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RIM Considers Spinning Off Handset Business From Messaging

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the does-anyone-second-the-motion? dept.

Blackberry 87

According to this Reuters report, RIM is considering separating its messaging network business from its manufacture of handsets, and either listing the resulting new company separately, or selling it to another firm. According to the article, "Potential buyers would include Amazon and Facebook, it reported, adding that RIM's messaging network could also be sold, or opened up to rivals such as Apple and Google to generate income. An alternative option would be to keep the company together but sell a stake to a larger technology firm such as Microsoft."

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Handle has been pushed (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40430459)

Water is swirling in the bowl

Re:Handle has been pushed (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40430545)

Agreed. RIM has been dead for years; I laugh and scorn any associates I now see carrying around 'crackberries'.

Re:Handle has been pushed (1)

No2Gates (239823) | more than 2 years ago | (#40440247)

So, the 2 new division names would be "Dying" (smartphone) and "Dead" (tablet).
You're bringing a knife to a gun fight in the tablet market bro.

Re:Handle has been pushed (3, Insightful)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 2 years ago | (#40430805)

And yet, unlike Nokia, they still are making a profit every quarter. Their stock may have fallen but its is in the oversold regime: price to earnings ration is just 4.4. While their predicted P/E does get worse but 15.44 is low for a tech company, and very low compared to facebook at 105. http://www.bing.com/finance?q=RIMM [bing.com]

Re:Handle has been pushed (4, Informative)

V-similitude (2186590) | more than 2 years ago | (#40432309)

You can't really value a shrinking company on the same scale as a growing company. There's no historical P/E that could convince me to buy a dying company. (There are other things that could, like price/book, or likelihood of a takeover, or a projected P/E of say 1, etc.)

Also, 15.44 proj P/E is only really slightly low. Quoting FB's absurdly high P/E (which is no longer 105) is just silly. Compare to Apple at 14.19 historical P/E, and still growing strongly. Or to Google at 17 historical P/E (and growing). 15.44 is low for a growing tech company, but not even that low, so it's hardly a reason to buy a shrinking company.

Catch-22 (2)

mystikkman (1487801) | more than 2 years ago | (#40430493)

Open up Blackberry Messenger(very popular in parts of Canada, Europe and Asia) to iOS, Android and WP to generate some licensing/ad revenue but then lose exclusivity and sales of the BB10 and BB OS 6 devices as Messenger addicts no longer need to get a Blackberry to use it with their friends.

Re:Catch-22 (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40430557)

If your entire businiess model rests on having a closed off IM network in the year 2012, you may want to rethink things...

Re:Catch-22 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40430915)

If your entire businiess model rests on having a closed off IM network in the year 2012, you may want to rethink things...

One thing to rethink is whether BBM is an IM network or a social network. There is a reasonable argument to be made that it is nearly as broad a social network as Twitter.

Re:Catch-22 (2)

Voyager529 (1363959) | more than 2 years ago | (#40431049)

If your entire businiess model rests on having a closed off IM network in the year 2012, you may want to rethink things...

In 2008, it would've been a perfect. They could have used their then-relevant market share as a springboard to have made BBM into *the* data-based messaging platform, making PingChat/WhatsApp/Kik/LiveProfile/eBuddy/iMessage/GoChat/ChatON all nonstarters...and they could have charged $1 a month for a BBM pin and *everyone* would have been on it.

The question is whether they could still do it, in 2012, for free.

Re:Catch-22 (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#40434475)

If your entire businiess model rests on having a closed off IM network in the year 2012, you may want to rethink things...

In 2008, it would've been a perfect. They could have used their then-relevant market share as a springboard to have made BBM into *the* data-based messaging platform, making PingChat/WhatsApp/Kik/LiveProfile/eBuddy/iMessage/GoChat/ChatON all nonstarters...and they could have charged $1 a month for a BBM pin and *everyone* would have been on it

The question is whether they could still do it, in 2012, for free

It's a common blind-spot for almost all companies ever existed, and it's not the first time either, companies folded because of the blind-spot

Kodak is the perfect example
 

Re:Catch-22 (1)

thsths (31372) | more than 2 years ago | (#40436073)

> It's a common blind-spot for almost all companies ever existed, and it's not the first time either, companies folded because of the blind-spot

You mean change in the industry? It has to be a pretty big blind spot to cover - more like blind on 1 1/2 eyes...

Re:Catch-22 (1)

hobarrera (2008506) | more than 2 years ago | (#40435759)

That's what the article basically says they're doing.

Re:Catch-22 (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 2 years ago | (#40430581)

Yeah, they can't really do that.

1) they lose boatloads of revenue because the revenue for a license is at least an order of magnitude less than the revenue for a handset. And nobody will buy handsets as Messenger is the primary reason for people to buy handsets now, as then you can have the cool handset (the iPhone!) will the same connectivity to your friends through Messenger.

2) for business, can they really guarantee the same 'security' for Messenger/Mail for an OS they don't control, so that kills a significant bullet point

Re:Catch-22 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40432445)

they used to have clients for android and windows mobile, but they killed them, blackberry need to piss off.

Re:Catch-22 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40433005)

Many times more popular in Africa, in fact Blackberrys are the only phones worth anything there.

Re:Catch-22 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40446061)

I think you have finally understood why they want to segment their company. Blackberries are dying and fast. So keeping the company relevant is key. With MDM servers getting better and better the BES is not going to be as critical of an advantage as once thought.

Just go back to what you did best (3, Insightful)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 2 years ago | (#40430503)

Mobile corporate messaging par excellence. It's what made your name and it was world class. Since then you've just faffed about with every bandwagon going and totally missed your USP.

Re:Just go back to what you did best (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40430933)

I imagine the impending death of a corporation occurs much as the death of a single person supposedly does.

1 You identify the initial threat.
      A) The board wakes up to find the stockholders are angry with a 3rd quarter's market valuation of their equity, and its clear that the analysts no longer responding to their PR.

2) You get the general feeling that something is terribly wrong.
      B) The top-level executives are made aware that if they can't come up with a credible action plan to counter the downward slide, changes will be forthcoming.

3) You get visceral confirmation from outside that you are in deep dog-doo. Other people's behavior around you changes, markedly.
      C) Your debt to equity ratio his double along with the cost of the commercial paper that used to fund your sales junkets and bonus parties.

4) Your life begins to, "flash before your eyes."
      D) Historical reports confirming the reality of your down-slide are trotted out and contingency plans are drawn up. (Grim faces exiting these heretofore convivial sessions are interpreted by staff as signs of doom.)

5) You begin to consort with God about alternatives and bargain with yourself about changes in the next life.
      E) Everyone knows there ass is on the line. Resumes are updated and posted to LinkedIn, you begin to renew old acquaintances. Let the Lay-offs begin.

6) The logical alternatives to past decisions are reanimated in the vain hope that they might still have value in future.
      F) RIM's executives publicly acknowledge that the goose has laid its last golden egg and its worth more to them as Christmas dinner and offal than as a single undervalued business entity. Smoke signals enter the ether regarding arbitrage.

7) Death, failing an act of God, is imminent.
      G) Capital equity firms like Bain Capital are 'consulted'.

Re:Just go back to what you did best (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#40434585)

As I have posted, I can't mod

If I hadn't, I would mod the parent up, for "Insightful"

Re:Just go back to what you did best (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 2 years ago | (#40431101)

So what they were selling is privacy and security. The question is are consumers willing to pay the real and opportunity cost to achieve that level of privacy and security. The answer seems to be no. I knew many people who liked the RIM phones, but who had no interest in the service. Consumers are willing to deal with tracking and spying to get a good product that does not involve a lockin email account.

Certainly corporate is still interested in this, but if corporate does not have to pay for devices, and specialized email other than outlook, then why should it? I am not sure if RIM should stop with the handsets and software, par down operations, and just concentrate on secure apps. Of couse I am not sure how Apple and MS would reacti to this, so that would leave android. It might be enough.

Re:Just go back to what you did best (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#40431135)

Mobile corporate messaging par excellence. It's what made your name and it was world class. Since then you've just faffed about with every bandwagon going and totally missed your USP.

I suspect that this wouldn't really help very much. It might save them another Playbook fiasco; but RIM's problem isn't really that they've been sucking more at their core market; but that others have been sucking less at it.

The uptick in adequacy of email and messaging on handsets-that-aren't-blackberries has been pretty dramatic indeed(especially from the perspective of customers who couldn't afford/didn't want a BES; but even BES users have improved, though still inferior, alternatives). Even if, best case, the competition remains locked in a sort of asymptotic approach to RIM's offering, never quite as good, they still have a problem:

Apple's massive margins and charm on the consumer side give them plenty of time to make their management features less unpleasant, and plenty of push on IT departments to just-make-it-work.

Android lacks some of the glamour and much of the profit, but it certainly makes it a lot easier for any carrier to hack together a mostly-functional blackberry-esque handset from some razor-margin handset OEM without paying a tithe to RIM, which doesn't help them much in terms of ability to extract money from carriers for their proprietary network features.

Microsoft may or may not have exited the 'error' phase of their trial-and-error development process; but as long as they are entrenched on the customer's mailserver with buckets of cash, they can't be safely ignored.

How about: Pick a direction? (1)

hsmith (818216) | more than 2 years ago | (#40430533)

Thank god the "Co-CEO" mess is overwith - how about RIM make a decision where it wants to go as a company?

RIM is like a 5yo child that can't decide if it wants to play with playdough or play with its own feces.

Wasted Click (1)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 2 years ago | (#40430567)

I'm actually interested in what's going on in the mobile industry and especially curious what's going to happen to RIM so, of course, I clicked on the link to read the article (I know, rare eh?). What a waste of a click. The "article" had basically zero information. At the very least a link to the Sunday Times which Reuters claims is the source of their story would have been nice, even if the Sunday Times requires a subscription to view anything... Seriously, wasted click - don't bother. The Slashdot summary has all the info you're going to get. And, by "info" I mean "speculation".

Good news everyone. (0)

stanlyb (1839382) | more than 2 years ago | (#40430619)

The naked truth is that RIM lacks management. And as consequence, nothing could be changed inside, as any changes could only come through the management, which is so corrupt and incompetent as...these "Co-CEO" guys. So, the only possible way for RIM to progress is to have these changes coming from outside. As simple as that.

Re:Good news everyone. (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 2 years ago | (#40431407)

They lack direction, not management. The people in charge don't seem to really like the options (become and android maker, become a WP maker, both, sell off the handset business and become purely a back end company, or transition to a software firm for mobile) because none of those are particularly good options.

Those have basically been their only options since android entered the fray, but coming to grips with the reality that your business is now second place to someone that wasn't even in the market yesterday is hard. Especially when people keep buying your antiquated product due to inertia.

Die RIM, Die (1, Insightful)

vinn (4370) | more than 2 years ago | (#40430631)

Dear RIM: please just declare bankruptcy and just go away. Most of us don't like you any more and we find the fascination with the messaging network even stranger given millions of new alternatives. The news of your death throes are not the least bit surprising to us, but we'd all be far better off if you were just gone. Oh, and please take Nokia with you.

Re:Die RIM, Die (1)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 2 years ago | (#40430761)

You can't declare bankruptcy when you are not bankrupt. RIMM has a positive net tangible assets on their balance sheet, loot it up. Still its an open question as to if they post a profit anytime in the future or if they are going to hang around until they are slowly bleed dry by expenses.

It might make the most sense to say, its a crowded market, we are behind, its unlikely we can gain the share and product margin we'd need to be profitable again, lets sell. RIMM could sell of its assets, patent portfolio, real-estate, network infrastructure, software licenses, etc in and disburse the proceeds to the share holders. RIMM is likely worth more broken up than as an whole in my not especially researched or considered opinion.

Re:Die RIM, Die (2)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#40431115)

Citation please? because i thought you could always declare bankruptcy, that in most cases it simply wasn't a sound business decision. for example the airlines still had operating capital and money coming in when they declared, they simply went for bankruptcy because it would allow them to dump the retirement benefits they promised the workers (in return for getting them to accept lower wages) on the American taxpayer and keep the money.

as for RIM, I hope they realize they might as well simply shut down the entire handset business if they do that, because it would be suicide. the only ones buying Blackberry phones anymore are those who buy it for the messaging, which I have been told by several has become popular with teens in several countries. Without that being exclusive to Blackberry those customers will simply buy iPhone or Galaxys and that will be the end of that.

Re:Die RIM, Die (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40438193)

Citation please? because i thought you could always declare bankruptcy, that in most cases it simply wasn't a sound business decision.

Umm, no, you have to be able to demonstrate that you owe more than you have, otherwise the judge is just going to tell you to shut up and pay your damn bills before she takes your checkbook and pays them for you.

for example the airlines still had operating capital and money coming in when they declared, they simply went for bankruptcy because it would allow them to dump the retirement benefits they promised the workers (in return for getting them to accept lower wages) on the American taxpayer and keep the money.

"Operating capital" basically means you haven't maxed out the credit card yet. You owe more money than you have, but there are still some stupid banks willing to lend you more (at high rates) so that you can off the loans that are coming due. They're not looking to keep money, since there's not really any to keep; only assets, like planes and buildings and desk chairs and such.

If you wait until you completely run out of capital, typically the only way to go is liquidation. In that case, the taxpayers and shareholders still get screwed over, but on top of that, the planes and buildings and desk chairs get sold off, so nobody has a job, either. The only satisfaction in that scenario is that the top execs lose their jobs along with the rest of the workers...but they still generally end up making out like bandits.

Re:Die RIM, Die (2)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#40431245)

Sure you can. SCO did it. The lawyers will make sure that by the time it's done all the assets are gone and the creditors don't get paid.

Re:Die RIM, Die (1)

kevinadi (191992) | more than 2 years ago | (#40434245)

RIMM has a positive net tangible assets on their balance sheet, loot it up.

I'm terribly sorry but that has got to be the best typo I've ever seen. I mean, the keys "t" and "k" are pretty far apart, it sounds almost intentional.

Re:Die RIM, Die (1)

MisterSquid (231834) | more than 2 years ago | (#40435293)

RIMM has a positive net tangible assets on their balance sheet, loot it up.

I'm terribly sorry but that has got to be the best typo I've ever seen. I mean, the keys "t" and "k" are pretty far apart, it sounds almost intentional.

GP was probably trying to say "loog it up" as in "spit all over the idea that RIM can file for bankruptcy".

... [crickets]

Right?!

Re:Die RIM, Die (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | more than 2 years ago | (#40435507)

I'm guessing typo-by-autocorrection. Still pretty funny though.

Re:Die RIM, Die (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40436133)

Or typo-by-SwiftKey or other predictive-text monstrosity.

"Most of us don't like you any more" (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40431445)

Who are "us" exactly? I'm a BES admin and am dreading having to embrace some new MDM solution to deal with iPhone. However my firm is realistic enough to know we need a plan B for if the haters drive RIM under (helped by RIM themselves)

Re:Die RIM, Die (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40431773)

"Die RIM, Die" - wtf?

RIM and Nokia, have great technology.

this doom-and-gloom talk is purely sensationalism that distracts a board of directors from making the right business decisions. i don't want RIM to go the way of other companies that just try to catch-up - they need to leverage their existing talent to just do something outstanding - which they have been doing.

please stop fear mongering - in fact - Keep Calm and Carry on - and RIM, please start marketing like crazy.

in fact - the only thing RIM probably should do, now that Apple will no longer support google maps - is to market better - and i mean go crazy - take the marketing budget and double/triple it - this is really the biggest thing in my opinion that needs to happen - and do this in the developing world and China - i bet the market is ripe for the picking.

has RIM started supporting Android apps yet on their devices?

if they are going to support Android apps - then it is really high time that they market that fact - and go crazy - in fact - if i was the RIM CEO i would bet the bank on it. instead of getting some investment banks to tell me how to best split the company up into a way that the investment banks would drool over.

Re:Die RIM, Die (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40433597)

Millions of alternatives? Please enlighten us. Start with ONE viable alternative to BBM. Once you've failed to do that, feel free to also fail to tell us who does "push" better than RIM. Apple? Google? And how the fuck did you get modded "insightful" for that turd you just dropped?

Re:Die RIM, Die (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40437357)

Because Slashdot is no better than BGR and it's sad to see Slashdot become trash

Re:Die RIM, Die (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40434693)

Really, F you!

Trolls have taken over /. even more

Why would they think either approach would work? (4, Insightful)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#40430649)

If they'd seen the writing on the wall early on, selling access to their messaging network *might* have worked (although I don't really believe that). But at this point the market has spoken - and both sides of RIM's business are toast.

The people who think there's much demand for RIM's messaging network are living five years in the past.

Re:Why would they think either approach would work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40431395)

The people who think there's much demand for RIM's messaging network are living five years in the past.

Or live in a different country to you.

Re:Why would they think either approach would work (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40433465)

True. Too many people switched to keep BBM relevant. 80% of my contacts are in WhatsApp now.

About time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40430711)

Instead of handsets, just make a mail app for the various platforms and keep the messaging push platform in place. Give me that, with an encrypted local mail store on iOS/Android/WinMobile, and I'll be one happy IT guy :P

They don't get it. (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 2 years ago | (#40430737)

They had two things going for them. They had physical keyboards and push email. Basically the best messaging in town.

Then reality hit, Apple and Google intro'd iOS and Android. EVERYONE has push now, and there NO third party crap involved. BES was a horrible pile of crap.

So RIM tried to follow Android/iOS and be all touch based ... so you lost all those people. Now you're going to sell the ONE think left that people use you for? I was talking to a client the other day who's statement to us when asking if we should ass support for their blackberry's to our product they responded 'no, they are dying quick enough, we can't want to get rid of all the BES stuff'. So everyone knows they don't want your messaging either.

Dear RIM, you really need to hire someone who has their eyes open to run your company, I don't think you've had anyone that can see or hear (literally) in years with the way you're behaving. This is the sort of thing that should get you arrested for trying to destroy whats left of a company.

Re:They don't get it. (1)

badkarmadayaccount (1346167) | more than 2 years ago | (#40450337)

Touchscreen keyboard, predictive - did I guess? They should sell off the whole software division and specialize in Tizen-compatible hardware with physical keyboard as OEM and let smaller corps order rebranded hardware.

Deck Chairs (2)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 2 years ago | (#40430743)

If we move them about it appears like we are doing something useful. Iceberg? What iceberg?

I'm shocked, shocked I tell you (2)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 2 years ago | (#40430757)

So basically, RIM is now openly mulling every option we all floated months ago, back when they were still insisting there was no problem.

Remind me again why anyone should have faith in the management of this company?

El Reg may not be getting a bargain (2)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 2 years ago | (#40430897)

So let me see: a Canadian company is speculated about by a Murdoch-owned newspaper in the UK with no evidence and no sources, this is referred to by Reuters, and you translate this as "RIM is now openly mulling...."

Remind me again why anybody should take your pronouncement seriously?

Re:El Reg may not be getting a bargain (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 2 years ago | (#40431073)

Wait... so you're saying RIM is doing just fine and there is no problem? Thorsten Heins, is that you?

Re:El Reg may not be getting a bargain (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40431817)

LOL, "so you're saying RIM is doing just fine". WOW you may be the single worst person at understanding what people say. Someone could say "I have a orange and white stripped cat" and somehow you would try to twist it into "so you're saying that your cats insufficient in Omega 3". The posters statement was pretty straight forward. So STFU, you're annoying.

Re:El Reg may not be getting a bargain (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 2 years ago | (#40434275)

Oh I'm sorry, I thought GP was implying there was some kind of Rupert Murdoch conspiracy to convince every sane person on Earth that RIM wasn't managing its business very well. But I guess his point was really something to do with striped cats, in which case I guess I have to agree. Or not? But anyway, allow me to rephrase: Capitalist pigdogs in service of corrupt Rupert Murdoch media mouthpiece suggest RIM is considering every Hail Mary survival strategy foisted by /. punters for last six months. This is obvious lie designed to confuse markets and inflame mistrust of RIM, which is most solid and successful company in mobile handset market.

And in more news... (0)

LostMyBeaver (1226054) | more than 2 years ago | (#40430917)

Another mobile company learns that there's more to the modern mobile business than the technology itself.

I really never liked RIM, their products always made me feel like they were crappy plastic things which salespeople would have. Oh... Don't forget that high school kids loved them because of how fast you could text. But these days, messaging is considered to be "Of course it's there". A good web browser and a good selection of time wasting apps is far more important. And I haven't once seen RIM even try to make developing for their platform easier. Java is ok for new apps, but it's shit for porting. No one wants to gamble their whole business coding for one platform... Well except the iPhone guys... Even then, do you think EA is rewriting all their code in Objective-C? Hell no. They write as little as possible in Objective-C and leave the rest in C++.

If RIM wants to make a big difference... They should port the Mono.Net platform to work on their devices and get Unity3D running on there. They can even do it so that the C# compiler generates code compatible with their APIs like Monotouch and Mono for Android do. Then port Unreal Engine as well. Who gives a rats ass less about QNX (which is ok stuff, but not really anything amazing)... QNX just means "Nothing compatible with any other platform runs on this... Try again".

Netcraft Watch (2)

mchappee (22897) | more than 2 years ago | (#40431019)

Has Netcraft confirmed anything about RIM yet? Just checking.

MC

Re:Netcraft Watch (1)

xtal (49134) | more than 2 years ago | (#40436979)

No, but OOG was by with the open source club.

It's not looking good.

Time to Become a Software Company (4, Interesting)

SlashdotOgre (739181) | more than 2 years ago | (#40431105)

I personally believe that the only way for RIM to survive is to pull a Sega, exit the hardware business, and become a software company. Their email software is the best mobile client I've ever used and in the time I've had five BB's, I've also had several Windows Mobile Std/Pro (Moto Q, Q9M, Samsung Saga), iOS (iPod Touch), and Android (HTC Eris, Thunderbolt) devices (but no Windows Phone 7) so I do have something to compare to. The only email client that I could comfortably manage 100+ emails a day is the BB. If they do go the software route, I would hope they strongly control which hardware they will run on so as to control the CX.

Re:Time to Become a Software Company (1)

laffer1 (701823) | more than 2 years ago | (#40432943)

Actually this might work. With Microsoft and Google selling hardware now, OEM phone vendors need an OS from a company they're not competing against.

Re:Time to Become a Software Company (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 2 years ago | (#40433339)

I personally believe that the only way for RIM to survive is to pull a Sega, exit the hardware business, and become a software company.

BB10 is going to be a big change, as is Android app compatibility, so I'd reserve judgment. Additionally, many in-car computer systems have the same base OS and the interoperability could be a big thing.

Re:Time to Become a Software Company (1)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | more than 2 years ago | (#40435103)

Yes, I think FUD of RIM's demise is premature, even if the incompetent management of HP and Nokia managed to destroy webOS, Symbian and Meego in the space of 12 months.

A RTOS that supports HTML5, Qt and Android apps seems like a fair alternative to the current Apple/Samsung duopoly.

Whether they sell at sufficient numbers is something the market will decide but for the moment there is hope.

Re:Time to Become a Software Company (1)

rikkards (98006) | more than 2 years ago | (#40436587)

As someone who picked up a really cheap playbook I have experienced their Android App Compatibility and can say that won't save them.

Flog that dying horse! (1)

Ossifer (703813) | more than 2 years ago | (#40431159)

Better quickly before it's fully dead...

This just goes to show... (1)

jomcty (806483) | more than 2 years ago | (#40431161)

This just goes to show you that boneheads are in charge at RIM. RIM, you want to fix business, just bite the pillow and adopt Android for your handsets. Problem solved.

Re:This just goes to show... (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 2 years ago | (#40431453)

if only.

Then they're competing on hardware and maybe some custom software of their own, but on hardware they don't actually own any of the core technology that say... samsung does. They'd be buying other peoples parts and sticking them in plastic coffins, which is fine when you're a chinese maker and have minimal labour costs, but for a canadian company that would be a very difficult market to be in.

That was always their problem. Being an android maker in a sea of android makers is not a place you want to be. If WP was actually successful they could own the business end of the windows phone market (and leave the consumer space to nokia), but well... WP hasn't exactly gotten anywhere. As the business side of things they could be much more about the business solution (management etc.) and the handset is a sort of on the side public face of the company. They could try that tack with android I suppose too, but then we're back to shitty handsets competing with samsung and HTC.

Re:This just goes to show... (1)

jomcty (806483) | more than 2 years ago | (#40431891)

Being an android maker in a sea of android makers is not a place you want to be.

That may be true, but at this point, no one is picking up what RIM is putting down.

Most times it's better to swim with the school than to strike out on your own.

Re:This just goes to show... (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 2 years ago | (#40431705)

This just goes to show you that boneheads are in charge at RIM.

RIM, you want to fix business, just bite the pillow and adopt Android for your handsets. Problem solved.

Because it's not like the market is saturated with Android phones or anything ;)

Re:This just goes to show... (1)

jomcty (806483) | more than 2 years ago | (#40431861)

Because it's not like the market is saturated with Android phones or anything ;)

Good point, but I believe a BB device, using an Android OS which incorporates RIM's back-end messaging and security features, would differentiate it's devices in the market.

Re:This just goes to show... (1)

Lucky_Norseman (682487) | more than 2 years ago | (#40436733)

You can't add security on top of an unsecure OS.

They would have to make their own version of Android and make sure that the devices could not be rooted without breaking the OS.

This in turn would break compatibility, so they might as well stay with QNX.

Re:This just goes to show... (1)

jomcty (806483) | more than 2 years ago | (#40437569)

You can't add security on top of an unsecure OS.

RIM could run Android in a VM and the BB infrastructure in another, signed VM, thus partitioning the unsecured from the secured and maintain compatibility.

I believe RIM could do it, but it will require some out-of-the-box thinking and courage on their part. I don't think they have many hands left at this point.

Palm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40431217)

"separating its messaging network business from its manufacture of handsets" - great idea, that worked out awesome for Palm shareholders.

No sources (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 2 years ago | (#40431697)

Funny how many unsourced rumors we've heard in the last years that have failed to pan out.

Just sayin'...

Not a good move! (1)

aglider (2435074) | more than 2 years ago | (#40431893)

The half of almost nothing is almost zero.
How can you compare RIM messaging with, say, Google services?
How can you compare RIM handsets with, say, Samsung or HTC ones?

Someone else could manage the handset biz better (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 2 years ago | (#40432187)

RIM has done an outstandingly crappy job of marketing their handsets lately as it is. They might as well spin it off and let someone else try.

That said, Microsoft sounds like a great way to drive the Blackberry handset brand in to oblivion. Short of the XBox I can't think of a Microsoft product that has been successfully marketed since ... possibly the beginning of time. They have instead brought their products to the front of the pack in competition because they were brutal towards their competition. Going to Microsoft for marketing assistance is like going to the president of Syria for advice on how to handle a disapproving populace.

Re:Someone else could manage the handset biz bette (1)

V-similitude (2186590) | more than 2 years ago | (#40433151)

Going to Microsoft for marketing assistance is like going to the president of Syria for advice on how to handle a disapproving populace.

Nokia can attest to this!

BYOD product for the enterprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40433083)

Their best bet is to get out of the hardware business and sell their OS as a virtual shim iOS app for enterprises looking to enable BYOD. No one else is doing it very well (think Good Mobile). Large enterprises still love the security and architecture of BB and would certainly snatch up licensing the day it becomes available. It just seems so obvious from this angle.

Become the trendy phone, simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40433403)

Right? Be the new "apple" of smartphones, go for that "dont be a sheeple, stand out from the crowd" marketing that seemed to have kept apple going for decades. Bank on the fact that the other guys are mostly all evil megacorps

After throwing GAAPS under the bus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40436855)

First shoot one foot with GAAPS; Then shoot the other foot with leftover shattered pieces of hardware and software

Playbook's are half price!
oy!

This company makes me very pissed off, they could be so successful if they would do the right thing.
Somehow deep inside I believe this is the correct mobile platform, from a software, hardware angle, energy savings and stability but the software is crippled and the hardware becomes less desirable. People want apps, people want things that just work, they don't give a crap about lawyers under the hood and all manner of greedy bullshit details. Don't cripple the /libs.
RIMM may not be swirling the toilet bowl, but they should have their taco stands up next to the apple stores! Why isn't it? It's bad decision after bad decision, this company is starting to look like Motorola to me. Who the fuck want's to work for Motorola North or Motorola South? If RIM don't open up gaaps, they aren't going anywhere. Maybe that's the point, holding things as they are? In limbo, crippled, broken.
I want RIM to succeed, but you can't make their scrambled egg hairdoo's into Feng shui McMansions without a whole lot of puke on the floor. They won't eat, drink and be merry! Fuck.

Re:After throwing GAAPS under the bus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40436929)

"you can't make their scrambled egg hairdoo's into Feng shui McMansions without a whole lot of puke on the floor. "

Damn did I say that. Fuckin epic!

Apparently research (1)

die standing (2626663) | more than 2 years ago | (#40439883)

doesn't tend to stay in motion. [ba dum ching]

Why does no one ever talk about security? (1)

tom229 (1640685) | more than 2 years ago | (#40440513)

I feel like I'm in the twilight zone when I read these news sites. Blackberry is, still, the only viable option for any public company even vaguely concerned about protecting their data. AFAIK there still isn't a centrally managed backend for enforcing security policy and remotely wiping phones with either of the touchscreen platforms. This is the only reason why all the companies I consult for are still strongly encouraged to stick with BB.

Post RIM's 'inevitable demise' who does everyone suppose is going to provide this service? Oh.. and half assed home-user-grade attempts like 'find my phone' don't count.

Re:Why does no one ever talk about security? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#40443873)

AFAIK there still isn't a centrally managed backend for enforcing security policy and remotely wiping phones with either of the touchscreen platforms.

I don't know what a "centrally managed backend" would be, but my Android phone requested me to enable remote wipe when I configured the email app to connect to my Outlook account. Same thing on iOS and WP7.

Re:Why does no one ever talk about security? (1)

tom229 (1640685) | more than 2 years ago | (#40453563)

Exactly, it asked you... individually. It doesn't allow "centrally managed" control from your IT department. The only way to get iphones and android devices to work like blackberries do with BES is to use a 3rd party MDM. None of which seem to work that well and none of which give you quick the control that you get with BB/BES.

Re:Why does no one ever talk about security? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#40453757)

Exactly, it asked you... individually.

So what? It simply wouldn't let me connect if I didn't enable the feature. And I assume that the actual wipe, if they ever want to do it, is centrally managed.

Re:Why does no one ever talk about security? (1)

tom229 (1640685) | more than 2 years ago | (#40458203)

... you're not following. I'm not interested in what your device can do for you and the inane txt messages you exchange with your friends. I'm interested in providing a solution for my clients who want to provide mobile devices for their employees. They want to provide mobile devices for their employees but also control what applications they can download, what websites they can visit, how much data they can use, what email accounts they can add to their phones, and various other elements of a centralized security policy. They also want to make sure they can mitigate against lost or stolen devices and employee turnover by enforcing password protection and having the ability to remotely wipe devices

Android can do this.... poorly.... if you're on google apps. And iphone can do some of this on an individual basis using 3rd party "apps" like Find my Phone. This also can be done with third party MDMs; but none of it works as well as a homogenized blackberry environment behind a BES server.

This is easily the biggest advantage to the entire blackberry platform and it's strangely a point that's never brought up during all this "blackberry is practically bankrupt" talk.

Re:Why does no one ever talk about security? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#40458585)

No, you're not following. Ever heard of BYOD? I use my smartphone to read my work email and work with documents. As far as that goes, all that matters is that this particular functionality works in a secure manner; there's no reason why my employer should also be able to control what apps I can install on my phone.

And it's not just me. Every other person here is also doing the same. And so are all the folks at several other major (as in, Fortune 500) companies I know. An separate employer-issued device is so yesterday.

Re:Why does no one ever talk about security? (1)

tom229 (1640685) | more than 2 years ago | (#40459171)

I'm aware of BYOD and, to me, it seems little more than a cost cutting fad that is going to bite a lot of organizations in the ass one day. It makes little sense if you're any more than slightly worried about your data being compromised. I sure hope my employer would be concerned with the 1000's of emails I have containing passwords and access information for sensitive systems. I would sure hope they don't just trust that I'm responsible enough to remote wipe it if I ever lose it, secure it with a password, and not download free emoticon packs (read: trojoans).

As a consultant I could never, ever, in good conscience recommend BYOD. BYOD is about as backwards an evolution in IT as 'cloud computing' from a security standpoint. Where the idea most likely comes from is a dangerous combination of technologically illiterate employees wanting to play angry birds and the same sort of ignorance in upper management trying to reduce IT spending.

Re:Why does no one ever talk about security? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#40459315)

I would sure hope they don't just trust that I'm responsible enough to remote wipe it if I ever lose it

Funny that. My phone is configured such that my employer can remote wipe it, not me. It made me configure it that way when I added my Exchange account. It also required me to add a PIN or password lock, with a specified minimum strength requirement.

But it's still my phone, and I run whatever apps I want on it.

Re:Why does no one ever talk about security? (1)

tom229 (1640685) | more than 2 years ago | (#40459537)

So whos fault is it when you download a trojan making all that surface level security obsolete? It's going to be the IT departments fault... and then guess what's going to happen. You're going to get a nice locked down centrally managed device... or it's going to be off their network entirely. BYOD is a fad... and RIM is still very alive.

Why this "BB does push best" argument? (1)

krinderlin (1212738) | more than 2 years ago | (#40441595)

Can someone explain just how BB's do "push" better? Especially where concerned with Exchange ActiveSync.

I've had my Nexus S 4G, HTC Evo 4G, and Galaxy Nexus hooked up with ActiveSync for Exchange and it works. I've never had an issue with it. Also, I can log in via my employer's Outlook Web interface and wipe the phone if necessary.

I'm not trolling or anything, I just always see people say "BB does push email better than any one out there!" I've yet to see a feature that wasn't implemented there.

I know Android and Apple iOS implement ActiveSync based security policies. You can remote wipe, enforce password requirements, and enforce encryption, including rejecting adding a device if it doesn't support the encryption you want. Are there other management options that you can include with BES?

I know that ActiveSync can use SSL and you can even require client certificates. Does BES do something more secure?

I can imagine that if you use something other than Exchange, then BES may provide a way to get email onto handsets in a more secure and controlled fashion than IMAP with TLS. So for shops that use something else (Are you hiring?) I'm sure BES is vital. However, is that it's only saving grace?

Then again, most of the comparisons in this comment are about things other than push email and more about device security and management...so yeah, what's so awesome about BES's email?

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