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RIM CEO Says Company 'Seriously' Considered Switch To Android

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the perhaps-reconsidering-now dept.

Android 283

zacharye writes "RIM CEO Thorsten Heins's interview with the Telegraph on Thursday made headlines for his admission that the company can't keep up with Apple and Samsung without outside help. But there's another interesting nugget buried within the interview that didn't get quite as much attention: Heins says that RIM took a long, hard look at migrating to Android before deciding to plow forward with BlackBerry 10. Heins said, 'We took the conscious decision not to go Android. If you look at other suppliers’ ability to differentiate, there’s very little wiggle room. We looked at it seriously — but if you understand what the promise of BlackBerry is to its user base: it’s all about getting stuff done. Games, media, we have to be good at it, but we have to support those guys who are ahead of the game. Very little time to consume and enjoy content — if you stay true to that purpose you have to build on that basis. And if we want to serve that segment we can’t do it on a me-too approach.'"

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283 comments

That *niche* market. (2, Insightful)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about 2 years ago | (#40870347)

Well, if it wants a small userbase of executives, it has to accept that small revenue stream comming from those people.

Re:That *niche* market. (5, Insightful)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | about 2 years ago | (#40870553)

Blackberry could have survived as the business market's option. The security they once offered was unmatched.

But now we even see RIM migrating away from what little they are good at by giving away their keys to oppressive governments in order to continue doing business in that country. RIM is feeding itself by cutting off its own appendages.

I don't think Android is going to catch on in the business world. We just had a new vendor selection at my employer and IOS was chosen because the comfort level with security and malware on the Android platform is lower. (The nuances in that discussion don't matter, the fact is that the market sees IOS as safer than Android. Perception is reality)

It's unfortunate that RIM decided to commit corporate suicide because the market has lost something that was once good. Consumers now have fewer choices, and that's bad.

Re:That *niche* market. (2, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 2 years ago | (#40870705)

We just had a new vendor selection at my employer and IOS was chosen because the comfort level with security and malware on the Android platform is lower.

Actually, what I can almost guarantee happened is that some executive with no technical background whatsoever said "I love my iPhone, it's so shiny!", and the bit about security and malware was made up to justify that.

Re:That *niche* market. (5, Informative)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | about 2 years ago | (#40870793)

Nope, the decision was made solely in IT by the desktop/device/network arch staff.

Re:That *niche* market. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40870873)

and iOS was found MORE secure?

Good luck with that...

Re:That *niche* market. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40871029)

Walled gardens aren't always bad.

Re:That *niche* market. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40871095)

and iOS was found MORE secure?

Good luck with that...

I believe it. iOS might not be the best, but it's pretty good when you just want to get business done. It's easy to setup, easy to control, and Apple is pretty good at keeping people/Apps/permissions under control. Plus, every iPhone works pretty much the same regardless of model.

Some androids are easy to root, some are hard - some are easy to control, some are not. Some models are good, some aren't.

I personally like Android as a geek and and someone who isn't exactly pro-Apple - but I hated supporting Android and led the push for an easier iPhone/iPad environment. I'd never go back

Re:That *niche* market. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40871189)

As far as I know iOS is pretty secure.

Re:That *niche* market. (2, Interesting)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | about 2 years ago | (#40870811)

I will also add:

It was once said, "Nobody ever got fired for choosing IBM".

Today, nobody ever gets fired for choosing Apple.

Re:That *niche* market. (3, Insightful)

candeoastrum (1262256) | about 2 years ago | (#40871243)

I will also add:

It was once said, "Nobody ever got fired for choosing IBM".

Today, nobody ever gets fired for choosing Apple.

I dont know anyone in business who has chosen Apple for the enterprise so I am not sure how that applies. Consumer devices that they personally own and bring in, yes. I can't think of another scenario where people recommend Apple for servers or clients when its actually purchased by the business.

Re:That *niche* market. (1)

AchilleTalon (540925) | about 2 years ago | (#40870819)

Indeed! RIM had a niche market, however they want everything without giving anything and this is their main problem.

Re:That *niche* market. (1, Insightful)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 2 years ago | (#40870769)

"The security they once offered was unmatched."

Bull. The very fact that RIM CAN give away the keys to governments (or whoever they like) means their security wasn't very good. Not nearly as good as what you can get yourself with encrypted IMAP/SMTP and/or VPN on an iPhone or Android.

RIM offered a moderately nice install-it-and-it-works package along with some sweetheart deals with carriers back when data service was a strange concept. Then the reigning champion of install-it-and-it-works walked on the scene and RIM just kept on doing what they'd been doing, with a little bit of me too thrown in. Now a child can set up real e-mail security and RIM really doesn't offer anything, except maybe an existing user base for BBM.

Re:That *niche* market. (4, Informative)

vux984 (928602) | about 2 years ago | (#40871253)

Bull. The very fact that RIM CAN give away the keys to governments (or whoever they like) means their security wasn't very good.

You don't know what you are talking about.

They gave away the keys to BIS. That's the service they HOST THEMSELVES used mostly by individuals and small companies who don't want to host their own server. Of course they have the keys for it.

BES (blackberry enterprise server) is the enterprise service. Enterprises run their own BES on their own hardware under their own control. RIM doesn't touch it. RIM hasn't (and can't) give away the BES keys because the enterprise has them not RIM.

But complaining about RIM having the keys to BIS is as foolish as complaining google has access to the encryption keys to https://www.gmail.com/ [gmail.com]

Re:That *niche* market. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40870941)

The nuances in that discussion don't matter, the fact is that the market sees IOS as safer than Android. Perception is reality

And in this case, the nuance is that the perception is actually based on reality.

Re:That *niche* market. (2)

datavirtue (1104259) | about 2 years ago | (#40870993)

Yeah.....perception is reality. Perception of security is safety. Let us know how that turns out.

Re:That *niche* market. (5, Informative)

alphax45 (675119) | about 2 years ago | (#40871061)

RIM can give away the BIS (Blackberry Internet Service - used by a non-corporate person in most cases) keys because those servers are operated by the carriers. BESs (Blackberry Enterprise Servers) are owned/operated by a company and RIM does NOT ever have the keys to give away. So the corporate customers using a BES are safe from the governments that have been the keys, Joe Blow on the street is not.

Re:That *niche* market. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40871315)

I think that Android plus BBM and BES alone would have been a compelling product - versus years of vapourware that is BBOS 10...

it's called selective ignorance (1)

poetmatt (793785) | about 2 years ago | (#40871185)

They chose ignorance. The choice was adopt or die. That decision needed to be made almost 10 years ago. Goodbye, RIMjobs. It's proof that the executive management is a complete and utter failure as a whole.

Seriously (5, Insightful)

postmortem (906676) | about 2 years ago | (#40870359)

You failed as CEO. Google gives you all apps for multimedia, so you don't have to do anything there. But they give you 0 enterprise apps, so that is what you could have done. Its not like corporations are going to pirate your apps and risk being sued.

Re:Seriously (1)

jhoegl (638955) | about 2 years ago | (#40870489)

So, the "Corporate Sync" available on all Android phones is not an enterprise app?

Re:Seriously (4, Insightful)

jeffmeden (135043) | about 2 years ago | (#40870605)

It's an enterprise app like Google Apps is enterprise-ready... You can use it for "Enterprise-like" features but do Enterprises truly use it exclusively? Hell no.

All RIM would have needed to do was make a suite of apps that look like the old apps they had before (not hard since Android apps don't have hard and fast style rules) and then build a management backend that looked like what they had before, so that admins wouldn't have a huge learning curve when going to a BB/Android hybrid.

Fear of change is what RIM was banking on, by deciding to do things the way they always had and shunning any alternative. For decision makers that fear is quickly going extinct; today if you don't embrace change then you (like RIM) go extinct instead. That was their downfall, they put all their chips in the "lets just not change" category and didn't realize that change is absolutely inevitable. If they had walked the line, catered to those who still had a preference for the old BB style while allowing change to happen organically, they would have had a niche. As of now, their niche is solely organizations who haven't woken up to change (and those companies are either going to wake up or go out of business. Not a good spot to find yourself.

Re:Seriously (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40870503)

Seriously. And you don't get to say, "Well I don't want to be another me-too", if you don't have a product that'll sell.

If you don't, you damned well better "me-too" and go from there.

Re:Seriously (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40870559)

It looks like MobileIron is already doing something like that.

Re:Seriously (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40870603)

Not really. Between Samsung and Google-owned Motorola, the oxygen supply is getting sucked out of the Android world. In fact, the shakeout has already begun with the majority of Android OEMs sticking with 2.x for all eternity. Then you see things like the Nexus 7, where the profit is all in the advertising spyware, not the hardware.

BB10 is an extreme longshot, but it beats the certain doom of the Android world.

Re:Seriously (3, Interesting)

oakgrove (845019) | about 2 years ago | (#40871107)

Samsung sells all the Android phones because they make the best Android phones. It isn't about "sucking the oxygen", it is about making a better product and people buying that product. And there isn't an "Android world" in the context of what matters here. This is the smartphone world where everybody competes against everybody no matter what OS you are using. Nokia competes against Apple competes against Samsung competes against Nokia and on and on. Using contrived rhetoric to push your anti-agenda is just you being a hater and ignoring reality. As for your Motorola and Nexus 7 blather, do you have any facts to back up your bullshit?

Re:Seriously (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40871231)

As for your Motorola and Nexus 7 blather, do you have any facts to back up your bullshit?

The Nexus 7 is the same grade of hardware, and yet it's half as much as the iPad... Come on, there has to be something nefarious going on! No way could $200 get you a usable micro-PC with a tiny display... It must cost something more like $400! And it must be heavy too! Otherwise it is either inferior or forged from the lava of Mount Doom.

Re:Seriously (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40871187)

Ahh, posting as AC making inflamitory comments that ignore real life.

Just like when 2.3 rolled out from Google, it tooks 5-8 months to upgrade the majority from 2.2 to 2.3. Look now! it's about 5-8 months from 4.0, and 4.0 skyrocketed from like 4-5% to almost 15% in the past month!

Gee, who would have thought it takes time to port software over?

Re:Seriously (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40871239)

the majority of Android OEMs sticking with 2.x for all eternity

The rollout of Android 4 has been a bit slow, but the customers want it. All the new phones are coming out with Android 4.x; it's just that the OEMs are not going back and releasing 4.x updates for 2.x devices.

Android 2.x is ageing out of the market.

Re:Seriously (1)

udachny (2454394) | about 2 years ago | (#40870613)

I find your nickname strangely appropriate for the comment you made on this story!

It does sound like RIM is already dead, it just doesn't know it yet.

Re:Seriously (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40870737)

That's not his point. his point is that RIMM made another Droid based phone, they'd most lilely jsut be another piece of hte same old hardware. That's what no differention means.

BTW: Since no one seems to know anythign and everyone acts liek they know everything, The BB10 and Playbook can run many Android based apps. Not sure about specific examples but it isquite trivial to port something like Angry birds to the BB10. Alot of things will be in the BB10's store for purchase.

From my reading, it soundslie kthe BB10 is going to have a software based barier so that the traditional BB10 enterprise apps are totally blcoked from media apps liek angry birds for security reasons.

So, your going to still have a secure enteprise device that can do almost as much as a Droid in terms of games and multimedia. So, if comapnies see this, they might stop the BTOD thing and start requiring BB10. And some companies have found that DYOD does not work because of het 100 varients of het Droid causing unexpxected costs on IT departments. It will all flsuh out in a few years though. BYOD had intended consequences. Time will expose the unitntended ones.

Re:Seriously (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 2 years ago | (#40871091)

That's a lot of future talk.

will be
going to
in a few years
will expose

Re:Seriously (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | about 2 years ago | (#40871247)

Not to mention the spellcheck feature on his BlackBerry is seriously lacking... THAT'S going to be better in BB10 too!

Re:Seriously (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40871123)

Either your Blackberry is broken, or the Playbook's onscreen keyboard is abysmal.

Re:Seriously (2)

Omnifarious (11933) | about 2 years ago | (#40870865)

Yes, this is exactly true. They could've taken the Android platform and ran in their own direction with it. They lacked imagination, or perhaps misunderstood the purpose and power of Open Source. That's what they should've done.

And you're right, when it comes to apps for doing stuff at work, Android isn't that great right now.

Re:Seriously (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40871065)

Incompetency of a CEO excellent shown . . . .

Regrets (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40870367)

So do you think they have regrets about that choice now?

And you were wrong and are now changing course? (4, Funny)

Sir_Sri (199544) | about 2 years ago | (#40870371)

This is the space left for where you admit your error and announce a switch to android.
.
.
.
.
.
.
The content of this space is why you're going out of business. We all understand that it would be very very hard to be competitive against samsung and HTC and so on. But blackberry is now next to irrelevant in the marketplace. And RIM needs a rapid change in direction. Hell, jumping on windows phone 8 is a better plan than clinging to blackberry 10.

Re:And you were wrong and are now changing course? (4, Insightful)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | about 2 years ago | (#40870465)

And RIM needs a rapid change in direction

I disagree.

There's nothing they can do at this point to recover. I use to like blackberry, but your right and now they're just completely irrelevant. To think four years ago Barack Obama was angry because he was told he would have to give up his blackberry after being elected.

P.S.
I'm Canadian and nigher for or against Obama. I only mentioned him because I remember reading the news articles discussing his blackberry issue during the last US Presidential election.

Re:And you were wrong and are now changing course? (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | about 2 years ago | (#40870523)

It was 4 years ago. In this niche, sleeping for 4 years is usually with fatal consequences. For god sake, they got all the tools and devs and IP, and they are still unable to produce something as simple as OS???? W.T.F.?

Re:And you were wrong and are now changing course? (0)

CMYKjunkie (1594319) | about 2 years ago | (#40870747)

P.S. I'm Canadian and nigher for or against Obama. I only mentioned him because I remember reading the news articles discussing his blackberry issue during the last US Presidential election.

Wow... my first read through your "nigher" typo had my mind placing another "g" where your "h" is there and me thinking you were a huge racist! Glad I was wrong. :)

Re:And you were wrong and are now changing course? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40870887)

Liar, you thought of it after and thought it was funny, and so decided to make shit up.

You know that is what you did.

Re:And you were wrong and are now changing course? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40871047)

P.S.

I'm Canadian and nigher for or against Obama. I only mentioned him because I remember reading the news articles discussing his blackberry issue during the last US Presidential election.

Wow... my first read through your "nigher" typo had my mind placing another "g" where your "h" is there and me thinking you were a huge racist! Glad I was wrong. :)

Exactly... No need for hatin' on the Prez just because he was born in Kenya.

*ducks*

Re:And you were wrong and are now changing course? (4, Interesting)

StuartHankins (1020819) | about 2 years ago | (#40870681)

Yep absolutely. We standardized on BlackBerry and have our own BES server. All new employees who qualified for a work-provided phone received a BlackBerry. A few of us in IT turned in our BlackBerry devices and bought our own iPhones/Androids.

Then new salespeople came on board with their own iPhones and Androids and we resisted... then executives started switching to iPhones/Androids and wanted us to set them up. You don't tell them "no". We just released an official internal how-to for setting up iPhones although it won't be supported for everyone until the Exchange 2010 upgrade is complete.

There are few reasons to consider BlackBerry now. A few things don't work as expected, for instance accepting a meeting request on either iPhone / Android doesn't result in a response to the sender for some reason (using Exchange 2003 anyway). This may all be fixed once Exchange 2010 is in place.

Re:And you were wrong and are now changing course? (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | about 2 years ago | (#40870719)

And RIM needs a rapid change in direction.

Agreed.

Hell, jumping on windows phone 8 is a better plan than clinging to blackberry 10

Wait, what? It's a completely new OS for phones, and that's not a change in direction?

Re:And you were wrong and are now changing course? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40870775)

Only in nerd land to people think RIMM is going out of buienss. No debt, gorwing cash horde., positive Free Cash Flow. If that's the definition of going under, then Apple too is screwed.

Re:And you were wrong and are now changing course? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40871235)

How long is that cash hoard going to last with no sales? The BYOD revolution is well underway, RIM's only hope was to port their stuff to iOS and Android. They will go bankrupt or be acquired, they have a year, maybe two left.

Perfect match... (-1, Troll)

jo42 (227475) | about 2 years ago | (#40870389)

Android, Hemorrhoid, RIM.

Nyuck!

There will be courses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40870407)

taught about the downfall of RIM and the never ending bad decisions .

Re:There will be courses (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | about 2 years ago | (#40870539)

Actually, they did one good decision recently, firing the management, but as you could guess, it was already too late. We have a saying, the fish spoils from the head.....

not a great justification (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40870413)

Rim should have added better enterprise services to android. That's the differentiator. Wasting time implementing me too functionality on their own platform is a wasted effort.

No room to differentiate? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40870499)

There are virtually no Android handsets with keyboards, and most of those that do have keyboards are low to mid range phones. As RIM have a reputation for building phones which have very good keyboards, surely this could be part of their differentiation strategy. They are also known for producing a very good messenger system, surely it wouldn't have been too hard to port this to Android? They could even sell it to users of other brands of android handsets.

Re:No room to differentiate? (1)

FranTaylor (164577) | about 2 years ago | (#40870583)

android devices work great with keyboards

check out the new fangled "bluetooth" technology

Re:No room to differentiate? (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | about 2 years ago | (#40870897)

check out the new fangled "bluetooth" technology

Handsets with keyboards, not handsets that let you bring your own laptop keyboard.

And the GP is right, for all of the talk about the freedom to "choose" in the Android ecosystem, the top of the line phones, the ones that are meant to meet the iPhone on performance, are all basically identical -- large screens, no keyboards, lotsa camera, AMOLED screen, removable battery, 4G. Candybar-format phones with hardware keyboards are also-rans running Eclair or Froyo, or only available on Sprint, and with second-rate processors. The best hardware keyboard phone, if we admit sliders, would probably be the Droid 4, which came out a month ago(?), and it ships with friggin Gingerbread and a brand-X CPU.

Re:No room to differentiate? (1)

FranTaylor (164577) | about 2 years ago | (#40870965)

"ALL" basically identical

do you mean to say that?

there are NO exceptions?

The nice thing about android is that you don't have to get googles permission to use it in whatever form factor you want. With Apple you are stuck with their form factor and with Microsoft you have to meet their requirements.

Re:No room to differentiate? (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 2 years ago | (#40871009)

He didn't say that Android phones can't work with keyboards, he said that most Android phones that come with keyboards are not that great--a distinction which you seem to have missed.

He also that BB's users are going to expect a good phone with a good built-in keyboard--a point which you also seem to have missed.

But thanks for playing, anyway.

Re:No room to differentiate? (1)

FranTaylor (164577) | about 2 years ago | (#40871049)

"most Android phones that come with keyboards are not that great--a distinction which you seem to have missed."

So did RIM, they could have filled that market nicely with, as you say, no competition.

Re:No room to differentiate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40870659)

I couldn't agree more. The one thing I did like when I had a BlackBerry was its amazing keyboard. I don't care for touch screen devices, personally. I use my phone extensively for typing (longwinded) e-mails on the go. I settled for a touchscreen Android phone because the BlackBerry OS was hopefully out of date (especially its browser).

If they had given me an Android phone with a keyboard and some extra apps for business type applications I would buy it right now.

They should take advantage of the ubiquitous API that Android provides and the platform and focus on refining it for their target market.

Re:No room to differentiate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40871275)

You're not a business person are you?

Re:No room to differentiate? (1)

jimicus (737525) | about 2 years ago | (#40870675)

How will that work when you've got an entire apps ecosystem based on the assumption that the phone has a large touchscreen? Only way I can think of is you make the phone with both a large touchscreen and a keyboard and you have the thing somehow open up, but then you usually wind up with something about the size and weight of a housebrick.

Re:No room to differentiate? (1)

mehrotra.akash (1539473) | about 2 years ago | (#40870885)

HTC desire Z has a nice form factor

Re:No room to differentiate? (1)

Geeky (90998) | about 2 years ago | (#40871269)

Shame they don't seem to be keeping a keyboard phone in their lineup. There seemed to be talk of an HTC One Z - to follow on the naming convention and have a keyboard version of their latest phones - but it doesn't seem to have materialised.

I've got a normal Desire, but having migrated from a Palm Pre, just can't quite get used to the lack of a real keyboard. I was tempted by the Z at the time, but felt the writing was on the wall for keyboard phones and that I'd have to get to grips with touchscreen typing eventually. Still don't like it, nearly a year on.

But maybe that's an age thing, so pardon me while I stop typing and go tell those kids to get off my lawn.

Re:No room to differentiate? (1)

FranTaylor (164577) | about 2 years ago | (#40871007)

Wow you just described a great new business opportunity that RIM could have taken advantage of, if they had chosen android

just think of how many nice little android keyboard devices they could have sold with the market all to themselves.

Re:No room to differentiate? (1)

compro01 (777531) | about 2 years ago | (#40871041)

How will that work when you've got an entire apps ecosystem based on the assumption that the phone has a large touchscreen? Only way I can think of is you make the phone with both a large touchscreen and a keyboard and you have the thing somehow open up, but then you usually wind up with something about the size and weight of a housebrick.

Look at the Torch 9810 [gsmarena.com] . 3.2" screen, slide keyboard, 14.6mm thick. A small screen is less of a problem if you don't have a keyboard taking up half of it.

Re:No room to differentiate? (2)

Geeky (90998) | about 2 years ago | (#40871205)

The Palm Pre managed a touchscreen and a pretty decent keyboard. And a pretty decent OS, for that matter.

Re:No room to differentiate? (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 2 years ago | (#40870761)

There are virtually no Android handsets with keyboards, and most of those that do have keyboards are low to mid range phones.

Really? [motorola.com] Is [samsung.com] that [htc.com] a fact? [t-mobile.com]

Re:No room to differentiate? (1)

compro01 (777531) | about 2 years ago | (#40870967)

1. One good example, assuming it wasn't Verizon exclusive and thus actually available outside the US.
2. "Coming soon" with Gingerbread? That does not make me optimistic about their level of continuing software support.
3. You don't call that a "low to mid range" phone? Furthermore, it'll never get ICS.
4. T-mobile exclusive and again, no ICS in sight.

Re:No room to differentiate? (1)

compro01 (777531) | about 2 years ago | (#40870817)

There are virtually no Android handsets with keyboards, and most of those that do have keyboards are low to mid range phones. As RIM have a reputation for building phones which have very good keyboards, surely this could be part of their differentiation strategy.

Exactly.

A Torch 9810 with Android would be excellent and would almost certainly sell like crazy. I don't imagine the porting would even be that difficult. Several Android devices use the same SoC.

Huh? (1)

FranTaylor (164577) | about 2 years ago | (#40870509)

amazon e-ink kindle and google nexus phone are both android based.

They couldn't be more different!

"no wiggle room" what is he talking about???

Re:Huh? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40870787)

The e-ink Kindles are in fact running a custom Linux build, not Android.

There are e-ink devices out there based on Android though (I think the Nook is).

Re:Huh? (-1)

FranTaylor (164577) | about 2 years ago | (#40870875)

"running a custom Linux build, not Android."

that's exactly the point

with android you don't have to take the whole stack of software

it's all GPL so you can use as much or as little of it as you want

you can make an e-ink reader or a refrigerator screen or a 787 seatback computer or a phone or whatever you want with android

Re:Huh? (4, Informative)

compro01 (777531) | about 2 years ago | (#40871149)

it's all GPL so you can use as much or as little of it as you want

You're a little off there. The kernel and other Linux bits are GPL. The Android stuff is under the Apache license [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Huh? (1)

FranTaylor (164577) | about 2 years ago | (#40871311)

does that invalidate my assertion that you can use as much or as little of it as you want?

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40871173)

I thought Kindle Fire is running Android. Yes, I know Fire is not an e-ink Kindle. I just wanted to make that distinction. I have a Kindle Keyboard at home that I love. If you like to read novels, nothing beets e-ink because its easy on your eyes and on the battery. Still, I had to have a Samsung Galaxy Nexus for everything else mobile.

Blackberry OS 10 is beautiful (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40870529)

Blackberry OS 10 is beautiful. However there were other problems. With the blackberry bold I would accidentally touch the touch screen or keypad when using the other. The keys were tiny. Email alerts would either all make alert sounds or not. There was no ability to customize mail notification based on any criteria. This made it useless as a pager for system alerts. And the OS updates... 4 hours with little warning to upgrade the OS. Oh well, no phone for me today I guess.

I seriously considered the BB Torch. I found it comparable to the iPhone, but it lacked a decent app market. Given that limitation the iPhone was a better deal because it was a similar OS and hardware at the same price point and it had many more useful apps.

Re:Blackberry OS 10 is beautiful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40870557)

Not only that it pocket dialed 911 very often. This was improved in the Bold since their previous model, but it was still problematic.

Re:Blackberry OS 10 is beautiful (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | about 2 years ago | (#40870757)

Blackberry OS 10 is beautiful. However there were other problems. ....

So what does any of this have to do with BB10? None of the current BB models are running BB 10 (including Bold and Torch) - it hasn't been released yet.

Uh huh... (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | about 2 years ago | (#40870585)

Heins says that RIM took a long, hard look at migrating to Android before deciding to plow forward with BlackBerry 10.

And that's definitely, 100%, without a doubt, not an attempt to draw psychological attention and curiosity toward BlackBerry 10 being better than Android OS to drive sales up. Definitely not.

</snark>

The ironic thing is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40870587)

Most of my corporate clients were the ones pushing to ditch Blackberry for iPhones. The idiot managers didn't care about the corporate functionality, they wanted the bells and whistles and iTunes functionality, and the status of being an Apple user. IT didn't especially like the Blackberries -- BES was a temperamental piece of shit -- but at least the goddamn things were manageable. But the first time a middle manager brought his iPhone to the office, the upper managers had to have them too, and BB was doomed.

RIM KILLED QNX (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40870625)

Sad thing that QNX is now dead unless they sell it on otherwise we are left with vxWorks.

gn4]a (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40870653)

conducted ayt MIT

why (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40870677)

why does BGR crap keep making the front page?

ahead of the game? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40870683)

No wonder they are failing, "but we have to support those guys who are ahead of the game. Very little time to consume and enjoy content " Isn't the point in working to enjoy life and consume as much as possible? Consuming and enjoying things are the definition of being ahead of the game in my book. Looking at two people, one who works 120 hours a week, has no social life, no family, only business friends, no hobbies, and a bank account with 1 million, or a person who works 40 hours a week, has a family, social friends, hobbies, and a bank account with 100k who do you think is ahead of the game? Your life is finite, those who trade it piecemeal at a time for something they do not enjoy to do are losing in my book. Those that are truly ahead of the game are those that love their jobs AND make a lot of money.

RIM should hang in there... (4, Insightful)

logicassasin (318009) | about 2 years ago | (#40870805)

The last thing the market needs is a choice between only 2 platforms for smartphones. Yes, I know that Windows Mobile is still out there as is Symbian, but because Microsoft took entirely too long to bring Windows Mobile 7 to market and Nokia really didn't push Symbian as hard as they could have (i.e getting a major player like HTC or Samsung to build Symbian based phones early in the game) they're both pretty much niche players now instead of the former powerhouse enterprise/business players they once were. At one point, when you said "Smartphone", you could only have been referring to a Blackberry, Palm, or Windows Mobile/PocketPC based phone with Symbian being the underdog. Even after June 29, 2007, when the iPhone was released, these were still considered to be true smartphones by many in business with the iPhone being the poseur.

Palm is gone, RIM is facing tough times, and Symbian is nearly extinct. Windows Mobile 7 is not even a part of the public consciousness even though there is still plenty of advertising for it. This is sad since there's plenty of enterprise users out there that don't need/want "Robot Unicorn Attack" or "iApp For More Stupidity" alongside their messaging services.

Re:RIM should hang in there... (2)

HappyEngineer (888000) | about 2 years ago | (#40871201)

Whether it's desirable or not, that's the way it is. Everyone has a choice between 2 viable platforms and BlackBerry certainly isn't one of them.

Re:RIM should hang in there... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40871307)

At one point, when you said "Smartphone", you could only have been referring to a Blackberry, Palm, or Windows Mobile/PocketPC based phone with Symbian being the underdog.

Really? I really can't remember a point where BB, Palm or WM sold more phones than Symbian. Actually, Symbian was still the #1 platform until some time before the "burning platform" memo and the Elopcalypse.

getting stuff done (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40870815)

Wow. This guy is hilarious. If blackberry was really all about getting stuff done, you'd think they'd have bb10 out by now :)

Less rhetoric more action

Or at least less stuidity

Same old Content Consumption meme (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40870839)

"Our product is a serious productivity tool; everything else is just for drooling masses who want to 'consume content.'"

I think it's hilarious to see that tired old meme applied to the Android platform for once.

Interesting quote (4, Insightful)

The Mister Purple (2525152) | about 2 years ago | (#40870847)

FTFA, Heins remarks:

"there’s a very stable, slowly growing base of physical keyboard users and most of them are really highly ranked officers"

So, he points out that the keyboard users are the demographic with the least growth potential AND the least staying potential, and he thinks that's a positive?

When the titanic was sinking.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40870855)

the ships architect on board at the time, tried with great valor, debated with uneducated fleeing "customers" about the indestructible nature of the titanic. One 3rd class customer was noted to say "Are ya daft mate?, The bloody tub has a hole in it and ya talkin' a-boot how 'we have to support those guys who are ahead of the game'". One crew member was overheard shouting to the CEO, "I rather be drink ya f***ing kool-aid on dry land, sir"
So was the thinking in the hours before the ship submerged under the icy waves.

Translation... (1, Interesting)

jemenake (595948) | about 2 years ago | (#40870877)

but if you understand what the promise of BlackBerry is to its user base: it’s all about getting stuff done

Translation: "It's all about checking your email and thinking that no other phone can do that".

Seriously, I've never understood the Blackberry kool-aid. 6-7 years ago, Blackberry people were running around going "Ooh, yeah... I can check my email wherever I am!". Meanwhile, I was on my Palm Treo, checking email, browsing the web, SSH-ing into my servers, playing RPG's, getting turn-by-turn navigation, etc.

Now, granted, I'm sure Blackberry's mail client crashed less-often than the ones for PalmOS... but how did these guys ever convince the business world that, if you want to check your email on the road, the Blackberry is the only device which will do it?

BB10 can already run Android apps...and maybe more (4, Informative)

Erbo (384) | about 2 years ago | (#40870907)

The BB10 OS is already capable of running Android apps, as evidenced by the fact that the Playbook can already do so. Out of the box, though, the only Android apps that will run are ones that have been "ported" and show up in their marketplace.

It is possible, however, by rooting the Playbook, to open it up to full GAPPS capability, including the Google Play Store. RIMM needs to do this for BB10...and then they need to promote the hell out of this capability, saying, "BlackBerry runs all your favorite Android apps...and runs them better!" (Which is true; the QNX kernel of BB10 is far more efficient in an embedded environment than Android's Linux kernel is. This translates into increased battery life.) Karl Denninger has argued [market-ticker.org] that this is the only way for RIMM to avoid complete irrelevance in the marketplace...and the company's performance since he wrote that piece in March seems to bear that out.

They could go further, too. One enterprising hacker has gotten (some) unmodified iOS apps to run on the Playbook [crackberry.com] . And it's perfectly legal, because the developer has just created his own implementations of relevant Apple APIs, and, under the ruling in Oracle v. Google, APIs are not copyrightable and Apple can't stop him. RIMM should acquire or license this technology and extend it to work with more iOS apps, and promote the hell out of this capability, too. Imagine being able to run virtually any popular smart phone app on one phone...with better battery life than either Android phones or the iPhone. (QNX beats the iOS Darwin kernel for efficiency, too.)

If RIMM does these two things, they could go from zero to hero in one fell swoop. If they fail to do either one...well, next stop is probably a bankruptcy court.

Re:BB10 can already run Android apps...and maybe m (1)

WiiVault (1039946) | about 2 years ago | (#40871069)

While I do appreciate you letting us know the potential of BB10, I think where you are mistaken is expecting RIM to do anything intelligent to take advantage of these possibilities and strengths. QNX is solid, and the one phone to rule them all is very nifty. But with the people running RIM none of this matters. The thought of them having the foresight to follow your suggestions is just unrealistic. It's sad in a way that BB10 like WebOS will likely be remembered for what it could have been, had management not been so out of touch. I pray that you are right and I'm wrong though. Because we need more than 2 players, and Microsoft's mobile strategy makes RIM's look sane and measured by comparison.

Re:BB10 can already run Android apps...and maybe m (2)

Erbo (384) | about 2 years ago | (#40871255)

You're right, of course. I cited Karl Denninger's March posting in my original post; he has posted about RIMM ten times since then, and in each of those pieces he has called on RIMM to open the platform to GAPPS. They have done no such thing, and the stock price continues to dwindle.

Soon, the only reasonable asset they'll have left will be their patent portfolio...and the best way for one of the other players to acquire that will be to wait and buy it from the bankruptcy judge.

Re:BB10 can already run Android apps...and maybe m (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40871241)

Heh, you think that a little thing called "being legal" will stop companies from suing one poor little guy out of existence?

You're a funny man / woman.

Re:BB10 can already run Android apps...and maybe m (1)

oakgrove (845019) | about 2 years ago | (#40871265)

(Which is true; the QNX kernel of BB10 is far more efficient in an embedded environment than Android's Linux kernel is. This translates into increased battery life.)

Yeah that's why the Kindle Fire despite being very similar hardware to the Playbook and the Fire having a grossly overloaded interface gets better battery life than the Playbook. Where's the "efficiency" going? Calculating fractals in the background?

Do, or do-not (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about 2 years ago | (#40870935)

There is no "try"

Ahead of the game? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40870945)

If Blackberrys are for people ahead of the game,what the hell were the 2xCEOs using from 2007 to 2011?

BBM / PIN (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40870971)

If you keep up.a little bit with today's youth, you'll know that it's all about sharing their PIN and "BBM me". How come I don't see RIM capitalize on that? To the contrary, at one point contemplate a BBM App for iPhone so your last incentive to go for a Blackberry is out the door too?

The price the phone to the users (3, Insightful)

tekrat (242117) | about 2 years ago | (#40871039)

If you're building a phone for executives ONLY, then make it a $1000 phone. These are people who drive 911's, M5's, Ferrari, or some other similarly high-end car. If these are the people willing to spend $300,000 for a top-of-the-line supercar, then they certainly should be willing to shell out $1 to 2 thousand for a phone. But it better be the best damn phone there is.

I mean, if you're paying 2k for a phone, not only should it make the iPhone look like a cheap toy, it should make almost all high-tech items look like cheap toys.

But the problem is that Apple, Samsung and HTC are all making really, really good hardware, and selling it for $200 -- a tenth of the cost. And for all of RIM's wizardry, they aren't going to beat Apple.

So, the executive who is paying enormous sums of money for a car is going to look at the Blackberry, then look at the iPhone, and still decide that the iPhone is the better product, even though it's cheaper.

RIM needs to get their act together and make some really smart decisions. Unfortunately, they are not.

It's funny (3, Insightful)

FranTaylor (164577) | about 2 years ago | (#40871159)

People talk about problems with android, and yet these problems are precisely where companies like RIM can differentiate themselves, by solving these problems.

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