1. YorkieRay's Avatar

    More positive comments, this time from Mashable.
    bluetroll likes this.
    01-28-13 12:30 PM
  2. ricocan's Avatar
    A good read, showing that the media is now starting to 'believe'!

    A funny thing is happening on the way to Research In Motion’s imminent demise – the company is becoming relevant again. Sure, it’s largely on the strength of a still-non-existent product, but RIM is building Apple-level buzz for BlackBerry 10 and the handset we expect them to deliver on Wednesday.

    Did RIM CEO Thorsten Heins know something I didn’t when he spoke to me last summer? I remember how confident he sounded, even as he described how the company was restructuring and shedding hundreds of millions of dollars in costs. He spoke of the company’s still massive user base (then 80 million service subscribers) and his desire to deliver BlackBerry 10 hardware they could all adopt.

    I have to admit, I liked Heins. He’s smart (physics-level smart), affable, and calm. Our conversation, which covered everything from licensing BlackBerry 10 to other hardware manufacturers to selling the corporate jet, did not, however, convince me that RIM had a chance in **** of a comeback.

    Too Late?
    The market had moved on. All the best handsets were sexy or over-large slab screens, with so few buttons you could count them on one hand. BlackBerry has never delivered a successful, large-screen, keyboardless phone. The Storm, which first arrived almost five years ago, introduced the concept of screen-as-giant-button. It was horrible.

    RIM’s experience with tablets wasn’t much better. The PlayBook was an adroit, mid-sized device with some very big flaws. Heins told me it helped RIM build BlackBerry 10 (which, like the PlayBook, is based on RIM’s proprietary QNX operating system). Creating a consumer product that only ends up helping you figure out how to make your next set of offerings better is not a success in my book.

    I walked away from the Heins interview with deep respect for the new CEO, but little hope for RIM’s future. Heins' plans did not sound bad, but the hurdles appeared too great to surmount.

    In the weeks after we spoke, RIM’s stock and market value continued to slide, finally bottoming out in late September 2012.

    Things started to change in October and November when RIM reportedly began seeding carriers with BlackBerry 10 devices. No consumers had seen the handsets, but the handful of reporters and RIM customers who had were apparently more than pleased.

    Since last fall, the company has handed partners and developers over 5,000 BlackBerry 10 devices. Based on early images, the phone looks a bit like a black iPhone, but works nothing like it. The interface is somewhat reminiscent of the original Playbook OS, but appears well-suited to the much smaller screen.

    Even though the full details on the device and BlackBerry 10 OS are still under wraps, RIM appears much more interested in getting information out there than all-out secrecy. And that’s working to RIM’s advantage.

    RIM’s stock started surging back up. It’s still far from its 2008 heights, but it’s also definitely traveling up the hockey stick handle.

    Watch Us Now
    Now, just days away from the launch, the RIM BlackBerry 10 publicity juggernaut is in full swing. In the space of a few weeks, RIM renamed its App World to BlackBerry World, added thousands of apps and promised a Super Bowl ad.

    The last item is a huge, likely $3 million-plus, gambit for RIM. Even in its heyday, RIM was never a big consumer brand. Its sweet spot was the enterprise and, as consumer-friendly touch-screen phones like the iPhone rose up, it became even more so. When President Barack Obama entered the White House in 2009, he was carrying a BlackBerry. Most of the people who voted for him likely had iPhones in their pockets while doing so.

    It’s not just what RIM is doing. I’ve noticed the sentiment around the BlackBerry brand has changed, too. People have stopped joking about RIM. There’s an air of anticipation about this week’s unveiling. There are stories about RIM’s chance to be the "number three" mobile OS.

    Sure, it's RIM's CEO pushing the idea, but I think some people are taking to the idea that RIM and BlackBerry can glide right back into the mobile mix and push aside the finally-gaining-traction Microsoft Windows Phone 8 seriously.

    Space in the Market
    I can only imagine how annoyed Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer must be right now. Some argue that RIM is in a better position than Microsoft for the No. 3 spot because it already has so many customers. 80 million subscribers is nothing to sneeze at. On the other hand, many of them –- in the U.S. at least — are on the BlackBerry Enterprise Service because their companies won’t let them off. Another portion is RIM’s strong developing nations business. None of this speaks strongly to success in, say, the U.S. consumer market.

    Yet, there is that buzz. It’s strong and persistent.

    It’s not the first time we’ve gotten excited about RIM only to be disappointed. The Storm and PlayBook are two perfect examples. Those were over-promising, under-delivering endeavors.

    BlackBerry 10 and all its associated devices must break that mold. If the bits and pieces of information I can find online about it are to be believed, it does.

    If that’s true, then RIM has a huge opportunity.

    Close your eyes with me for a second and image what could happen. RIM runs a thrilling and lauded product launch. Reviewers are ecstatic. Consumers are anxious for access, and Heins announces that BlackBerry 10 phones are already at all your favorite carriers.

    That would really be something. It could be the start of one of the biggest comebacks in tech history, as stunning a turnaround as Steve Jobs engineered for Apple in the late 1990s. Admit it, it seems possible now, doesn't it?
    bluetroll likes this.
    01-28-13 12:52 PM
  3. masterscarhead1's Avatar
    Wow. I was all for #RIMpireStrikesBack. Now that it is becoming reality. I can't wait.
    01-28-13 01:00 PM
  4. john_v's Avatar
    Very nice article. Realistic, not over-the-top, but looking at the positive possibilities.

    Wednesday is going to be some real fun!
    01-28-13 01:23 PM
  5. FSeverino's Avatar
    Wow. I was all for #RIMpireStrikesBack. Now that it is becoming reality. I can't wait.
    oh, dont worry... ive already lined up the death star explosion to post up here after the launch lol.

    01-28-13 01:24 PM

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