as they haven't released a blockbuster product in quite some time. RIM may be fine now, but they have next to nothing to keep their customers over the long term, and that's their problem.

Re:RIM may be in freefall (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40148491)

They should become a software company. Team up with HTC, Motorola, anyone really and dominate the Android business market.

And now they're doing a "strategic review" (2)

compro01 (777531) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148123)

And now they're bringing in JP Morgan and RBC to do a strategic review of the company.

Maybe they can still salvage things.

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/05/29/rim-shares-halted-jpmorgan-rbc_n_1553968.html [huffingtonpost.ca]

That J P Morgan? (2)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148511)

The one that dropped $7 billion on trades recently? Oh dear.

LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40148125)

What a monumental fuckup. Maybe they can focus on "high-security" devices for the government so they can stay profitable doing hardly any volume.

Just a Ploy (1)

Art Challenor (2621733) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148143)

1. Sell failed product on eBay
2. Wait for community Android port
3. Re-introduce device with an OS people care about
4. Profit!

Although in the case of HP we seem to have:

3a. Introduce Win 8 tablet, go back to 1.

Maybe RIM can do better.

Amazing amount of mismanagement (4, Insightful)

Y-Crate (540566) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148145)

NY Times [nytimes.com]

Since 2007, RIM has introduced 37 models. The company, in a statement, said it did not know how many models were on the market.

Adding to the shopping confusion are RIM’s product names, which generally rely on four-digit model numbers and sometimes have different products sharing a name. The BlackBerry Torch 9850 and 9860 are touch-screen phones that are on some shelves next to the BlackBerry Torch 9800 and 9810, touch-screen phones with slide-out keyboards. (The model number differences reflect models adapted for different cellphone systems.)

By contrast, Apple has introduced only four iPhones since 2008 and all were basically the same phone with differences in the amount of storage, or upgrades from older models.

Ironic that RIM is losing-out to the likes of Apple, by making the same mistake Apple did back in the dark days of the '90s, when it seemed like there was a new Performa out every week.

Re:Amazing amount of mismanagement (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148605)

That's because they have no strategy other than "HOLY FUCK! Look at all those Android and iOS smart devices! What are we gonna do? We'd better just start flinging shit at the wall. Some of it has got to stick!"

Re:Amazing amount of mismanagement (5, Insightful)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148759)

Ironic that RIM is losing-out to the likes of Apple, by making the same mistake Apple did back in the dark days of the '90s, when it seemed like there was a new Performa out every week.

Exactly this. When Jobs came back to Apple, he drew a box on a whiteboard and drew a cross through it. Four quadrants: Pro/Consumer on top and Desktop/Portable along the side. Instead of all these crappy Performas and 4400s and what-not, Apple relaunched with four computer products, grand total. Those were iMac/Power Mac G3 and iBook/PowerBook.

Why can't RIM do this? It could probably get away with two models: BlackBerry (which has a nicer camera, movie player, and integrates nicely with Facebook) and BlackBerry Pro (which has slightly nicer build quality and some kind of easy VPN capability, or something). Model numbers disappear -- they just upgrade the hardware every year or two. It would go a long way to address the problem of sitting on too much inventory.

Then launch it with a decent TV ad campaign. "Imagine a phone... blah blah blah ... introducing the new BlackBerry, from Research in Motion." And then, when customers go to the store, they just tell the clerk "I want that new BlackBerry." Clerk hands him a box that says "BlackBerry" on it. Simple.

Never happen.

Re:Amazing amount of mismanagement (1)

Ecuador (740021) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148961)

Off topic, but what is even more surprising (or outrageous depending on how you look at it) is that when the current Nokia CEO took over, he abandoned the (amazing as it turned out on the N9) MeeGo/Maemo for the Windows Phone giving as the reason the fact that their MeeGo dev pipeline was only good for 1 device per year (it was actually 2, but he he decided not to sell the N950).

Inventory (3, Insightful)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148191)

"Organizational efficiency" certainly sounds like job cuts. But hopefully it means RIM might take a look at its manufacturing efficiency, as well.

At Apple, Steve Jobs always invested heavily in modern, automated assembly lines for its products, because he realized that the problem of too much inventory is particularly risky for computer makers. If you think about it, technology products have relatively short shelf lives. You can't sit on a pile of inventory and sell it for the next few years, like you could if you were making hammers or dinner plates. By next year, your inventory of shiny gadgets might effectively be junk. So the key is to develop a manufacturing process -- and equally important, supply partnerships -- that allow you to manufacture products at an incredibly fast rate, so that you can respond to market demand rapidly. If the market wants tons of units, ramp up production. When it cools off, stop making more. Then you don't have to sit on so much inventory.

If RIM is sitting on $1 billion in inventory, it certainly sounds like it grossly overestimated the demand for some of its products at launch. But it also suggests that it either isn't paying close enough attention to the market numbers, or is unable to react quickly enough to them. Working on either one might save it some money.

Re:Inventory (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148765)

"Organizational efficiency" certainly sounds like job cuts. But hopefully it means RIM might take a look at its manufacturing efficiency, as well.

At Apple, Steve Jobs always invested heavily in modern, automated assembly lines for its products, because he realized that the problem of too much inventory is particularly risky for computer makers. If you think about it, technology products have relatively short shelf lives. You can't sit on a pile of inventory and sell it for the next few years, like you could if you were making hammers or dinner plates. By next year, your inventory of shiny gadgets might effectively be junk. So the key is to develop a manufacturing process -- and equally important, supply partnerships -- that allow you to manufacture products at an incredibly fast rate, so that you can respond to market demand rapidly. If the market wants tons of units, ramp up production. When it cools off, stop making more. Then you don't have to sit on so much inventory.

If RIM is sitting on $1 billion in inventory, it certainly sounds like it grossly overestimated the demand for some of its products at launch. But it also suggests that it either isn't paying close enough attention to the market numbers, or is unable to react quickly enough to them. Working on either one might save it some money.

It also helps if you can outsource this manufacturing to a place where you can treat the workers in a way that would be illegal in your primary market. Bonuses for the execs if you can reduce their wages enough to keep them below the poverty line. You can bet that part wasn't a surprise to Jobs, either.

Pure Profit (2)

organgtool (966989) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148201)

RIM has said it aims to save $1 billion in operating costs this fiscal year by cutting its number of manufacturing sites

On the plus side, at this rate it won't be long before RIM has no operating cost and is left with pure profit!

Fair Enough. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40148207)

I had to "write off" 10 lousy BlackBerry Storms my small company bought 5 years ago.

Re:Fair Enough. (2)

epiphani (254981) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148361)

5 years is a long time in the mobile industry. Are you telling me your employees would be happy with a first generation iphone?

Re:Fair Enough. (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148711)

Yikes, your employees were using 5 year old phones? You may want to look more at the policies around cell phones and reconsider those rather than blaming a 5 year old device for any particular problem.

On the other hand, you could consider yourself fortunate that you bought 10 devices that all lasted for so long.

TERRIBLE writeup (4, Interesting)

Scareduck (177470) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148389)

From TFA:

The value of the company’s inventory climbed to $1.03 billion last quarter, up from $618 million a year earlier. Back in mid-2008, when the BlackBerry was still a hot seller and RIM’s stock traded at an all-time high of $147.55, the figure was less than $500 million.

Nowhere in that article does it suggest that 100% of the current inventory will have to be written off. A terrible writeup from someone who clearly has reading comprehension problems.

Re:TERRIBLE writeup (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148913)

Yes, but if RIM is having problems selling the inventory, they will have to lower prices. That means they will take a loss of some sort. While smartphones don't spoil like food, the rate of technology does make their models obsolete quickly. RIM can take the losses in small chunks or a large write-off. Some feel the one-time loss is easier.

Re:TERRIBLE writeup (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40148949)

100% you say.

They're going to go bust. (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148441)

Unless somebody buys them first. No amount of reorganizing will help.

Re:They're going to go bust. (2)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148999)

Companies don't go burst while profitable and with sustainable debits only. Before they go burst, one of those must change.

Re:They're going to go bust. (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#40149005)

Doubtful, they made almost $4B last year with $200m in profit. That's not going bust, that's still making a profit with a poor P/E performance.

If you want a Blackberry (1)

Antarell (930241) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148547)

best pick it up before Christmas, I don't see them being around much after that. I would say the same for Nokia but I think the release of the Desktop Windows 8 will save their bacon, but they will be a owned by MS in the next few years I think.

Here's why (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148679)

Their inventory consists mostly of blackberries.

RIM is currently only screwed by their own dogma (1)

goldcd (587052) | more than 2 years ago | (#40148969)

Good things RIM have:
Communication apps - BBM, email blah blah - people who have to get things done, like these (a lot).
Keyboards - If I need to type many emails, and as much as I like swype, I want a physical keyboard.
Company access - They were the mobile corporate tool, and as much as we hear about how android and iOS are making inroads into the enterprise market, these companies all still support BB and would (mainly) buy from them again. Actually I'd go further - the drive for the switch came from users asking if there was a BB alternative (not that IT suddenly wished to support a dozen platforms)

The problem RIM has is that their current complete solution is somewhat lacklustre compared to that of their competition. They also need to accept that people have already gone out and bought an android or iOS smartphone - and they will compare that device they already have to what RIM are offering. I do not know of anybody who has a corporate blackberry as their sole phone. I do not know of anybody, given the choice of a single device as a freebie from their IT overlords, who would take a BB over an iPhone or an android device. Sure the BB might be better for those work tasks - but being given an iphone at your employers expense feels like a lovely perk - e.g. "free iphone 4GS" is something you might attract applicants with, "free BB" just sounds like they're intending you to be online 24/7.

RIM need to open up to iOS and Android. They need a completely isolated and secure stack from dedicated VPN to pretty access clients that can be installed on anything. I'd happily let my employer install that little work sandbox on my own phone - this app is work, the rest of the phone is still mine (my current employers suggested Android client is rocking The next thing they need to do is produce a phone I'd actually want to own. Now I fully accept that they don't have the ability to produce a phone to compete with Apple or say Samsung - but there's a screaming shortage of "decent android phones with physical keyboards". I'd take a compromise on the screen (a minor one) and I'm of the opinion that the average CPU/GPU out there is 'good enough'.
I'm convinced somebody in RIM has pitched all of the above and it's been knocked back due to divisions full of VPs trying to guard their atrophying turf.
So
RIM need to fire a shit-load of people, not to save money, but to allow the company to achieve focus.
RIM need to stop pretending we all want their hardware - they'd have better luck selling a service, where they'd rule the market by default.
RIM need to produce a "BB experience" piece of hardware - on either Android or WM with a nice keyboard that will allow their devotees to carry on pecking away with their thumbs (and play Angry Birds).

Actually WM isn't a bad idea - MS pretty much bought up Nokia for the lovely hardware (I was very nearly seduced by that piece of polycarbonate loveliness and that silly-res camera is coming soon). Now just need to come up with a convincing reason to make us all switch...and exchange hard-wired into my hand would be a definite plus.

FREE FONES FOR EVERYBUDDY!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40149023)

YEAH, FREE FONES!

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