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  1. rickbansal's Avatar
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    Default Reuters: "RIM's new woes speeding loss of BlackBerry users"

    RIM needs to do something very quickly (like yesterday) to get in front of this issue. RIM reassure your base!!!

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    RIM's new woes speeding loss of BlackBerry users

    By Nicola Leske and Jim Finkle, Reuters June 1, 2012 10:02 AM Comments (1)

    Retaining its customers' loyalty is a huge challenge for RIM.

    Research In Motion's appointment of bankers to advise on drastic options, including an outright sale of the BlackBerry maker, may only hasten moves by major customers to offer their employees smartphones produced by rivals.

    An increasing number of top companies and government departments that were once devoted to the Blackberry are instead now giving some staff the option of using Apple Inc's iPhone or smartphones running off of Google Inc's Android-operating system.

    There is now a real danger for RIM that such switching will gather pace and turn into a much bigger exodus of customers, mobile phone industry consultants and experts warned.

    The uncertainty surrounding RIM's future, and the possibility of a sale, is "scary to an end user," said John Hering, chief executive of Lookout, one of the world's biggest providers of mobile security products.

    Within 12 hours of RIM's announcement, Hering said, he heard from several corporate technology executives troubled by the news.

    "RIM is looking at it as 'How can we maximize the value of an asset' as opposed to 'How can we solve problems for the customer?' That is making customers nervous," he said.

    RIM told Reuters in a statement it had not noticed an increase in inquiries from customers after it disclosed the review.

    "RIM is in regular communication with our corporate customers to share updates and to keep them apprised of our ongoing efforts to refocus the company and to continue meeting their needs," the statement said. "As such, we have noticed no measurable increase in the number of questions or concerns following (the) update."

    On Tuesday, RIM said it had hired deal-making bankers from JPMorgan Chase and Royal Bank of Canada to help it do a far-reaching review of its business. The Canadian company also shocked investors by reporting it expected a fiscal first-quarter loss, and said it was looking at a significant number of job cuts. Sources have indicated it may cut as many as 6,500 of its 16,500 jobs.

    The company's share price has collapsed in the past year, and it is now only valued at about $5.4 billion, down from $84 billion at its peak in 2008. Excluding its cash and the estimated value of its patents, RIM's device business and its 78 million subscribers around the world are in aggregate worth less than $1 billion to investors.

    Lost confidence

    Retaining its customers' loyalty is a huge challenge.

    "The organizations using multiple devices have lost confidence in BlackBerry as a platform for the long term," said Alex Bratton, CEO of Lextech Global Services, a company that creates mobile applications for companies.

    He added that as "people are doing hardware refreshes they are going in another direction."

    Fernando Alvarez, head of mobile solutions for IT services company Cap Gemini, said the company is rarely asked to do projects using the BlackBerry platform anymore.

    The BlackBerry dominated the market for mobile email until the iPhone was introduced in 2007 but is now third in market share.

    General Electric Co now says about one-third of the mobile devices it issues to employees are iPhones. Other big companies that have started to use a range of different devices include Amgen Inc, FedEx Corp, Caterpillar Inc and Cisco Systems Inc.

    A spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Defense, one of RIM's biggest customers, declined to comment on RIM's strategic review or discuss any contingency plans if the company gets into further trouble.

    Earlier this month, RIM announced that the Pentagon had cleared six new BlackBerry models for use on its networks, extending their long relationship.

    The Pentagon has begun small pilot programs using other devices, according to Federal Computer Weekly, a publication that tracks U.S. government spending on technology. It estimates the U.S. military has 250,000 BlackBerrys, 5,000 iOS devices and 3,000 Android-run devices.

    Employee demand

    The trend away from RIM has been fueled partly by demand from workers who crave the usability of devices running Apple's iOS and Google's Android, and do not want to carry several smartphones. A massive network outage last October that meant millions of BlackBerry users lost use of email for many hours also pushed technology buyers to look at alternatives.

    "If it were up to IT managers, BlackBerry would still be the device of choice, but with employees bringing their own devices there is no going back," said Dan Croft, CEO of Mission Critical Wireless.

    RIM's advantages include what industry experts widely describe as superior security and device-management features that have made the BlackBerry appealing to corporate IT managers and a crucial tool for police, government and military use.

    Apple and Google are adding new features in these areas with each new release of their software but have yet to catch up with RIM, said Dino Dai Zovi, a leading expert on mobile device security who is chief technology officer of consulting firm Trail of Bits.

    Still, with companies such as Symantec Corp and SAP's Sybase division offering mobile device management software that secures, monitors and controls mobile devices, companies are no longer tethered to the BlackBerry for security reasons.

    While those technologies are not yet as advanced as RIM's offerings, they are sufficient for securing and managing email for many corporate workers, security experts said.

    Apple's iOS and Android are "ready for prime time" for all but the highest-risk users, Lookout's Hering said.

    A company's ability to shift to other devices can sometimes depend on how much mobile equipment it has on its books. Throwing out those devices before they have depreciated in value could have big financial implications, according to Gary Curtis, who works with financial services companies in his role as chief technology strategist at outsourcing company Accenture.

    But others say it would not be that difficult.

    Lynden Tennison, the chief information officer of U.S. railroad Union Pacific Corp - which is still mainly a BlackBerry customer - said that he had a plan for a worst-case scenario:

    "If RIM went away, was bought or went bankrupt what would we do? We could very easily transition to another provider," he said. If it happened overnight "we would be busy for a week or two provisioning phones, but it's not like it would put us in a serious world of hurt."
    Copyright (c) Reuters
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  2. jegs2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickbansal View Post
    A spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Defense, one of RIM's biggest customers, declined to comment on RIM's strategic review or discuss any contingency plans if the company gets into further trouble.
    Well, at least for now we're still being issued Blackberry phones. Mine's an old Bold, but I rarely use it for anything other than reading emails.

    I'll ping our G6 types to see if they're eye-balling any other platforms.
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  3. anthogag's Avatar
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    One high priority for the new CMO is to counter the negative media articles and carrier store salesperson misinformation that RIM won't be around
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  4. lnichols's Avatar
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    An uncertain future definitely is a factor in the decision making process on what platform to support, or possibly migrate to. People on the fence might just say we know Apple will be here for a long time with all the money they are making, but RIM might not be, so Apple is the safer bet for long term relationship. I think that the issues at RIM have been greatly exaggerated, and the media has been saying they are dead for so long, that people probably start believing it and it has probably caused a quicker defection from Blackberry (basically a self fulfilling prophecy). RIM will have to show growth again and profits within a couple quarters after BB10 launches or the media will pile on. Also I think going private would help too. Going private worked for Avaya, and they are working towards going public again.
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    The issue involving the US government is uncertainty of who will own the NOC.

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    Quote Originally Posted by anthogag View Post
    One high priority for the new CMO is to counter the negative media articles and carrier store salesperson misinformation that RIM won't be around
    Yes, let's blame this all on the media - it's all their fault.

    It's hard to think that RIM will be around when they're still selling outdated phones and have nothing new on the market and won't have anything for a while (if at all).

    You know how RIM can silence the media? Release a competitive product that gets consumers excited.

    RIM has to put up, or shut up... not the media.
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  7. crkeo's Avatar
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    The media industry is in far worse need of a reboot than rim.
    I am surprised people continue to believe the propaganda they present,
    I have lost track of the number of news and tech blogs I follow because
    Of the wide spread use of faux news articles.
  8. rickbansal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lnichols View Post
    RIM will have to show growth again and profits within a couple quarters after BB10 launches or the media will pile on.
    You're making a huge assumption (and wrongly in my opinion) that RIM has 3 quarters left. They are already on borrowed time. The situation is far worse than you imagine. They need to reassure the masses ASAP! Continue to seed the market with BB7 devices - give them away if necessary. Holding on to them will do no one any good!
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    Quote Originally Posted by crkeo View Post
    The media industry is in far worse need of a reboot than rim.
    I am surprised people continue to believe the propaganda they present,
    I have lost track of the number of news and tech blogs I follow because
    Of the wide spread use of faux news articles.
    It is also a lot more difficult to go against the media... who will run the story saying that the media needs to be revamped? lol
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    BB7 spraying will - hopefully - come into large administrations and companies soon enough to relieve this. Can't be done before the call.

    Let's use Thorsen profile. Bold, but low ... for now
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    The media in general is a joke. No question about it.
    They've been messing with RIM as well - can't deny it.

    However, RIM must take a lot of the blame for this. RIM can't counter it - because they don't have any ammunition to do so. Tell the world that they're not dead and release BB10! Oh wait - it's still not available. Well, then they're dying - even if it's not as fast as the media makes it out to be - they're still dying.

    So where's BB10?
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    Quote Originally Posted by berklon View Post
    Yes, let's blame this all on the media - it's all their fault.

    It's hard to think that RIM will be around when they're still selling outdated phones and have nothing new on the market and won't have anything for a while (if at all).

    You know how RIM can silence the media? Release a competitive product that gets consumers excited.

    RIM has to put up, or shut up... not the media.


    You're confusing yourself...again

    I said the new CMO has to counter the media bias for sensationalism

    My 9810 is not 'outdated'. And BB10 will meet or beat the competition
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  13. rickbansal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Superfly_FR View Post
    BB7 spraying will - hopefully - come into large administrations and companies soon enough to relieve this. Can't be done before the call.
    Why can't it be done before the call?? The call is June 28th and RIM cannot wait that long.
  14. #14  

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    Quote Originally Posted by rickbansal View Post
    Why can't it be done before the call?? The call is June 28th and RIM cannot wait that long.
    Because you don't just snap your fingers and all of a sudden huge beaurocratic organizations are distributing thousands of new phones out to their employees. BB7 has just gotten security approval; that doesn't mean these agencies or their employees are going to run out today buying new phones.
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    RIM can only bleed red ink for so long, we all know that no matter how much we love their phones. And "so long" is getting closer really quick. They may have to sell some patents off to get more money. Case in point: I have a good friend who is an exec with Fidelity Financial (the biggest title company, not the mutual funds). She's got a dated BB phone, a Bold I think. She bought an iPhone for herself for Christmas. When they visit I never see the BB anymore. I really think that RIM could become the next Palm. God knows I lost a few dollars on that stock back in the day. I bought Apple, not RIM!
    Last edited by thebignewt; 06-01-2012 at 02:18 PM.
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    I've been saying this for months now. The delusion that RIM's 75 million user base will somehow seamlessly transition to BB10 is absolutely ridiculous. More and more people are dumping BB every chance they get. You can count on a large chunk of BB users jumping to the new iPhone as soon as that's released since it will likely be before BB10. RIM is dying faster than most of you realize. BB10 won't save them, they should have at least fast tracked it to this summer to give them a fighting chance.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sleepngbear View Post
    Because you don't just snap your fingers and all of a sudden huge beaurocratic organizations are distributing thousands of new phones out to their employees. BB7 has just gotten security approval; that doesn't mean these agencies or their employees are going to run out today buying new phones.
    Who said anything about these agencies/enterprises buying any devices? I'm talking about RIM basically "giving them away" to the enterprises to keep them locked in.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Z View Post
    I've been saying this for months now. The delusion that RIM's 75 million user base will somehow seamlessly transition to BB10 is absolutely ridiculous. More and more people are dumping BB every chance they get. You can count on a large chunk of BB users jumping to the new iPhone as soon as that's released since it will likely be before BB10. RIM is dying faster than most of you realize. BB10 won't save them, they should have at least fast tracked it to this summer to give them a fighting chance.
    Your talking about fickle customers using 'disposable' devices. Its just not very predictable, but one thing is true, Apple and BB users are a crazy loyal bunch. Nutty to the Nth degree.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickbansal View Post
    Who said anything about these agencies/enterprises buying any devices? I'm talking about RIM basically "giving them away" to the enterprises to keep them locked in.
    Are you high?
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    Quote Originally Posted by undone View Post
    Your talking about fickle customers using 'disposable' devices. Its just not very predictable, but one thing is true, Apple and BB users are a crazy loyal bunch. Nutty to the Nth degree.
    If BB users were "crazy loyal" then you wouldn't so much attrition to the other platforms. What is true though as more and more user leave BB, the proportion of crazy in who's left becomes higher.
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    Quote Originally Posted by notafanboy View Post
    If BB users were "crazy loyal" then you wouldn't so much attrition to the other platforms. What is true though as more and more user leave BB, the proportion of crazy in who's left becomes higher.
    Without some proper stats that look at users that leave and or come back its hard to really know. Broad spectrum stuff, not just one type of OS. I know more examples of BB nutters then other phones. Not because I look for them, they just stick out, everyone else just has a 'device'.
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    One of the large logistics company's in the Toronto area is dumping BB in favor of IOS or Android.

    They are worried about the future of BB.

    I think you'll find this is now a common practice with all BB shops.....
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob1 View Post
    One of the large logistics company's in the Toronto area is dumping BB in favor of IOS or Android.

    They are worried about the future of BB.

    I think you'll find this is now a common practice with all BB shops.....
    An unfortunate thing. The common belief that RIM is going out of business will be there major undoing.
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    Common beliefs are often rooted in fact. RIM hired liquidation bankers. That is a flashing billboard of intent to sell.
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    One thing that's also important to look at is the growing trend of organizations going the BYOD route. with the various tools out there (including RIM's platform) that can handle managing and monitoring multiple devices and platforms, companies are now allowing users to bring their own devices to the dance. This is compounding the attrition woes. I agree, its not that easy for big companies to just turnaround and jump to another platform if they are well integrated. In an emergency (where RIM disappears) yeah it can be done, but not without a bit of pain. But as more and more companies start adopting the BYOD model, the issues with moving to another platform start going away. This is one of the reasons (IMO) RIM also needs to keep a focus on the conusmer market. At the end of the day one of the most important aspects in so many industries is the User Experience. RIM needs to execute - flawlessly, but quickly. They need to reassure the general public, not just big corporates, that they are here to stay and that they have a solid platform with a great user experience that sets them apart. This will put BB's in the hands of both consumers and the big corporates and help mitigate the issues, whether its corp managed or BYOD. just my $0.02 (or USD$0.019)
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