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What Do You Make of RIM’s Latest Announcements?


When Alec Saunders and Chris Smith got on stage at BlackBerry 10 Jam 2012 in May they sang “The Waiting is the Hardest Part.” I thought we knew what that meant with RIM reiterating until a few days ago that BlackBerry 10 would be the savior platform transition coming later this year. Now Thorsten Heins has broken the news that the waiting has been delayed, yet again, to Q1 of 2013. That means 6-9 months of waiting which has demoralized many of the BlackBerry faithful. I am not sure what it has done to you but today will go down as a sad and disappointing day in BlackBerry history.

If you ask me why I have used a BlackBerry over any other device for the last decade or so there are so many reasons I could give. Truthfully no other platform offers the “BlackBerry Flow” that many of us cling to. Heins is taking the high road in ensuring that we are not disappointed by a half baked release of BlackBerry 10 but we cannot help but feel disappointed by yet another delay in its launch.

Heins reiterated during the earnings call that BlackBerry 10 is a platform for RIM to create a whole new future. He plans on making RIM a lean machine that is laser focused on delivering an awesome BlackBerry 10 experience. The waiting is painful but the signs are pointing to an awesome platform that will embody many of the features we love about our current BlackBerry handhelds. He is correct in ensuring that BlackBerry 10 is “do or die” for RIM and they have to get it right out the door. That means that while this decision is the correct one for RIM it will be a bitter pill to swallow.

I have been contacted by many devs today asking about BlackBerry 10 and if they should stick to the platform. They have been on a high since BlackBerry World and the BlackBerry 10 Jam World Tour with RIM promising a platform that was coming soon and had the potential to take the mobile world by storm. That has not fundamentally changed but what Heins has made clear is that BlackBerry 7 will have to hold out as RIM preps their new “Mobile Computing” platform.

The next 6-9 months are going to be extremely painful for RIM and their users. Our dedication will be tested yet again as RIM goes through another quarter of losses in Q2 of fiscal 2013. The teams I have spoken to at RIM since the announcement assure me that RIM is still wholly dedicated to delivering an awesome BlackBerry 10 experience and they need our help to make it a success. RIM is going to take a beating from the press and wall street for the rest of 2012 but they are determined to come out ahead in 2013. They have $2.2 billion in the bank and bank guarantees to give them the cash to fuel their roadmap and hopefully that will be enough for them to reach their goals. RIM’s cash flow is still coming in from BlackBerry 7 devices especially in international markets which will hopefully hold them out during this transition. Now more than ever they need to make sure that BlackBerry 10 is the platform and hardware that will be strong enough to pull them out of this spiral.

No one knows how this story will play out but I wanted to reach out to all of our readers and ask you what you make of RIM’s latest announcements. Will RIM be able to trim themselves down to a lean mean startup and deliver a BlackBerry 10 experience that will embody all of what we expect in a BlackBerry with a platform that can thrive for the next 10 years? Sound off in the comments and let us know what you think the next year holds in store for RIM and the future of BlackBerrys.

22 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. I’m a huge fan.. Had a PB on pre-order in March 2011. I have taken lots of crap from all my friends and family about sticking with an antiquated 9800 while awaiting the BB10 phone I hoped to get this fall. I’m a huge advocate of the PB on Twitter.
    But Personally this breaks my heart! I’m pissed at yet another freaking DELAY for those of us patient enough to stick with RIM. Damnit, RIM, get this BB10 experince DONE!! No doubt this is the proper move, but it still PISSES ME OFF!!!

  2. I feel like Charlie Brown screaming “Agghhh” as Lucy yanks the football out from under me YET AGAIN! How many times will I continue to try to kick it?

  3. Now that we know there will be a delay, does anyone think it is unreasonable to expect RIM to have multiple devices upon release? I mean really, I want to see at least 2 maybe even 3 different models on release day because I think short of an almost full-lineup the momentum…you’re just not talking about RIM needing a home run anymore but rather a grand slam. If the QWERTY keyboard customers aren’t going to see something for a full year now or even longer…geez.

    Also, with this announcement and the disappointment, I’m really starting to get an itch to attend an annual meeting. You can hype all you want but I’m not sure they realize yet the dire position they’re in and the urgency they need to have.

  4. This clearly is a mistake by RIMM. By not releasing BB10 this year: (1.) They will lose the momentum gained in BlackBerry World; (2.) They once again will miss a deadline they have set and loose the trust of the consumer they were beginning to get back; (3.) They will lose stock at a more rapid pace; (4.) They sink further into irrelevance, as loyal customers tire of waiting and go to other platforms and when BB10 finally comes out it will behind the competition as they have had time to move ahead.
    No platform that has come out or will come out will ever be perfect – (Not even the Iphone 4GS). There’s an old saying “Strike while the iron is hot.” And I think RIMM does a disservice to their loyal customers by this delay. Unless they have some major issues with BB10, it shoulld be released as soon as possible with subsequent OS upgrades. As history has shown, BlackBerry consumers are willing to tolerate less than than perfection; what many will not tolerate is the belief that they have been misled once again.

  5. I am more sad than pissed. I am sad for the RIM employees, the shareholders and faithful BB users and by holy God it is going to be painfully long 6 to 9 months. But I am a sucker for the under dog, and I plan to stick around until BB10 launches, I don’t have to, I can leave any day but have chosen not to. I don’t owe RIM anything and they don’t owe me anything but I am not the kind that kicks someone when they are down. Funny, I was a huge Apple fan when they were in a similar situation 20 years ago so I know how tough it is going to be!

    I can only hope that many of the BB faithful in NA will stick around!

    • I am in the same boat as you and wish many others were as well. It is troubling reading some of the nasty comments on CrackBerry and other sites. Ultimately, BB10 is delayed and that sucks… but what sucks worse is the 5000 people whose positions will be eliminated. I wish them all the best and will continue to do my part to support RIM.

    • you took words of my mouth…hope RIM utilizes their lost time to full potential and deliver a product that blows everyone. Whatever it is I will continue to support RIM by buying BB10 whenever they deliver.

  6. @gokulesh, great post. I agree, more sad than pissed. I can tune out the media (and yes, I too like the underdog over the pop culture item) but the faithful BB users is what hurts the most, those who truly appreciate the product.

    @Berry7…spot on with all your items except that you also forgot that they now also miss out on the big buying quarter of the year, that is the Q4 holiday season.

    @Ronen, ask the unlock store to kindly sponsor another contest, however difficult and whatever valued item….something to boost the morale:)

    • I am working on a contest or something similar. Still I am hoping RIM has something up their sleeve to boost morale. It sucks that it is delayed but at least they are taking the right road of not releasing it half baked

  7. While the announcement is disappointing, there is another possibility for it. RIM is currently evaluating ‘strategic options’, one of which is to go private. This option would be most feasible when the stock price is at its lowest, allowing them to undertake a ‘buy-back’ quite cheaply. A low stock price would also benefit attracting a suitable suitor for either a buy-out or partnership. In either case, it is possible that RIM has made an announcement today with the intention to deliberately lower their stock price. If BB10 is then released later this year as has been promised for some time now, and is as revolutionary as promised, the opportunities to enjoy a very profitable rebound int he stock price is enormous.

    As a BB fan, I hope this is the case, but if this announcement today is really as portrayed, it doesn’t look good for the brand. For those who were waiting for BB10, they would be better served to switch to another platform and then re-evaluate BB10 in 2-3 years time when their contracts expire. RIM’s aggressive push of BB7 is somewhat deluded, as why would anyone wish to enter into a 2-3 year contract on a platform that was already obsolete when it was released? It may suit some, but I wouldn’t imagine a sustainable number.

    I wish RIM comes back with a bang, but unfortunately I will be waiting for them on another platform in the meantime, unless of course my conspiracy theory is right!

    • Your conspiracy theory, while fun, isn’t too practical. It’s really tough to run a tech company from a Federal Prison. Their in-house business services are not quite FedEx/Kinko grade.

  8. It flat out SUCKS! I think for all the faithful this one really hurts. I wish they had just said this when he became CEO but I image something crazy must have came up and they realize they just couldn’t hit this year.

    All that sad, if your still with RIM chances are you can hang in there for another 6-9 months. I agree with previous comments that basically they need to launch two phones and not just one.

    If any of the RIM employees are reading, I wish all the families all the best. I mean we joke and vast about a company but at the end of the day, RIM provides a source of income and 5,000 are now going to have to find something.

    I will always be with RIM but I have to say they are digging themself in a big hole. So many positive vibe has now been crashed or just came to a stop.

    LONG LIVE RIM……..we hate your delays but I think its important they get this launch correct. If you don’t agree with the delay just think about all the negative press if they release a half bake phone.

  9. We need to be careful ourselves, we as consumers are to blame in some part to the demise of release dates (Although RIM have been bad with them in their planning. It nevertheless is a Technology release which can legitimately change) with our hype that we build up to a point when there is a change we slate RIM like there is no tomorrow. This is not unique to RIM but also applies to other vendors.

    This hype builds something up so much that when they do release we also become disappointed with the released product.

    I foresee that many will be disappointed with the final product wrt BB10 and will slate RIM further.

    Our impulsive nature to have the latest and greatest also does not help any vendor, again this not a unique issue to RIM. We are to busy trying to keep up with the Joneses that we are at any point prepared to change vendor.

    ~~ This is generalized in the most part, and should not be taken as a Rule ~~

    • While release dates can slip, it is in a company’s best interest to plan them realistically in the first place – that is to pad them – to protect against delays. Why should RIM always get this wrong? They (and we) are obviously too optimistic and should factor that into their subsequent deadline appraisals. When they misjudge them so drastically those depending on them suffers also. I don’t think that anyone should be making excuses for that.

      Hype is so often something companies actively nurture, quite deliberately. Of course a user wants their products to be the best for their needs. I do not understand how that makes a buyer impulsive. It seems to me that BB costumers are quite loyal. But switching vendors is just a fact of business life. If a company continually fails to deliver but others do, well, the writing is on the wall.

  10. I think RIM is in a lot more trouble than we thought, BB10 delays would not be so bad if Playbook was doing well or they had other products but they have bet the farm and all resources on the new phone.

    I am sad but will stick by them for now. For my others – I suspect they may not wait anymore. RIM will loose more customer because of the delay of BB10.

  11. I think they really need to make sure that BB10 is solid before releasing it. If it is incomplete they will be crucified for it. I think with this extra time, they should plan on releasing the full line of BB10 phones with full touch, QWERTY, and slider models all releasing at the same time. We can only hope that BB10 is as awesome as we think it will be so it has a chance to take off. Otherwise, RIM may be on it’s last legs.

  12. As usual the critics are out in full force! As mentioned in a previous post, missing a deadline is not unique to Rim. What concerns me is the rumors that Rim is only going to release 1 or 2 phones on the release of BB10. I am a querty key board lover and this has been one of Rims strengths. Why would they even consider delaying its release with BB10. Where I have a problem is that Rim keeps releasing new systems and then right away tells us there is a new and better system coming. Much like the disastrous play book. It was released and shortly after there was an announcement about OS2. Many people bought one anticipating that OS2 was going to be some amazing OS like no one had ever seen. I for one was disappointed! PB is still missing some features that others have and the boot up time has kept me from using it on several instances. When are these issues going to be addressed? Is BB10 going to be the same thing. I
    guess we will just have to wait and see.

    • Why shouldn’t the ‘critics’ be out? RIM has missed yet another self-imposed deadline. So what if other companies also miss deadlines? We are not discussing them. We are discussing this one, which is in rather dire shape – in no small part because of continued missed deadlines.

      I do believe that RIM will have to get it substantially right when these new devices sporting this new OS finally do ship. Let’s hope the result is worth the latest delay.

  13. As my 5th grade teacher pointedly told me after graduation (to middle school)….Time is Money.

    ….and my investment account is suffering because of it. Nevertheless, I am believer in RIM, the product, and the steps they are taking. So while short-term this is extremely painful…I continue to be long on RIM. Long-term buy and hold…especially at current share price. Even if RIM decides to strategically remove itself directly from the phone and tablet market, its underlying systems and infrastructure can be licensed out for some major $$$. Would hate to see the Blackberry disappear from my phone/tablet options but as a company RIM is fundamentally sound. Not many companies today could have made it this far and still have $2.2 billion in cash.

    With that said…sorry to hear about the layoffs, but I wish all of them the best.

  14. RIM has strange culture and self distruct political environment.

    In RIM if a new hired person figure out major problem and introduce efficient approach, both manager and his buddy group member will proof their wrong approach works. just like someone point out driving a car is right way, pushing a car is wrong way, then both manager and his buddy group member will hate you, and proof that 3 person can also move the car by pushing it. cheating email will be sent to some vice president, saying like: see, the car moving, pushing a car is a natural part of the process, in order to deny new hired contribution of introducing skill of drive a car, they have to deny merit of driving a car.

    It is very strange company culture and strange company political environment, it promote stealing and cheating skill. RIM’s management may be a typical instance in MBA course.

    This culture deny or steal hardworking team members’ contribution/innovation, generate strange political environment, destroy RIM.

  15. Something people need to understand is that RIM is going through a rough time right now, and are in a tough predicament. They have developers working diligently on BlackBerry 10, which was originally slated for Fall 2012. But as internal developers leave or are let go (as has been the case for quite some time), timelines are pushed back. RIM can’t avoid this. They understand they need to release BlackBerry 10 as soon as possible, but they also understand that with the diminishing number of internal developers, it becomes harder to meet those ambitious timelines. They also understand that BlackBerry 10 has to be a home run, there’s no if ands or buts about it.

    So while this news is not something I wanted to hear, I will understandably wait for BlackBerry 10 in Q1 ’13

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