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Mike Lazaridis Bewildered by “Negative Sentiment” Against RIM

Produce - apples and oranges woman

Co-CEO of RIM, Mike Lazaridis, does not usually do interviews but the New York Times managed to snag one this weekend. Mike Lazaridis usually tends to be the visionary at RIM so I always try to pick apart what he says. According to the Times it was Lazaridis who was asking the questions at the interview:

Why is it that people don’t appreciate our profits? Why is it that people don’t appreciate our growth? Why is it that people don’t appreciate the fact that we spent the last four years going global? Why is it that people don’t appreciate that we have 500 carriers in 170 countries with products in almost 30 languages?

Mike finished off by saying:

I don’t fully understand why there’s this negative sentiment, and I just don’t have the time to battle it. Because in the end, what I’ve learned is you’ve just got to prove it over and over and over.

I really love that Mike has taken this approach. You can’t always try fighting back with words. It looks like Mike is letting products like the BlackBerry PlayBook and BlackBerry OS 6.1 devices speak for themselves. Hopefully they do him proud!

I recommend checking out the full interview at the New York Times at this link. Let us know what you think in the comments!

22 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. I love my blackberry and I’m getting a playbook, but even I’m getting tired of watching video’s after video of the 9930, 9810 and Playbook!!! Just want to buy it now! So bored, I’m not even bothering to watch the last Playbook video’s.

    Just imagine how investor’s are with there short attention, no real new products for almost a year!!! while they are losing ground at an incredible rate in North America.

    Just saying… give me some @#$@$ products!!!

  2. I rarely agree with Mike, but I will agree with him today. The RIM-haters so annoy me. Like being angry with all girls with the same name because once a girl of that name dumped them for their best friend 😛

    When iPhone 1 came out it was huge, and had enormous limitations, yet all you heard was fanfare. Today it is BlackBerrys that are in some ways more limiting, but only in few ways, and it is very very exiting to see RIM re-invent themselves over to QNX. I’ll argue it is equally as exiting as when Apple went from computers only to iPods, and we all know where that lead.

    Final note: nothing annoys me more than the new Windows Phone commercials. One says it is the only phone were you can edit office docs. WHAT???? BlackBerry’s had that for YEARS!!!! Windows Phones are like their search engines: MSN fail, Windows Live fail, Bing fail. Nuff said.

  3. This was an interesting article to read. My first impressions are RIM is going back to the business core with the playbook and not taking apple on head on. That’s probably a good thing to do. Even more crucial for the firm than selling a lot to consumers is making sure that businesses buy the Playbook over the iPad.

    It is very hard to fight the Apple Hype Machine (not just commercials but media and bloggers). I think bloggers will give the product a fair shot and we’ll see a lot of articles that say wow this things is pretty damn good.

    I do think RIM got caught flat footed with their old OS but I also think QNX can be a savior. I think if RIM too the time to build a new OS in house from scratch like Palm did they probably would be dead (like Jim B says). I have no experience with QNX but it has an impressive CV and does seem like a new platform for the company.

    Sure up the business base first and then roll out to consumers.

    Even though the article was still negative it actually makes me feel a little better about the lack of hoop la surrounding the playbook so far.

    Last night I saw an ad for HBO on the iPad 2. It’ll be hard to RIM to catch up with apps like that. Then it hit me, what a totally useless thing if I want to see HBO I’ll watch it on a TV, thanks. Businesses are not going to fall for useless apps like that and they are going to ask Apple can your iPad do what the playbook can? I think the answer will be no, more often that you would think.

    Sorry for the long post which no one wil likely read! 😀

  4. I’m with Mike! The perception of RIM in the marketplace is not in line with their performance. The introduction of the Playbook will be far more significant in retrospect than most expect.

  5. I’m glad that RIM is finally starting to develop phones that do speak for themselves. The old lines were quite a bit off from the specs of the competition. The new Bold Touch, Curve Touch and Torch 2 look like they finally have specs on par with the competition. I get annoyed when people refer to my phone as a “Lackberry” because of its limited specs and Apps. Hopefully that is all due to change soon. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not agreeing that Blackberry is lacking. Mine does everything I need it to do and more. The problem is perception. Because it doesn’t have a zillion apps and tons of memory people think it is more limited.

  6. Good on you, Mike. It’s always the insecure and jealous that are the loudest.

  7. Don’t try to battle it Mike. That’s just how the world is today. Simply put “there will always be haters”

  8. I think 90% of them just want to be negative for the purposes of being negative.

    They are glass half empty people.

  9. I think that RIM is on the right path. They shouldn’t get into There’s an app for that mentality that Apple has (BlackBerry doesnt need a bunch of useless apps to make up for a lack of functionality). However, they do need apps to take advantage of their capabilities as well as the bells and whistles app that will please consumers. A better advertising campaign would also help them.

  10. Many people are looking at what has happened to RIM’s market share in the United States and are expecting the same thing to happen in other countries around the world once Android and other platforms catch on there. Mike Lazaridis just needs to look at what has happened to Palm and Nokia to understand why people have a negative sentiment towards RIM.

    I used to love my Blackberry but after switching to Android about a year ago it will hard to go back to a Blackberry unless their future smartphones running the QNX OS are really amazing. The only things I miss from my Storm 2 are BBM and sound profiles.

    I agree that the specs of the upcoming Blackerries such as the Torch 2 9810, Bold Touch Dakato 9900 and Touch Monza 9860 are much better but they are still behind the competition. Their specs barely match specs of the competition’s smartphones from early 2010.

    • What you say is right, but are specs really everything? As long as the new phones don’t have lags I would say it’s hard to beat a blackberry. I was travelling the last few days and noticed some droid phones. Wow those phones are massive. The form factor of BB phones are hard to beat. Up until now I’d say they lacked “pretty” but the new phones seem to be there on that factor as well.

      I switched back from and iPhone and it wasn’t for specs.

      • kiddo2050,

        I agree that specs aren’t everything but you needs good specs to support certain features and some specs such as processor and memory support how well a phone is going to perform. I’ve tried out a Torch 9800 and it feels a little bit laggy and the specs were weak for a device released in August, 2010. My Storm2 9550 was very laggy and I’d get that annoying clock (i.e. hourglass) on the screen all the time. I’ve used the original Motorola Droid (which I didn’t like), HTC Droid Incredible, Motorola Droid X and now I’m using the new HTC Thunderbolt. I agree that many of the Android devices with 4.3″ screens (like the Droid X and Thunderbolt) are huge but once you’ve used a device with a screen that size it’s hard to go back to something smaller. I think something between 3.7″ and 4″ is the perfect size as long as the bezel is small.

        You’re one of the few people who switched back from an iPhone to a Blackberry. Most people in the U.S. are switching from a Blackberry to other smartphone platforms like iPhone and Android and the market share numbers prove it.

        • What bugs me about people who claim specs make a difference (not you specifcally, but in general) is that these same people don’t really utilize the full potential of their device.

          I see it all the time in my hobby of photography; people buy the latest and greatest with no intent on improving themselves or learning more of their device.

        • Yes, true, I was talking more about going forward than the current phones.

          It’s true that BBs (even the new ones) “lack” on screen size but I guess I’m once again the exception because I plan to move from my Torch to the Bold Touch. This is mainly because with a playbook I don’t think I’ll do that much web browsing or whatever with my phone.

          I do wonder what will happen to phones in the long run as tablets become even lighter. For example the big deal with the iPhone is games, browsing and I guess some apps other than games, but if we all have tablets at hand (e.g., students carry one to take notes and read textbooks) will we really obtain great value from having duplicate abilities on the phone?

          Strategies so far are kind of interesting:
          Apple: Big Tablet, leave at home and take phone to do most mobile stuff.

          RIM small tablet, take it with you, Phone for communication (voice, email, messenger) and calendar.

          Android, all options I guess because producers follow their own strategies.

  11. My personal experience with negative people has taught me two things. One, they’re not smart enough to understand what I might be doing and two, they’re jealous theyre not doing it.

  12. It’s all in marketing, Apple clearly spends a lot more money in brainwashing people into thinking they invented everything.

    Apple: lookie here, we invented mobile cut and paste, it’s revolutionary
    Truth: others have been doing it for years as a basic feature

    Apple: lookie here, we invented the ability to play music on your phone
    Truth: others have been doing it for years. I had a Sony Ericsson 6 years before the first iphone that could do that

    Apple: lookie here, we put a camera on the phone, it’s amazing
    Truth: uhmmm… You forgot a flash, video capability and options. Even on the latest OS you can only zoom. Oh, but there’s an app for that, I forgot… Well, I don’t need an app for that on my phone.

  13. im agree with sam81 , they are just jealous

  14. I’m glad Mike laid it down and walked away from it without getting into the trenches. The media is all gaga over the iPhone; no matter what Apple does, it is right, everyone else is wrong and must follow Apple’s lead.

    Wake up folks! Apple does not do everything right. iOS is such a closed system built with very little security in mind. The user experience is bar none on a phone, I do agree (although the PlayBook OS is better!), but there is much more to a product than how it interfaces with the user. Certainly, this is a hugely positive aspect, and it has garnered Apple a large following, but this is where things start falling apart.

    iOS has few strong enterprise services, the devices themselves can be hacked in minutes, and the battle between security and inhibition was decided early during the design stages of the iPhone. It’s all about the user’s experience. In this regard, Apple succeeded with flying colours, but that’s not the whole story!

    Yes, I can install crapware on your company’s iPhone and compromise your company’s security, and according to Apple, that is okay because the employees are happy playing Angry Birds. From their perspective, employees with BES restricted BlackBerrys are just jealous. Perhaps so, but the bottom line is this is not their personal BlackBerrys!

    Most people don’t have admin access to their company’s PCs and they cannot install whatever applications they want. This restriction has a purpose, and the same should apply to corporate phones.

  15. RIM would very well heed the “sentiment”. I think they’re not very well positioned in the market in competition with iOS and android. This is quite clear from the recent decline in american Blackberry users, although globally they’re still doing quite well.

    If RIM plays their card wrong they could be on their their way to follow nokia.

    • I think that’s what confuses Mike. RIM is doing well, and yet everyone is still hating on them.

      Recently, though, rumoured specs leave people complaining that Berries are ugly. No win situation.

      • You got that right, when RIM blows away the iPad2 with performance you know the response will be the screen is too small, or I like it thinner even though it’s heavier. There will always be something.

        It goes both ways however. I think Apple products are over rated and over hyped, but even if I thought they really were better I’d say I don’t want to be associated with a company that is run by an arrogant dickhead. 😀

    • I don’t think the Nokia analogy fits. RIM has QNX in its future Nokia had nothing until win phone or whatever it’s called.

      The hook up with Microsoft is just Nokia buying a new OS for their phones, and it isn’t a good one.

      Nokia went to RIM fist, I believe mainly to get the QNX OS but RIM said no.

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