1. robtanz's Avatar
    I especially like the line :"there is much to admire about RIM since Thorsten Heins took over as chief executive officer nearly a year ago"

    ROB Insight: RIM on right track, but can it find momentum?

    Sean Silcoff
    16:11 EST Thursday, Dec 13, 2012

    It seems every day brings a new reason to love or hate Research In Motion stock. Thursday was a good day: the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, which had decided to move away from BlackBerrys, agreed to trial-run the soon-to-be-launched BlackBerry 10 smartphone. The stock hit its highest level in more than seven months despite the fact the product wont actually make its debut for seven weeks.

    For now, the share price is moving on pure sentiment. Strip away the hype, however, and there is much to admire about RIM since Thorsten Heins took over as chief executive officer nearly a year ago.

    Humility: RIM is a more humble and low-key company than it was under former co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaradis. Theres no greater evidence than a RIM securities filing in April, where the company admits to recent failures, shares concerns about its ability to attract and retain talent and acknowledges it could continue to bleed sales to its competitors.

    Stability: Mr. Heins has been a steady hand on the wheel, attracting solid outside talent (new chief operating officer Kristian Tear was a senior executive with Sony-Ericsson; chief marketing officer Frank Boulben led commercial strategy for Vodafone). He stopped RIMs habit of overpromising and seems to be on track to deliver the BB10 by the end of January, as promised. The internal divisions that had grown under former management appear to have been largely smoothed over. Meanwhile, RIM has been cutting its work force and expenses, and, aside from a service outage in September, hasnt had any blowups this year.

    A decent ground game: RIM has thus far handled the runup to the launch of the BB10 smoothly. The company has 50 carriers testing the devices and is generating goodwill with large clients. Outside developers are busy working on apps and early reviews are generally positive. On Wednesday, the company ran a slick wrap-around advertisement in the New York Times. RIM is handling the new product launch more effectively than past product launches.

    Is BB10 likely to be a dud or a humongous game-changer? Neither. It looks to be too much of a me-too product to wow the consumer market, but enough of step forward to convince a good share of its institutional customers to stick with the brand. That should buy Mr. Heins a year or two.

    To keep impressing, Mr. Heins needs one more thing: Repeatability. Product life cycles in high tech, and particular mobile devices, are short and sharp, and the question isnt so much, Will BB10 succeed? as What about BB11 or BB12?

    RIMs biggest failure before Mr. Heins joined was in inadequately planning for its second, third and fourth acts. Rest assured work on the next iterations of the Apple and Android-based Samsung phones are well under way. Give Mr. Heins a polite round of applause if he gets BB10 to market as promised, but his real test lies after that.
    12-13-12 10:08 PM
  2. DuexNoir's Avatar
    Overall sounds positive but there were several pricks and jabs in there. The one that especially irks me is this line: "...It looks to be too much of a me-too product to wow the consumer market..."

    How is BB10 a me-too product? Sure there are some features that are common to current mobile OS out there but those should be considered as universal features that ALL mobile platforms have regardless of who makes it. In my opinion, I find the overall UX of BB10 to be more novel than WP8 and iOS6.
    12-13-12 10:57 PM
  3. SK122387's Avatar
    Nice little article I guess... But I've heard enough of the people saying that it doesn't offer anything different and that it is a "me too" type of platform. it is completely different than iOS and Android. Anyone who has watched a video of BlackBerry 10 being tested can see that it is much smoother to get in and around the menus and apps than either iOS or Android.

    When I go from my PlayBook to my ipod touch, it feels like I am going backwards in terms of the OS. Clicking the home button twice and then having to hold my finger down on an app to get them all to jiggle and THEN pressing the red Close thing to close the app? It feels so basic and primitive compared to the swipe up and flinging of an app closing process on the PlayBook. As long as the apps are there, I think people will look at BlackBerrys again. The L-Series will have a better web browser on a bigger and better screen.

    The new BlackBerrys just look like they will be easier to use and more fluid than anything else out there right now. My favorite part of iOS6 is the drop down menu and notifications. Other than that though, there's nothing special about it.
    DJM626 and Jake Storm like this.
    12-13-12 11:24 PM

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