Draft Open Letter to RIM


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Jan 24, 2012
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Dear RIM,

Your platform is burning.

After the announcement of the mildest ?CEO shakeup? in recent history it became obvious to most people?including your shareholders who sold your stock to the tune of an 8% single-day drop?that you aren?t taking your current predicament seriously enough. You couldn?t bleed market share faster if the entire side of your carotid artery was sliced off. Yet the first public announcement to come out from the company after this weekend?s announcement is essentially saying everything is going fairly well.

If you were to take Elop?s now famous memo to Nokia and replace Nokia with RIM, MeeGo with BlackBerry 10, and Symbian with BlackBerry 7 you would end up with a memo that was significantly more applicable to you than anything that was released this weekend. In fact anyone who hadn?t read the previous memo probably wouldn?t even know the difference. Sadly, even those who would have known the difference would probably have reacted to it better than they did to your actual press release.

The point of all this is that it?s time for you to jump. Jump now. If you keep insisting that nothing is wrong, you will burn. At least give yourself the possibility of survival. You may think you still have some wiggle room on that platform, but that fire is closing fast so it?s just a matter of time.

From the lackluster reviews of the BlackBerry Tablet OS, the news that has leaked out of your company, and from your very public delay of the release of the first BB10 device to ?late 2012? it has become obvious that you are struggling with folding QNX into your environment and making it competitive with iOS, Android, and Windows Phone. Now you?re talking about potentially licensing out BB10 as if that is something that will help you out. If you can?t make it competitive on your own devices, why would anyone believe that they can make it competitive on theirs?

As Elop very astutely pointed out in his memo, today?s smartphones are about more than just the device, they?re about the ecosystem that goes around it. It takes time, effort, and money to build a successful ecosystem and, quite frankly, you don?t have any to spare. Not to mention that if you were to try to do so you?d be going up against Apple, Google, and Microsoft, three titans in the industry. A couple of years ago you almost certainly could have pulled off such a battle, but today you stand no chance.

This leaves you with just one choice (which will lead to two): dump BlackBerry 10 immediately. As hard as this may be to even contemplate, it?s a decision that you must make. No doubt lots of money has been poured into developing the troubled OS but as any good investor and businessman will tell you, there comes a time when you?ve started to throw good money after bad. For you, that time has come.

Once that decision has been made, you now come upon another: Android or Windows Phone? Android is certainly the most popular mobile OS right now so that?s a huge plus for it, but that can also be a minus. Everyone and their grandma is releasing an Android phone. It seems that we can?t go much more than a week without hearing about another new Android phone that?s getting released. It?s easy to see how it would be extremely difficult to get traction with Samsung, Motorola, and HTC being so entrenched in that ecosystem.

Speaking of Motorola, the Google purchase of that company should raise more than a few doubts as to how much support yet another company with no entrenched Android user base will get from Google in the long term. If Samsung and HTC were slightly worried when the news came out, you should be too.

The choice that makes the most sense is Windows Phone. True, the ecosystem is still being built and it doesn?t have much market share. But it has the full support of Microsoft?s coffers and with Nokia fully onboard it?s projected to catch up to iOS by 2015. Being one of only two companies to fully embrace it (Samsung, HTC, and others are supporting both Android and Windows Phone with Android getting the majority of their focus) means that there?s plenty of opportunity to fully establish yourself and not get drowned out in the crowd.

Beyond that there?s the fact that you already have strategic agreements with Microsoft to use Bing for both search and maps on your devices, BES is already very closely tied to Microsoft?s Exchange, and both you and Microsoft have a strong following in the corporate world. It seems like you and Microsoft already have a sort of symbiotic relationship, so this would just take it one step further.

Now we come to the timeline. Nokia was able to drop everything and release a Windows Phone in 9 months, there?s no reason you couldn?t do the same. This would put the release in October of this year which is right in line with when BlackBerry 10 is supposed to come out, so you will not slip in your release schedule for your new devices. Furthermore, this will mean that you?ll be releasing a device with Windows Phone 8, which is widely expected to have a very close tie-in with Windows 8, which is also due out around the same time. So you get both a phone ecosystem and a tablet ecosystem out of the switch. What more could you ask for?


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Dec 6, 2010
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A lot of investors are nervous about RIM. They just promoted a CEO from inside the company and the former CEOs are staying on the board. This means things most likely won't be shaken up or changed. There's no new ideas here from an outside sourcs. I believe BB10 will be RIM's attempt to change their image, similar to WebOS and Palm. That being said WebOS was a great product, but didn't help Palm. Let's see how it goes for RIM.

I believe RIM would go Android if they dumped BlackBerry OS. PlayBook has an Android player as it is. Of course a good deal with Microsoft or a buyout from another company like Nokia might change their direction.


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Nov 10, 2011
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How are BB10 devices "late"? They are on schedule for 1 year after the previous devices? Besides that, the bad reviews of the Playbook OS are because it's incomplete, not that it's a bad OS. Don't forget, RIM has been developing this OS for only 18 months. Granted the OS was extremely incomplete, RIM launched the Playbook after only 1 year of QNX development. That is impressive for creating an OS from scratch. That was even after delaying the Playbook due to switching the CPU (from Tegra 2 to TI OMAP) at the last minute. Google didn't launch the first Android device until 3 years of development.

They have the path to make a comeback, they just need to execute. We'll see if they can. They are building a whole new ecosystem, not just an OS. They have music/movie services launching, hardware to design, automobile integration, business software to keep up with their new platform as well as the software that runs their whole infrastructure. There's a lot more to all this than just an OS.

There are a lot of people that really love their new OS. Why don't you wait until it launches before you decide it should be dropped. ;)

That said, why did you post this here?


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Jun 22, 2011
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The obvious choice if thy had any sense is the now free one that has a devoted following and is screaming out for new hardware.


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