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RIM Struggles Continue 197

Posted by Soulskill
from the faltering-blackberry-crop dept.
dave562 writes with news of continued difficulties for Research in Motion, who yesterday announced a drop in profits, product delays and layoffs, causing their stock to plunge over 20%. "Why did RIM experience delays? Because RIM recognized that the current hardware wasn't cutting it, and had to upgrade to more powerful chipsets, co-chief executive Mike Lazaridis said. The first will be the BlackBerry Bold 9900 that RIM recently showed off." An article at the Wall Street Journal speculates that the company needs to be taken over or broken apart. "RIM’s operating system could be an intriguing purchase for Hewlett-Packard, which now owns the lovely but unpopular Palm operating system for smart phones. Handset makers like Motorola might be lured to buy The Astonishing Tribe, a Swedish company RIM recently bought that designs snazzy interfaces for smart phones. Patent companies, Google or other tech companies could scoop up QNX, the software company behind the PlayBook tablet computer, and RIM’s BBM messaging platform."
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RIM Struggles Continue

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 17, 2011 @06:02PM (#36480454)

    Early leaders in their respective fields, but then got lazy because they didn't think their customers would go anywhere.

    Then technologies and features got old and stale, and by the time they realized it, it could never catch up again.

    These days, both RIM and slashdot are pretty much doing a slow drain around the bowl. Sad, because you remember what once was, and what could have been.

    • by kwerle (39371) <kurt@CircleW.org> on Friday June 17, 2011 @06:30PM (#36480712) Homepage Journal

      I have an iPhone.

      Where do I go for my /. replacement?

      • I have visited OSNews a few times, and the readership there is decent, albeit not as good as slashdot. However, when it comes to news about Microsoft, I definitely prefer reading the articles and comments there. Slashdot has too many trolls, $hills and fanbois. Not everybody mind you, but it's not as easy to find unbiased opinions.
        • by tyrione (134248)

          I have visited OSNews a few times, and the readership there is decent, albeit not as good as slashdot. However, when it comes to news about Microsoft, I definitely prefer reading the articles and comments there. Slashdot has too many trolls, $hills and fanbois. Not everybody mind you, but it's not as easy to find unbiased opinions.

          OSNews is nothing but a cesspool of wannabe tech know-it-all tools who like Slashdot despise Apple's successes and are tired of everyone slamming Windows, but at the same time keep proclaiming Linux will finally have it's break out year, Qt is the shit of all shit, Gnome isn't cool anymore, and with all that self-proclaimed genius they represent nothing in the real world.

    • by jawtheshark (198669) * <slashdot @ j awtheshark.com> on Friday June 17, 2011 @06:32PM (#36480732) Homepage Journal

      Pray tell me where I can get the intelligent (or at least semi-intelligent) discussions we used to have on slashdot in the olden days? I partially blame the fact that slashdot has become less interesting because I learned so much from it. Once you assimilated some knowledge, it becomes less interesting even though it gets featured again on slashdot.

      True, slashdot has changed, the audience most likely has changed too. I still wait for a place "better" than slashdot and I'll be glad to get some links.

      Compared to so many other sites, the intellectual level here in slashdot is astonishingly high. Go read the comments on youtube or yahoo answers sometimes. If you hate the spelling and grammar mistakes here and people who can't discern college and collage, or weather and whether, then you'll puke your guts out on every other site out there.

      • by cyber-vandal (148830) on Friday June 17, 2011 @06:44PM (#36480830) Homepage

        I've been visiting this site since 1998 and have yet to find somewhere else where so many comments are well thought out and rational. I don't think there's too many places on the net where you could have this level of conversation. Kuro5hin used to be good but 9/11 turned its members into rednecks pretty much overnight. It has its flaws, the Javascript bugs being the most annoying, but it was my first internet forum and I doubt I'll stop visiting any time soon.

      • by kungfoolery (1022787) <kaiyoung.pak@gmail.com> on Friday June 17, 2011 @07:51PM (#36481442)
        Slashdot: we're less dumb than everywhere else!
        • As you run out into the parking lot, you briefly spot a flash of pink. Turning around you can't see anything but other people seem to be avoiding the area where you saw the flash.

          Now you can see it. It is a spaceship and is pink, but that is the least of its problems. While it has the usual rockets and fins, it seems like it should fall apart right where it is. Perhaps Marvin designed it. Slartibartfast urges you on, as the sky is ... well you don't really want to know. You hop in the spaceship and th

        • by tylernt (581794)

          Slashdot: we're less dumb than everywhere else!

          Nothing to be ashamed of. "In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king."

          Kind of like the plot to Idiocracy.

      • by RelliK (4466)

        reddit.com. It's what slashdot should have been.

        • by UBfusion (1303959)

          Reddit is not an IT site. Its stories are mainly centered about having fun, internet memes and the decline of America. The discussions are at most at college level, with that characteristic childish obsession on puns.

          However, there is much humanity in there. What impresses me most is that discussions, as childish they may be sometime, are never aggressive and in general follow an implicit politeness etiquette. Boobs may be shown or implied, but female members are extrovert, do participate, explain how they

      • Pray tell me where I can get the intelligent (or at least semi-intelligent) discussions we used to have on slashdot in the olden days?

        I suggest hacker news [ycombinator.com]

      • by crunzh (1082841)
        http://news.ycombinator.com/ [ycombinator.com] is your Best bet, decent discussions
    • by gilgongo (57446)

      Early leaders in their respective fields, but then got lazy because they didn't think their customers would go anywhere.

      Hey - I've got a five-digit ID, and I distinctly recall almost EXACTLY the same comment when I joined, only that time it was Slashdot being like Apple! Back then, Amelio was leaving, and things were looking grim for the Mac.

      Not saying that RIM will go that way (oooooh no), but I just thought it was pretty funny.

  • by Sponge Bath (413667) on Friday June 17, 2011 @06:04PM (#36480476)
    HP can do for RIM what they did for DEC and Palm... and er, HP.
    • by LurkerXXX (667952)

      Dumb idea by WSJ for HP to buy Nokia's OS. Really Dumb.

      Nokia's OSs:

      Symbian: Their main OS. Old and busted. It needs updating in a major way, which isn't happening, which is why they went to Meemo.

      Meemo: Cool version of Linux that they didn't get behind fully and refused to throw the resources they needed to into to get it up to snuff quickly. Nokia is a big company with a lot of money. They just refused to spend enough of it quickly enough to get the OS going. This is the same issue HP is having now wit

      • by LurkerXXX (667952)

        Ack, I'm an idiot. RIM, not Nokia.

        RIM has good potential with QNX. It's an awesome OS.

        HP buying it would be the same deal though. It doesn't have apps, needs relevant hardware, and needs development a lot of resources through at it to get it up to polish. HP has been making horrible decisions with all those things. Hopefully RIMs management will do better and learn from HP and Nokia's mistakes.

      • Google bought Android. They didn't write it themselves.

      • by tyrione (134248)
        It's the WSJ. They continue to not understand technologies until the successes are entrenched and then the proclaim to revise history and tell the world how ahead of the curve their analysts were for x, y, and z. They are crap.
  • by arcite (661011) on Friday June 17, 2011 @06:08PM (#36480502)
    The RIM tablet version 1.0 was unable to access email without tethering. I mean...what were they thinking? Time to parter with Microsoft or face the Abyss.
    • by iluvcapra (782887)

      The RIM tablet version 1.0 was unable to access email without tethering.

      They think the tablet is just a peripheral of the phone. Apple spent a long time thinking iPhones are a peripheral of iTunes and have only very recently changed their tune. Of course, iTunes is a free computer program you download off the internet and a BB smartphone is an expensive smartphone... Okay so maybe they aren't thinking.

      Time to parter with Microsoft or face the Abyss.

      Or Google? Seems like an Android, customized for BES might be a spicy meatball in this market. Ya know, iPhone-competitive handset software with Blackberry-level corporate ad

  • by FooAtWFU (699187) on Friday June 17, 2011 @06:12PM (#36480538) Homepage

    Look! Let's buy out another failing company with a somewhat-interesting product to replace the last failing company with a somewhat-interesting product we bought. That'll totally work.

    It's like when they bought Colubris to replace their Symbol OEM APs, only to buy 3Com a little while later. I dunno, maybe they can squeeze some money out of it.

  • Research in Motion have broken new barriers with the PlayBook tablet [newstechnica.com], a BlackBerry that can’t read email. And needs to be tethered to a phone.

    “We feel a technology preview is just the thing we need to fight iPhone and Android in the consumer market,” said founder and co-CEO Mike Lazaridis. “The missing core functionality should be seen as areas of spectacular potential. Also, the board has ascertained that you should stay away from the brown acid, it’s not so good.”

    The PlayBook has launched remarkably, with thousands of the devices being recalled for crippling operating system bugs straight after release.

    In a double-tap Osborne through the head, the PlayBook uses the new QNX BlackBerry OS, which does not run current BlackBerry apps, will not be available on phones for another year and will not work on any current BlackBerry device. This is separate from OS 7, to be released soon, which will also not work on any existing BlackBerry. RIM’s present mobile carrier partners were “overwhelmed” to be stuck with so much already-obsolete stock.

    RIM led the world into the smartphone era, several years before Apple’s iPhone turned everyone into the sort of twat you only ever used to see carrying a BlackBerry.

    Technology industry rumours suggest a Microsoft takeover of RIM, considered an excellent match in competence and vision. “Synergy’s just another word for two and two makes one!” said Steve Ballmer. “We will assimilate your technological stench of death into our own.”

  • Palm 2.0 (Score:4, Insightful)

    by WoTG (610710) on Friday June 17, 2011 @06:23PM (#36480654) Homepage Journal

    I've always thought of RIM as Palm Pilot, the next generation. The same people who bought the first PDA's from Palm were the first to use Black Berries. Carrying contacts and calendars around was, and is, a very good thing. But, when Black Berries did that, plus email, Palm's weren't competitive anymore. It took awhile, but Palm has all but disappeared (I know, Palm is now buried in HP somewhere.)

    Well, email on a phone isn't a big selling feature anymore. It's all about the apps and web access. Email is just the bare minimum - a minimum that RIM couldn't even meet on their Playbook tablet launch (WTF!?)

    So... as a Canadian, I'm sad to see RIM's decline. The game isn't over yet, there's still value in the Enterprise and Government sectors... for a while anyway. But, I think their days as a consumer brand are numbered. There really isn't room for 4 platforms in the mobile space... even 3 platforms is pushing it. iOS and Android are here for at least the medium term. Windows Phone and RIM have to fight it out for a distant #3.

    If I had to bet, within 5 years, Microsoft will buy either all of RIM, or the pieces - both largely serve the corporate markets.

  • The good: RIM is still profitable making $695M and had $700M more revenue. They have nearly $2B in cash with $13B overall assets.

    The bad: They made $769M profit same time last year while taking in less revenue so they are not growing in terms of profit. The PlayBook sold only 500K. Apple sold 3.27M iPads in slightly more than the first quarter it was available when it launched last year.

    The ugly: Besides the delays and layoffs, does the management think newer hardware will solve their problems.

  • Bitcoin? (Score:2, Funny)

    by bigsexyjoe (581721)
    This story needs a nice bitcoin tie-in. For example, what is the values of RIM in bitcoin?
  • They just kept releasing a bunch of basically identical models or why their profits would fall that far simply because a BB with a new outter shell was not released for a few months.

  • by joh (27088)

    RIM could have ported their software to iOS, Android, WebOS or WP7 and just stopped making their own hardware and OS. The real value of RIM is not in the phones -- it's the IP, the software and the customers they have. There's real value and money in the enterprise market but nobody really cares very strongly about which phone RIM sells. Having a choice of phones with a common software/apps/protocols stack for secure messaging would have been not a bad thing.

    Now there's a chance that someone buys them or th

    • by Lehk228 (705449)
      if anything they should do the opposite and launch a line of android blackberries, faster spec'd phones with the blackberry keyboard running android OS, also include some sort of open architecture TPM so IT departments can enforce data security with the new phones just like they can with blackberries.
      • Do people really like the BlackBerry keyboards? Really??? I have to carry a BlackBerry and I find the keyboard to be poorly designed and difficult to use. I can type faster and more accurately on my wife's iPod Touch. Don't give me the, "you get used to the size," line. I also use a Palm Pixi. Its keyboard is about 15% smaller than the BlackBerry and I can whale out messages on that tiny keyboard. As a matter of fact, everybody plays with my Pixi for a few seconds comments in amazement at how nice th

        • by narcc (412956)

          Do people really like the BlackBerry keyboards? Really???

          Yes. They're the best on the market. They have been for years. Their best effort to date is the keyboard on their Bold line.

          I have to carry a BlackBerry and I find the keyboard to be poorly designed and difficult to use.

          You're alone on that one. Even people who hate BB readily admit that it has the best keyboard around. Even the Droid Pro keyboard is a blatant copy (though it's more on-par with the torch, it's not nearly as good as the bold keyboard).

          also use a Palm Pixi. Its keyboard is about 15% smaller than the BlackBerry and I can whale out messages on that tiny keyboard. As a matter of fact, everybody plays with my Pixi for a few seconds comments in amazement at how nice the keyboard is, especially compared to the BlackBerry keyboards.

          The pixi keyboard is nice -- which is amazing considering how bad the keyboard on the Pre was. I think what people really like is the 'click' you ge

    • No one at RIM is dumb enough to trust Apple, Google or Microsoft. If they went that way it'd be just be a matter of time before they were replaced by one of those companies' own service or became no more than one of many competing services on an OS they couldn't control. The likes of Apple certainly wouldn't allow an application to hook so deep into the OS to allow things like remote wipe, Android would necessitate development of many different tweaks for all the different hardware/OS version/operator combi

  • The media is seriously over analyzing RIM's woes. It takes 5 minutes of hands-on use to see that Blackberries are woefully behind iPhones and Android devices.

    • by narcc (412956)

      The media is seriously over analyzing RIM's woes. It takes 5 minutes of hands-on use to see that Blackberries are woefully behind iPhones and Android devices.

      Funny, It also takes about 5 minutes of real-world use to see that iPhones and (most) Android devices are woefully inadequate for messaging and any task involving text.

      Yeah, the keyboard and trackpad make all the difference. The Droid Pro tried with it's blackberry-clone keyboard, but without that trackpad selecting text and positioning the cursor is just an exercise in frustration.

      Sure, they're lagging in the hardware department, but who cares? You gain more from having a boring phone with days of batte

  • RIM could look at two options: 1) introduce an Android Blackberry or 2) slowly wither and die. Bifurcation, you bet.

  • RIM is kind of a matter of national pride in Canada. It's sort of their Apple, a company they are immensely proud of and so on and so forth.

    The Canadian government would probably step in to keep the company going and also to block any sale to a foreign buyer, particularly an American buyer. There is no way they will allow an HP or Microsoft to come in and swallow the company and surely terminate a vast number of Canadian workers. A whole ecosystem has been built around RIM, their suppliers and contractors

  • I know RIM's main target market is business, but if they want to compete with Apple and Android in the consumer market they've got to stop making BIS compulsory. It's a mandatory cost that makes plans £60/year more expensive than a comparable plan with an iOS or Android phone. My mail connection to Google is already secure, I don't need an extra layer of RIM encryption.

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