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Mike Lazaridis Promises RIM Has a Future BlackBerry PHONE Plan…

dmobile Mike Lazaridis2One of the things most BlackBerry users have been dying to know is when we will be getting the next generation of BlackBerry device and what they will look like. We were hoping we would hear more about BlackBerry smartphones at CES but that was all about the PlayBook and the tablet scene. On the other hand in an interview with PCMag at CES Mike Lazaridis, co-CEO of RIM, went into a little bit of detail on RIM’s “Super Phone” plans. According to Mike RIM is moving to where the market will be in the future not where it is today. As we all assumed the future BlackBerry devices will run RIM’s new QNX OS along with a dual core processor and will look like a shrunken down PlayBook (Hopefully with a physical keyboard).

While I am all for this my big problem is that Mike Lararidis seems to be in no hurry. This part blows my mind. Mike is saying that RIM has a long term plan in the 10 year style and that since current hardware cannot make a super phone like RIM wants they are passing until the hardware catches up. I couldn’t believe what I was reading once I got to that point.

That is the biggest load of horseshit I have ever heard from Mike. No engineer in their right mind would let ALL their flagship phones run a THREE YEAR OLD processor and then say they are in no hurry to upgrade it. Following that same train of though Mike should wait to upgrade his laptop until they have come up with a quantum computer. That is not the way upgrades work. They tend to happen incrementally. Waiting for a revolution without a short term plan can result in suicide.

Personally I find it hard to believe that RIM does not have a new device in the pipeline. Even if it is just to upgrade the current three plus year old processor in the current BlackBerry devices to 800Mhz or even 1Ghz. If they keep on playing this waiting game until there are 1Ghz dual core processors they are going to see a good chunk of their 55 million customers defect.

You really should read the rest of this interview over at PC Mag. I personally have heard conflicting reports from my sources at RIM ranging from a slightly updated processor in an upcoming line of devices to a “wait until QNX” hold the fort approach.

Who knows. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments!

33 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. As always, you have the beat write-ups. I agree with everything you said. I personally think that Mike is content making subpar phones because there are a lot of people who are satisfied with subpar hardware. I’ve used blackberry for 5yrs. Just recently, I reluctantly switches to iphone4. Although att blows donkey balls, I absolutely love the device. After about 4mos (I’ve had this phone since July) I can say that I no longer miss the keyboard. I NEVER thought I’d hear myself say it. I no longer miss the blinking LED light. And I no longer miss the BBM. I NEVER thought I would hear myself say it. I’m willing to bet the playbook I’m gonna win (wink wink) that you wouldn’t miss it either. I hang on to the hope for Blackberry but I think 2 yrs from now, I won’t give a shit. iPhone and devoid will be in a better place by that time, as well. Mike is always gonna play chase. This kindo reminds me of Chrysler. Now look where they are? After two decades of never updating their interiors and exteriors; offering the same lineup with mi or upgrades, are they now begging for business. They are barely above water, if at all.

    But I begin to digress. At this point, I have no future for a blackberry smartphone but their tablet does look like a winnin ticket. :)

  2. And here I thought I was the only one who was thinking this. Mike is making to easy for Android.

  3. If RIM is content to miss market cycles, like Palm, for instance, then they might as well sell themselves off to HP or MS right now.
    The market will not wait around, we’ll just find the next best alternative and move on.
    Sad, as once the iPhone5 comes out, i’ll be retiring my Palm Treo.

  4. Yeah, big problem. No platform offers exchange integration like Blackberry. Maybe WindowsPhone7, but I’ll never switch to that.

    I spent a few weeks trying to see if I could replicate the BB/exchange experience in Android… not even close. Rim will lose BIS users, but those of us who have come to appreciate the power of BES, and have come to rely on it for their daily functioning of their lives, we wont switch just yet.

    There are plenty of BES defectors who blindly went to ios and android… Have fun with that.

    • What type of BB/Exchange experience were you using on Android? Did you use an application that used Microsoft ActiveSync (its a feature to Exchange)?

      I had BB’s since 2002 in a BES environment. I switched 11/2010 to an Android and haven’t looked back. I get the same functionality with my email, contacts, and calendar that I had with BES. I haven’t lost a thing. I did gain a phone with a bigger screen and a faster processor. I used to think these items weren’t necessary as long as the phone did what is supposed to do. Let me tell you, it is much nicer having these upgrades. Things happen quite a bit quicker than they would on the BB. I do get slightly less battery life than I did on my BB but I get through a whole day and evening without any problems.

      I am a RIM fan and wish RIM success. It was extremely hard for me waiting for a new Storm or whatever the new one is going to be when I was an original Storm I owner. My contract was up and RIM didn’t have anything for me worth going too. I started to wait and I am glad that I didn’t after reading about RIM’s remarks. I for one would not have waited until the end of 2011 or possibly 2012 for a SuperPhone from RIM. I hope to come back to RIM but RIM would need to have a compelling device now that I have found I can live on Droid with all of the functionality of Exchange that I was accustomed too.

      • You’ve just lost a whole lot of security/privacy features…
        I guess it’s OK as a consumer, but I wouldn’t find this acceptable for a business phone.

        • I’m a business user. I’m not sure how I lost security when the communication between my phone and the exchange server takes place over SSL. At least on a Droid the communication is between the phone and the exchange server rather than from phone to BES to exchange. From my point of view it is one less server that I have to manage and make sure it is playing nice with exchange.

          I may not be able to implement a thousand controls on BB devices like BES would allow me to do but the core ones are there such as remote wipe and require password. I can allow and disallow the use of wireless and bluetooth radios as well among a few other things. While Android might not be a granular as BES, it still gets the job done with a secure connection unless I am wrong in about what SSL is and does.

          RIM’s decision to wait out a cycle or two with phones is only going to hurt them unless there is something truly compelling when they finally do get released. QNX looks to be very compelling, but it may be too late in coming to market. I wanted to stay with BB but there was no new touch screen from RIM waiting for me. I would have gotten the Storm 3 (or whatever it was going to be called) and stayed if it were available. It wasn’t. The Storm 2 was not much of an upgrade from the Storm I (some additional memory and changed surepress implementation) and in my opinion not worth the money for what VZW was selling it for.

          I will keep the hope alive but the rose tinted glasses are off. There is whole other world out there. While each manufacturer (RIM included) has their pros and cons, a consumer or business user should evaluate all of their options rather than sticking with the tried and true. The smartphone arena is going to speed up and change very quickly to the benefit of the consumer and business user, at least that is what I think is going to happen.

          • I meant that there is no hardware encryption on Android.
            Getting devices lost or stolen would be my biggest fear.
            All the reports saying that iPhones and Android are OK for businesses mention that you need to add an extra security layer like “Good”.

            I think RIM will lose a lot of customers in 2011, but it won’t be enough to take them down, just like Nokia will still be around for many years.
            By 2012, all devices will do pretty much the same things.
            They will all have touchscreens, security features, keyboards (except iPhone), etc.
            It will be down to what really matters to you and your business.
            I haven’t found an instant email service that is as fast as RIM’s, but do we all need to get our emails within seconds of it reaching the server? Will it matter more than having full access to an email account?
            etc., etc.

            • From your previous comment it wasn’t clear to me that you were talking about content encryption on the phone. I thought you had meant connections to Exchange. Anyway, you are right, there is nothing native to Android at this point in time that protects this type of data. However, there are many third-party applications (as you mentioned, Good) that add this additional layer of security. Touchdown is another example that makes use of Exchange ActiveSync which uses encrypted databases for its content (mail, contacts, calendar, and tasks) to prevent exactly what a BB would prevent. That is only one example there are many more though. Good I think would be cost prohibitive for some businesses but Touchdown would not be.

              What I have found thus far with Android, is that there is usually an application that is available to fill the void or functionality that I would have had on my BB. It would be nice if I could just flip a setting and tell my phone to encrypt all of its contents when not in use but that is not a feature at this point in time. I do agree that this will more than likely be available a couple years down the road across all types of devices.

              Since you mentioned instant email…what I find funny is that if I am working on my computer my phone will beep that I have a new message before I see it in Outlook. I don’t know which is faster in reality all I care is that they are both where they should be within a reasonable amount of time. I care about the synchronization between the devices more than the speed. But you are right, I don’t think it matters much in the grand scheme of things.

              • It has been proven time and time again that once you root an Android device or jailbreak an iOS device, you have complete control. In most cases, this also gives you plain text access to the onboard device databases. You give me any Android phone and I will root it and give you the user/pass of every sync’d account in under an hour. This is a widely known issue and one Google has not done diddly about since it was released, which is unacceptable to me. It’s still not quite as ridiculous as the iFail which will decrypt the data for you merely by plugging it into a Linux box, but still…I’m sticking with my trusty crackberry for the time being 😉

  5. lol @ Crazy88. He did make some valid points tho. 1st off kudos to you Mike for the detailed write up. I feel like you share the same loyalty to RIM that I do but still have a mind that’s open to the market at large. It’s sad to think Blackberry is so content remaining behind the curve when it comes to technology. And the thing about technology is that it relentlessly pushes forward, which keeps Blackberry falling further and further behind its competitors. Having an innovative, fun & user-friendly tablet is nice but if the phones aren’t of the same calibur, what’s it all worth?

  6. There is one thing though RIM has become better at handling leaks and i am sure there not going to come out any time soon and give us an exact date when they are releasing the next QNX BB because they are busy selling the PlayBook. Then they will probably focus on getting a new BB out with QNX. I could be wrong but RIM should have already learned that they should not ignore the competition.

    I am thinking they will probably announce something only when they are ready to which will probably be in May for the BBWC

  7. I told you that there wouldn’t be any QNX phones until the end of 2011 at the earliest.
    RIM is a dinosaur, like Nokia. 10 year plans work fine in some economies and you need to have long term visions, but you also need to be agile and that’s something RIM is not.
    They may keep large corporate accounts, but smaller firms may well get rid of the Miscrosoft/RIM combo when it comes to managing emails in an efficient and secure way.
    RIM is not the only one with proxying technology and security in mind.
    Google doesn’t seem too bothered about winning the hearts of the suits, but Apple seems very keen and 12 months could be just enough for them to become a force in the enterprise…

    • Unless Apple decides on more than just one type of device (large touchscreen only), businesses will continue to go with the broader range of devices from RIM i believe.

      • Going for something else than BES would allow business to have a mixed environment.
        Marketing guys can have their flashy iPhones, IT guys their Androids and exec their Blackberrys.

        • Perhaps you might have a point. But you spoke of smaller firms, are smaller firms wanting to have this array of different devices to deal with? That cost of maintenance and IT goes up i think

  8. My company has been staunchly pro-Blackberry for many years due to their anal need for security. However, they have recently started pilot-testing iPhones and iPads on the system…the beginning of the end. I have avoided switching platforms because of the Blackberry restriction at work, but if this actually happens and with no new BB in sight…I will be tempted to switch big time. Now, I am planning on getting a PB, so that plays a factor in my decision. If the PB is a winner, I’m staying for the long-haul no matter what.

  9. I think Mike has a plan. They didn’t get to be so big without one. He is thinking globally and I bet we will see a QNX phone before we know it.

  10. I think we shouldn’t jump to conlusions here. RIMM did not aquire Torch, QNX, and TAT companies for nothing. Playbook is the model (faster, more effecient than other tablets) that future blackberry models will be modeled after.

  11. It would seem odd that they would be willing to wait for new dual core chips before coming out with ANYTHING new. They need to keep the hardware a little more competitive or risk losing users. Hopefully he just said that to keep the competition off balance and they are working on QNX based phones that will be announced once the Playbook has hit the market.

    • They have to be at least testing QNX on a smartphone platform.. that’s the hope.

    • There seems to be a lot of hooplah about waiting for dual-core smartphones…but they are already here. LG and Samsung have already announced their plans for dual-core smartphones. In fact, LG was talking about it back in early September, when they mentioned the new Optimus (now known as Optimus 2X) that would feature nVidia’s Tegra 2 dual-core 1GHz chips. The technology and hardware is already here, RIM really has no excuse not to move forward with QNX other than their own R&D. Using the excuse that they are waiting for dual-core smartphones is total BS as nVidia’s Tegra 2 can alraedy be found in the wild.

      • RIM should announce something i agree.
        But i find LG and Samsung always seem to try and come out with the leading edge product but never succeed in making a killer product.. They can announce quad-core phones for all I care, I want to see an actual LG or Samsung phone that is good.

        The Atrix, now that’s an interesting phone.

  12. I’ve been worrying about this for some time now and this could be the nail in the coffin for Blackberry for me. I’m sure I can’t be alone in feeling this way either. I was frustrated when the 9700 had the same old chip in it and shocked when they tried to pass the 9780 off as having a fast chip when again it had the same chip. I might be missing something but most Blackberry fans know what they want and I believe this is RIM committing market share suicide.

    • I’m still taking a wait-and-see approach. The playbook looks very good, and if they can put out a “mini”playbook like phone, they’ll have a winner even if they’re still behind Android/iOS

  13. I do plan on waiting around for RIM for short or long. I don’t think they will fail, I could be wrong, but it is worth waiting a bit for me especially since I have a sweet deal locked in with t-mo and using a BB.

  14. eagerly waiting for the release…

  15. RIM won’t fail as a company because they’re slow in bringing out super phones. They’re embedded in too many markets globally. They took a route that was less than popular with people in North America. They put resources into tapping into some of the developing countries that are still on EDGE networks. Sure it’s a pain hearing them NOT announce new phones, but its due to being a different strategy, not a lack of strategy.

  16. Who thinks Mike is the one who leaked all the new phones to BGR? lol

  17. Mikey L says, “Ronen, we must train you to wait.” 😉

    I think we’re getting leaks of new devices now. I agree that statement from Mike seemed like a suicidal move, but it appears to have been grossly under-estimated. The future looks bright, my man!

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