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23 Jan 2012 10:31


Biz: A new PlayBook: Struggling RIM replaces its dual CEOs with one dude

  • In the U.S. we were very, very successful coming from the core enterprise business, and in the public opinion this is still where we’re skewed to. We need to be more marketing-driven. We need to be more consumer-oriented because this is where a lot of our growth is coming from. That is essential in the U.S.
  • Research in Motion’s new CEO, Thorsten Heins • Discussing the difficult issues the company faces as it tries to compete with Apple and Google in a field that they popularized with the BlackBerry: Smartphones. Heins, the former Chief Operating Officer, replaced the company’s two co-CEOs, Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis, who stepped down over the weekend. It has not exactly been the best year for RIM — to call the company’s tablet, the PlayBook, a flop would be putting it lightly, as its failure cost the company nearly half a billion dollars last year. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg in terms of their problems. source

02 Dec 2011 12:55


Tech: RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook is in total flop, hurt-the-bottom-line mode

  • 150,000 tablets number of BlackBerry PlayBooks RIM sold in the third quarter; to compare, RIM sold 14.1 million smartphones
  • $450 million size of the financial hit RIM took in the third quarter, partly as a result of lackluster PlayBook sales source
  • » Why is the PlayBook flopping? If you asked RIM, you’d get an answer that sounds pretty jargon-y: “Recent shifts in the competitive dynamics of the tablet market and a delay in the release of the PlayBook OS 2.0 software.” Here’s the English version of that answer: “The iPad, the Nook Tablet and the Kindle Fire.” But that’s just us talking. Meanwhile, RIM has been trimming the price of the PlayBook from an absurd $500 to as low as $199 — in part to clear inventory for the next version of the device, though we’re guessing the fact that other seven-inch tablets are selling for roughly that price doesn’t help.

12 Oct 2011 20:34


Tech: iPhone owners minorly annoyed; BlackBerry owners pissed off

  • bad iPhone and iPad owners had some issues installing iOS version 5, released today, on their new devices, probably due to mass-install glut. (We had an issue with the install briefly — we threw it on our non-jailbroken iPad — but we got it to work on the second try.)
  • worse However, compared to the issues that BlackBerry owners have had over the past couple of days, that was cake. RIM says that the rolling blackouts were caused by a “core switch failure,” whatever that means. Oh no, what are all the policy wonks going to do!? source

20 Apr 2011 10:41


Tech: Hilarious/sad: AT&T blocks the BlackBerry Playbook’s tethering

  • Hey RIM, didya forget about how stupid AT&T is? The BlackBerry Playbook’s utterly bizarre requirement that forces you to tether your phone to your tablet to check your e-mail is bad enough, but there’s an even worse problem for the company, and it’s one that most iPhone customers know all too well about. See, AT&T isn’t all that hot about the concept of tethering devices unless they can make money off of it. So … guess what AT&T isn’t allowing on the BlackBerry Playbook right now? That’s right. Tethering. So, if you’re an AT&T customer, you can’t check your e-mail on your shiny new tablet. And they may charge $45 a month for the privilege. In other news, launch day sales for the Playbook were a relatively robust 45,000. source

15 Apr 2011 16:12


Tech: Three reasons why the RIM BlackBerry Playbook isn’t ready yet

  • one Despite the fact that the one thing the BlackBerry does better than any other mobile device is e-mail, the Playbook doesn’t allow you to use e-mail unless you’re tethered to a BlackBerry phone. Wait, what?
  • two The device reportedly has very few native apps — not even obvious ones like Facebook or Twitter. Or calendar apps. RIM says it’ll get Android apps at some point, but why didn’t they have it ready for launch?
  • three And that “not ready for launch” thing gets at the heart of the problem — the product seems rushed because updates keep coming. It makes it seem like they almost missed a major opportunity. source
  • » Getting a tad too defensive: One of Research in Motion’s main men, co-CEO Jim Balsillie, used this sentence of utter nonsense in defending his company’s inexplicable decision to avoid allowing e-mail over wi-fi on the Playbook: “I don’t think people realize the threat matrix to your own personal information and your PCs and a lot of different smartphone architectures is a lot greater than people realize.” What? “Threat matrix”? Really? That’s BS.

25 Mar 2011 13:09


Biz: Once-powerful Kodak now raising money by patent trolling

  • $1 billion — the amount Kodak wants to shake out of RIM & Apple source
  • » Wait wait, how sad is this? Kodak, one of the great companies of the 20th century — and probably the one most deserving of a Paul Simon tune — has been relegated to patent troll status. Kodak claims that they hold the patent to an image-preview feature commonly used in cameraphones. The company has lost half of its market value in the past year.

27 Sep 2010 19:16


Tech: RIM brings the PlayBook, proves the BlackBerry’s not dead yet

  • This is the first iPad competitor we’ve seen that actually seems like it might have a real shot of taking on Apple. The fact that it’s from RIM, who has been seen as a bit of an also-ran in the phone market, is a bit surprising. The reason? The OS is QNX, meaning it’s a total break from the past for the BlackBerry maker. It also has a better name than the iPad. Hello, Playbook. source

18 Aug 2010 10:40


Tech: BlackBerry Torch getting torched for its low price; RIM complains

  • Sounds like somebody has a sore spot. Research in Motion is all like, “whatever,” regarding criticism of their BlackBerry Torch’s price point. Why? Well, they say they’ve done it for a lot of products. A spokeswoman claims that “obviously … common online pricing and promotional strategy that has been used with many other product introductions in the past.” Well, in a lot of ways, that makes it even worse, actually. You only sold 150,000 units with a $99 price point on Amazon at launch, considering the hyperbole you had going on? Sad. source

17 Aug 2010 10:38


Tech: Top sign the BlackBerry Torch launch isn’t really going so well

  • $99the current price of the new phone on Amazon source

10 Aug 2010 09:54


World: BlackBerry comeback: RIM charms the heck out of Saudi Arabia

Good news to Saudi citizens: After making some progress, BlackBerry maker RIM scored a deal with the country and earned a reprieve. So your phones will work. source