06-28-11 05:33 AM
34 12
tools
  1. sam_b77's Avatar
    Don't know if this has been linked before, but just came across this link:
    A Shareholder's Open Letter to Research In Motion - Seeking Alpha
    Seems like a balanced view.
    Liked his opinion on how the Playbook should have been marketed. I think that would have been a way to generate hype amongst consumers.
    I also tend to agree with the writer that changing the structure of the company at this time might do more harm than good. RIM, although has missed steps, have still woken up to the reality and is taking steps to correct the shortcomings. The problem would have been if they said they are fine and let business continue as usual. Making a mistake is not a crime, not taking corrective action is.
    Dear Jim and Mike,

    The last few months must have been **** for you. You launched Playbook in April to lukewarm reviews. You guided poor earnings for Q1, only to slash them even lower part way through. You were sued for allegedly misleading investors. You were sued for alleged patent violations. Every analyst including your best friends in Canada downgraded the stock. All of this culminated in the earnings conference call on Thursday:

    BlackBerry smart phone maker Research In Motion (RIMM) said Thursday that its net income and revenue declined in the latest quarter, hurt by lower demand amid the economic slowdown and product delays.

    RIM is also cutting an unspecified number of jobs to reduce costs. It gave an outlook well below Wall Street's expectations for the current quarter and the full year.

    First of all, now is not the time to be cutting costs. You are sitting on $3 billion of cash, no debt, and still wildly profitable with expected annual cash flow of over $4 billion. What you should be doing instead, while you still have the ability, is to reinvest heavily into R&D, marketing and execution in a Herculean attempt to catch up to the competitions.

    I'm a big fan of your devices and company but let's face it, the series of missteps over the last few years were more than enough to get anybody with a regular job fired. Storm - the answer to the original iPhone - was a usability nightmare. Later on, an underpowered Torch was released into a market already full of more powerful iPhones and Android phones. Then you botched the Playbook launch by releasing an unfinished product to consumers that is lacking some crucial features that define a BlackBerry - namely native e-mail and messaging. You walked out of a BBC interview when questioned about the situation in India and Middle East. Finally, you misread the market completely, causing delays in the release of your new lineup of phones, and probably missing the crucial back-to-school season.

    In the Q1 earnings conference call, you said this:

    We were already well down a development path to the next-generation BlackBerry handsets when we realized that in the U.S. the features and performance arms race demanded that we upgrade the chipset and port BlackBerry to a higher-performance platform. This was an engineering change that affected hardware and software timelines and pushed out entry into carrier certification labs.

    What's unforgivable is that you get paid to see these kinds of things coming. As the heads of a leading tech company, we rely on you to be the visionaries, but rather than being one step ahead of the market, you were one step behind, only realizing half-way down a development path that you needed better hardware.

    I think it would be very helpful if you guys buy for yourself the latest Android (GOOG) and Apple (AAPL) gadgets, and earnestly use them on a day-to-day basis. This way, you will experience on a personal level the shortcomings of BlackBerry handsets compared to the competition, as well as better appreciate the advantages of BlackBerry. You need to give your products the same personal touch that Steve Jobs gives to his, down to the very last power button.

    To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised by the Playbook platform. The hardware is rock solid, and the QNX-based OS is the best in class. The UI gestures are very intuitive, multitasking the most seamless I've seen on any mobile device, and the OS still hasn't crashed on me - not even once. I have never used any OS this stable, let alone a mobile OS. Windows, OSX, Linux have nothing on you.

    And I understand why you force users to bridge to their existing BlackBerry phones to get their e-mail and calendar. It takes time to build fully secured push-enabled e-mail managed by BES, so while that is being perfected on Playbook, you allow users to piggy-back on the existing time-tested software on BlackBerry phones. Playbook can be thought of as an add-on - a bigger screen for the Blackberry handset. This way, IT departments don't have to test and certify a new device, and corporations have full confidence in its security.

    See, I get it.

    But general consumers are an impatient bunch, and first impressions matter for the reviewers. The main problem was execution. This is how I would've launched Playbook: (1) Have a limited/exclusive launch for corporations and developers only. We must have a BES license or be a registered developer to buy. (2) Generate hype and desire in consumers without giving them the ability to actually get one. (3) Have a big consumer launch later on when native PIM, Android apps and all the other kinks are worked out. (4) Stop cheapening the device by giving it away at every BlackBerry conference.

    I am genuinely excited about the next generation of QNX "supephones" due in 2012. If you can successfully bring the beautiful experience of Playbook into a dual-core phone, and if you can manage to combine the current fragmented ecosystems of BB OS, QNX, Android into one coherent platform, then you will be at least on par with the next generation of handsets that your competitors are coming out with next year.

    But this will only let you catch up to the state-of-the-art. Meanwhile, your competitors are busy working on the next big thing. What is your answer to Apple's iCloud? I hope you at least have a coherent consumer cloud strategy on the drawing board. What is your answer to Microsoft (MSFT) Windows 8 - an OS and ecosystem that will combine phones, tablets, laptops and desktop PCs into a unified experience?

    I am sure there are other directions you can take this. It is your job to come up with things that mere mortals like us haven't thought of yet. As leaders of a company at the forefront of this cutting edge industry, we are looking to you to come up with the next big thing that will wow us and inspire us.

    Some serious soul-searching is in order. While I agree with you that changing the co-CEO management structure at this moment is too disruptive, it does not mean you should continue to meddle along in your current path. You broke this company, and whether we like it or not, you are the only ones who can fix it.

    You still have very loyal fans, and they are waiting for you to make them feel excited again. Now get to work.

    Disclosure: I am long RIMM.
    Last edited by sam_b77; 06-26-11 at 02:44 PM.
    sg8330 and kevinnugent like this.
    06-26-11 02:39 PM
  2. KAPS's Avatar
    To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised by the Playbook platform. The hardware is rock solid, and the QNX-based OS is the best in class. The UI gestures are very intuitive, multitasking the most seamless I've seen on any mobile device, and the OS still hasn't crashed on me - not even once. I have never used any OS this stable, let alone a mobile OS. Windows, OSX, Linux have nothing on you..
    I am genuinely excited about the next generation of QNX "supephones" due in 2012. If you can successfully bring the beautiful experience of Playbook into a dual-core phone, and if you can manage to combine the current fragmented ecosystems of BB OS, QNX, Android into one coherent platform, then you will be at least on par with the next generation of handsets that your competitors are coming out with next year.
    Haven't this person not used WebOS, the real daddy of Playbook OS.
    Playbook was rushed because RIM knew if they did not release their product before HP touchpad nobody will buy their product as everybody will just buy the original product(Touchpad) and not the pirated copy(Playbook).

    Right now for $500 HP Touchpad is a much better buy then Playbook.
    I still think if Playbook has to succeed it needs to cut cost to $350 or else it sales will not pick up.

    I still don't get all the hype of QNX phone,which will be released next year.
    If WebOS starts succeeding with HP resources it would extremely difficult for RIM to market the same type of product.
    WebOS right now is the original and more polished OS, and QNX will have hard time convincing the new users of its advantage over WebOS.
    06-27-11 03:03 AM
  3. kevinnugent's Avatar
    Personally, I think dropping the Co-CEO and Co-Chairman positions wouldn't be too disruptive at all. If they had a serious, reputable and visionary CEO to take over they'd be golden. They could announce this to the markets and the stock price would go up in my opinion. It worked well for the boys at Google when they felt they weren't up to the job. It showed great maturity and COJOHNS that they let Eric "take over".

    Honestly, I think Jim must wake up every morning and wonder when the joyride is up. Let's face it. He's a passable salesman who got a very lucky phone call from a geek who needed someone to talk to people.

    Time to let the "professional grade" management take over.
    06-27-11 06:52 AM
  4. Shao128's Avatar
    Haven't this person not used WebOS, the real daddy of Playbook OS.
    Playbook was rushed because RIM knew if they did not release their product before HP touchpad nobody will buy their product as everybody will just buy the original product(Touchpad) and not the pirated copy(Playbook).

    I still don't get all the hype of QNX phone,which will be released next year.
    If WebOS starts succeeding with HP resources it would extremely difficult for RIM to market the same type of product.
    WebOS right now is the original and more polished OS, and QNX will have hard time convincing the new users of its advantage over WebOS.
    Uhhh just because they share some similar UI elements doesn't make them anything alike under the hood. If I install an iPhone theme on my BlackBerry does that make it anything like an iPhone?
    Snick Snack likes this.
    06-27-11 07:36 AM
  5. i7guy's Avatar
    How many more "Dear Jim and Mike" open letters are we going to have to endure?
    06-27-11 07:56 AM
  6. KAPS's Avatar
    Uhhh just because they share some similar UI elements doesn't make them anything alike under the hood. If I install an iPhone theme on my BlackBerry does that make it anything like an iPhone?
    Similar will be a understatement, Playbook copied WebOS.
    The gesture,the card view, the notification and most of the other minute things of WebOS UI.
    Installing a customize theme is totally different than having a OS, which is a directly copy of your competitor.
    06-27-11 08:17 AM
  7. WillHeSurvive's Avatar
    Similar will be a understatement, Playbook copied WebOS.
    The gesture,the card view, the notification and most of the other minute things of WebOS UI.
    Installing a customize theme is totally different than having a OS, which is a directly copy of your competitor.
    Are you glad you got that off your chest?
    06-27-11 08:22 AM
  8. sam_b77's Avatar
    Haven't this person not used WebOS, the real daddy of Playbook OS.
    Playbook was rushed because RIM knew if they did not release their product before HP touchpad nobody will buy their product as everybody will just buy the original product(Touchpad) and not the pirated copy(Playbook).

    Right now for $500 HP Touchpad is a much better buy then Playbook.
    I still think if Playbook has to succeed it needs to cut cost to $350 or else it sales will not pick up.

    I still don't get all the hype of QNX phone,which will be released next year.
    If WebOS starts succeeding with HP resources it would extremely difficult for RIM to market the same type of product.
    WebOS right now is the original and more polished OS, and QNX will have hard time convincing the new users of its advantage over WebOS.
    By your logic the iPhone OS is a pirated copy of the original Palm by US Robotics. Same touch screen, and same icons displayed.
    Lets extend this further, after the first keyboard was made the other companies should have found a different way to interact with their computers. Probably making keyboards which you use with your feet.
    All cars are pirated copies of the Ford Model T
    There is only a few ways that you can have a machine interface for human operation and eventually everyone settles on a common factor.
    And please read your history, Apple, Microsoft etc stole the GUI from Xerox Labs.
    Your statement about piracy show brings to the fore your complete ignorance in these matter or you just say these things to stir up things in which case you are a troll.
    Snick Snack likes this.
    06-27-11 08:44 AM
  9. Economist101's Avatar
    And please read your history, Apple, Microsoft etc stole the GUI from Xerox Labs.
    Actually Apple licensed Xerox's technology, and then Microsoft copied what Apple did with it.

    PARC (company) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    "The first successful commercial GUI product was the Apple Macintosh, which was heavily inspired by PARC's work; Xerox was allowed to buy pre-IPO stock from Apple, in exchange for engineer visits and an understanding that Apple would create a GUI product. "
    06-27-11 09:04 AM
  10. missing_K-W's Avatar
    Similar will be a understatement, Playbook copied WebOS.
    The gesture,the card view, the notification and most of the other minute things of WebOS UI.
    Installing a customize theme is totally different than having a OS, which is a directly copy of your competitor.
    So with your take on the matter...I'll assume every other consumer OS currently available has copied Windows...

    We must realize that progress is a result of our influences.
    06-27-11 09:12 AM
  11. grover5's Avatar
    Actually Apple licensed Xerox's technology, and then Microsoft copied what Apple did with it.

    PARC (company) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    "The first successful commercial GUI product was the Apple Macintosh, which was heavily inspired by PARC's work; Xerox was allowed to buy pre-IPO stock from Apple, in exchange for engineer visits and an understanding that Apple would create a GUI product. "
    If you want to source your apple infatuation, take the time to find something more credible than wikipedia.
    06-27-11 09:13 AM
  12. sam_b77's Avatar
    Actually Apple licensed Xerox's technology, and then Microsoft copied what Apple did with it.

    PARC (company) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    "The first successful commercial GUI product was the Apple Macintosh, which was heavily inspired by PARC's work; Xerox was allowed to buy pre-IPO stock from Apple, in exchange for engineer visits and an understanding that Apple would create a GUI product. "
    I didn't mean the Apple piracy comment, it was only for the benefit of the poster.
    And Xerox have no one else to blame but themselves for not recognising the potential of what their labs made.
    However to be fair, Microsoft also got licensed copies of the Macintosh to develop Spreadsheets for the Macintosh and carry out other actions.
    So technically Microsoft didn't steal from Apple either, just like Apple didn't steal from Xerox. The circle closes
    06-27-11 09:14 AM
  13. Economist101's Avatar
    If you want to source your apple infatuation, take the time to find something more credible than wikipedia.
    It doesn't matter the source if the information is true. As for my infatuation, it's with the facts, though it's nice to know you care enough about me to offer guidance.

    It's also good to see you're still good for a one line post that offers nothing to the conversation, as per your usual. Happy Monday big guy.
    06-27-11 09:29 AM
  14. Economist101's Avatar
    So technically Microsoft didn't steal from Apple either, just like Apple didn't steal from Xerox. The circle closes
    But then, "technically," both halves of your initial comment were untrue. Nice.
    06-27-11 09:30 AM
  15. sam_b77's Avatar
    But then, "technically," both halves of your initial comment were untrue. Nice.
    Cmon, you are splitting hairs now.
    06-27-11 09:34 AM
  16. grover5's Avatar
    It doesn't matter the source if the information is true. As for my infatuation, it's with the facts, though it's nice to know you care enough about me to offer guidance.

    It's also good to see you're still good for a one line post that offers nothing to the conversation, as per your usual. Happy Monday big guy.
    Its a lazy source. You might as well just state it and source nothing. I can only help you so much in your apple campaign. Stay focused and get back on track.
    06-27-11 09:37 AM
  17. Rainforrest's Avatar
    Kaps is right on about RIM copying WebOS and brings out a very important point(see below) which you guys neglect. Why would anyone choose a BB QNX device over a WebOS one? What does BlackBerry QNX bring to the table that WebOS doesn't already do better? WebOS will always be well ahead of BB QNX on development and features. RIM's hold on the corporate world is slipping and HP is getting ready to jumping in and take its place.

    [B]I still don't get all the hype of QNX phone,which will be released next year.
    If WebOS starts succeeding with HP resources it would extremely difficult for RIM to market the same type of product.
    WebOS right now is the original and more polished OS, and QNX will have hard time convincing the new users of its advantage over WebOS.
    Last edited by Rainforrest; 06-27-11 at 09:58 AM.
    06-27-11 09:49 AM
  18. Economist101's Avatar
    Its a lazy source. You might as well just state it and source nothing.
    I thought we had you for this. My bad.
    06-27-11 10:00 AM
  19. grover5's Avatar
    I thought we had you for this. My bad.
    That was a good one.
    06-27-11 10:04 AM
  20. KAPS's Avatar
    Kaps is right on about RIM copying WebOS and brings out a very important point(see below) which you guys neglect. Why would anyone choose a BB QNX device over a WebOS one? What does BlackBerry QNX bring to the table that WebOS doesn't already do better? WebOS will always be well ahead of BB QNX on development and features. RIM's hold on the corporate world is slipping and HP is getting ready to jumping in and take its place.
    That the point no here care to listen, if two product are so similar how will a normal user differentiate between them.
    There are 6 major OS in the market right now, Symbian(Nokia),Windows Phone 7(Microsoft), Blackberry OS(RIM), WebOS(HP),iOS(Apple) and Android(Google).
    Even one of them unique but having some similar features but in case of WebOS and QNX, both of these would be same OS having almost all the essential features same.
    UI of both WebOS and QNX are identical(not similar but identical) so how will a normal user differentiate between them.
    If some one gave a normal Pre user a Playbook, he/she will think that it is HP WebOS product because the UI and gesture are same.
    Even though Android and iOS both have icons but the way icons are presented are different and widgets is a unique feature of Android.

    So even if QNX phones come out next year it would not be a game changer for RIM.
    Btw dual core processor mobile phones are in the market from the last 2 months so right now RIM hardware requirements are met, RIM just have to concentrate on the software development side to release their super phone.
    06-27-11 11:06 AM
  21. sam_b77's Avatar
    That the point no here care to listen, if two product are so similar how will a normal user differentiate between them.
    There are 6 major OS in the market right now, Symbian(Nokia),Windows Phone 7(Microsoft), Blackberry OS(RIM), WebOS(HP),iOS(Apple) and Android(Google).
    Even one of them unique but having some similar features but in case of WebOS and QNX, both of these would be same OS having almost all the essential features same.
    UI of both WebOS and QNX are identical(not similar but identical) so how will a normal user differentiate between them.
    If some one gave a normal Pre user a Playbook, he/she will think that it is HP WebOS product because the UI and gesture are same.
    Even though Android and iOS both have icons but the way icons are presented are different and widgets is a unique feature of Android.

    So even if QNX phones come out next year it would not be a game changer for RIM.
    Btw dual core processor mobile phones are in the market from the last 2 months so right now RIM hardware requirements are met, RIM just have to concentrate on the software development side to release their super phone.
    Well I do agree with you that WebOS and QNX for PB are very similar OSes. Forgetting about who took inspiration from whom, there is a another thing to consider regarding PB's failure specifically against WebOS. The Touchpad will be a 10" device, which means it is firmly in the iPad arena. Someone looking for portability will give the PB a swing, as in that size PB is the best (at least give the PB this). Someone who is looking for a bigger screen size, now why would that person choose the WebOS over iPad. Remember the app brigade? The iPad has at least 5000 decent apps and a billion fart apps. Don't know much about WebOS but I think it has 10 decent apps and none that fart.
    So for the Touchpad, forget it taking on PB, but it is going up against the big i and the iApps.
    PB's form factor puts in a different category. And a lot of people like the form factor due to increased portability.
    06-27-11 11:41 AM
  22. ScottsdaleHokie's Avatar
    Well I do agree with you that WebOS and QNX for PB are very similar OSes. Forgetting about who took inspiration from whom, there is a another thing to consider regarding PB's failure specifically against WebOS. The Touchpad will be a 10" device, which means it is firmly in the iPad arena. Someone looking for portability will give the PB a swing, as in that size PB is the best (at least give the PB this). Someone who is looking for a bigger screen size, now why would that person choose the WebOS over iPad. Remember the app brigade? The iPad has at least 5000 decent apps and a billion fart apps. Don't know much about WebOS but I think it has 10 decent apps and none that fart.
    So for the Touchpad, forget it taking on PB, but it is going up against the big i and the iApps.
    PB's form factor puts in a different category. And a lot of people like the form factor due to increased portability.
    A 7" TouchPad is being released in August.
    06-27-11 11:49 AM
  23. KAPS's Avatar
    Well I do agree with you that WebOS and QNX for PB are very similar OSes. Forgetting about who took inspiration from whom, there is a another thing to consider regarding PB's failure specifically against WebOS. The Touchpad will be a 10" device, which means it is firmly in the iPad arena. Someone looking for portability will give the PB a swing, as in that size PB is the best (at least give the PB this). Someone who is looking for a bigger screen size, now why would that person choose the WebOS over iPad. Remember the app brigade? The iPad has at least 5000 decent apps and a billion fart apps. Don't know much about WebOS but I think it has 10 decent apps and none that fart.
    So for the Touchpad, forget it taking on PB, but it is going up against the big i and the iApps.
    PB's form factor puts in a different category. And a lot of people like the form factor due to increased portability.
    As another user has already posted HP Touchpad 7inch version is going to be released by September first week and the 7inch version will be cheaper than 10inch version.

    And touchpad will have more Tablet apps upfront then even Android.

    HP will have a more compact offering by this year end and they have a very good SDK in Enyo,which works perfectly with Tablets and Phones unlike RIM approach.

    HP has the scale and the reach to target Corporate customer.
    Right now the biggest threat to RIM in the corporate sector is not Apple or the brigade of Android mobiles but HP.

    Corporate already buy tons of hardware like Printers,Servers, PC from HP and HP could easily include Tablets and Phones for cheap for these users.

    Btw HP have a sales of $120 billion per year so it scales are very large.

    The major advantage of WebOS is that it is built by former employee of Apple so they have an understanding of the normal person requirements.
    I don't think webos will the number 1 mobile OS but it could easily be the 3rd Largest Mobile OS after Android and iOS and the 2nd largest Tablet OS after iOS.
    06-27-11 12:01 PM
  24. KAPS's Avatar
    person choose the WebOS over iPad. Remember the app brigade? The iPad has at least 5000 decent apps and a billion fart apps. Don't know much about WebOS but I think it has 10 decent apps and none that fart.
    If the same reason applies why would anyone buy a blackberry, which is struggling with handsets and apps, and not get Android or iPhone.
    WebOS is still very refreshing and fun to use.
    06-27-11 12:05 PM
  25. sam_b77's Avatar
    If the same reason applies why would anyone buy a blackberry, which is struggling with handsets and apps, and not get Android or iPhone.
    WebOS is still very refreshing and fun to use.
    Well the Androids are nice for sure. But the BB's just work so well for those who are heavy email users on the go.
    Taking pics and sending via email is a one click operation.
    The qwerty keyboard is in a class of its own if you need to send long mails regularly.
    Battery life is very good. Hardware can take a decent amount of abuse.
    Everyone doesn't want a media power house on the go.
    Depends on priorities. And no one here claims that BB will kill Android etc .
    There is enough room in the market for all platforms to grow and flourish.
    That's why there are so many car manufacturers in the world. There is no one size fits all product.
    Hyundais sell along with BMW's although personally I fail to understand why Hyundai sells. The handling is very poor, and the cars are not involving.
    But then others prefer the goodies that come with the Hyundai and the handling is not high on their list. I understand that.
    The same parable is true for mobile phones.
    Last edited by sam_b77; 06-27-11 at 02:32 PM.
    06-27-11 01:17 PM
34 12
LINK TO POST COPIED TO CLIPBOARD