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Ex-RIM CEO sought to transform company into network provider before ouster

post #1 of 19
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RIM's former co-chief executive Jim Balsillie wanted to use his company's network to offer inexpensive data plans and services to non-BlackBerry devices, but the plan never gained traction before he stepped down.

Balsillie's "radical" plan, detailed by two sources who spoke with Reuters, would have let existing carriers offer cheaper data plans limited to social media and instant messaging. The idea was the service would entice users of traditional cellphones to upgrade to smartphones without having to pay for a costly data plan.

The strategy would have been a major shift for the company, which currently only offers its BlackBerry Messenger service on RIM-made BlackBerry devices, much like Apple's iMessages are only available on Apple hardware. Through the package, users would have been able to use BlackBerry Messenger on non-BlackBerry devices, and also would have had "limited" access to Twitter, Facebook and other social networks.

Services would have been provided to handsets through existing carriers in North America and Europe. But traffic for the limited services would have been routed through RIM's proprietary network.

But RIM's own networks, restricted solely to BlackBerry users, saw serious outages last October and November, preventing users from accessing Messenger chats and e-mails around the world.

Balsillie's plan got as far as early discussions with carriers, but Wednesday's report said the talks "led to discord at the highest levels" of RIM. He stepped down as CEO in January, and ultimately left the company entirely in March.




This week it was revealed that RIM is looking to hire a financial adviser to assist the company in weighing strategic options going forward. The struggling smartphone maker is hoping to turn around its plummeting business by either licensing the BlackBerry operating system to third-party hardware makers, or taking strategic investments in the company from outside backers.

RIM's struggles have become so pronounced that the company is even being outsoldin its home country of Canada by Apple's iPhone. Last year, Apple shipped 2.85 million iPhones in Canada, while RIM shipped just 2.08 million BlackBerrys.

[ View article on AppleInsider ]
post #2 of 19
I have had to use BB for years because all of my customers had BB.

I upgraded to a torch a year and half ago because I had to stay on BB.

I do not have one customer left on BB and I am stuck with the torch till November.

I know iPhone has been extremely popular for several years but I am amazed how quickly BB died in less than a year in the business world.

All but for three of my customers are now using iPhone with 2 on Windows/Nokia and one on Samsung/Android.

Just goes to show you are never to big to fail...
Life is not measured by the breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away. - GC
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Life is not measured by the breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away. - GC
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post #3 of 19
I've been posting this for months now, and blogged about it on iSights a couple of weeks ago, albeit with a twist. To survive, RIM must...

1) Hire a team of crack iOS, Android, and Windows developers.
2) Use them to create a set of RIM messaging apps based on their existing Enterprise platform.
3) Then sell their customers on having a truly secure cross-platform system for their sensitive corporate communications.

Best of all, you wouldn't have to convince anyone to give up their existing iPhone or Android phone. Or their Blackberry, for that matter. Such a services strategy would have given the hardware platform a bit more breathing room, if not subsidized it outright.

It could also have introduced, through Message, a whole new set of users to the RIM platform. Which could best be accessed -- of course -- on a Blackberry device.

Problem is, RIM thinks they're in the mobile phone business. They're not. They think they're in the handset business. They're not.

They're in the communications business.

http://www.iSights.org/2012/04/note-...re-stupid.html
post #4 of 19
Sounds to me like RIM is struggling to come up with "Plan B"

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #5 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by DGNR8 View Post

I have had to use BB for years because all of my customers had BB.

I upgraded to a torch a year and half ago because I had to stay on BB.

I do not have one customer left on BB and I am stuck with the torch till November.

I know iPhone has been extremely popular for several years but I am amazed how quickly BB died in less than a year in the business world.

All but for three of my customers are now using iPhone with 2 on Windows/Nokia and one on Samsung/Android.

Just goes to show you are never to big to fail...

True, the fall was surprisingly quick.
An even better example is how quickly Microsoft's Windows Mobile 6 OS, which had millions of users in 2007, cratered. And Steve Ballmer famously guffawed at the thought of the iPhone...

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #6 of 19
Bs idea from the now dismissed CEO.

I hope rim finds a way to survive, a future with iPhone windows phones and androids is very poor. Eventually they ll be a backlash against the iPhone, mobile phones are ways people identify themselves and the iPhone will at some point dilute its brand. I hope rim sticks around to regain some market as I d hate to see it go to android.

What an awful and misguided idea the playbook was btw, couldn't they have waited a bit to see how the market played out, what with having no content provider behind them and no real purpose or hardware advantage for th device. That was one collosal idiocy to release the playbook..
post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Sounds to me like RIM is struggling to come up with "Plan B"

That's because RIM won't let go of "Plan BB."
"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #8 of 19
Is Research in Motion a good purchase for Apple?

Apple could offer activation and management server via OS X Lion Server that iPads, iPhones and iPod Touches such that could be managed within the business enterprise which would allow Apple to bring back a enterprise server solution.

The activation and management service could include RIM's encrypted and compressed email, messaging and web browsing. While this wouldn't sell millions, I believe this could be a popular solution for government and companies where security is a primary concern (defense, finance and healthcare).

I believe this would create a halo effect within the enterprise for additional enterprise products such as chat server, calendar server, domain name server, AFP and SMB server, LDP server, mail transfer agent, web servers, wiki servers and many others.
post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacBook Pro View Post

Is Research in Motion a good purchase for Apple?

Apple already has iMessage, with it's security backend.
post #10 of 19
It's more proof that they are in serious trouble. I doubt, as I've said before, that they'll have new phones with new os on the market this year. If they were to release smartphones that didn't have something they excelled at, it would be a death nell for them. So now they're trying to figure out what other things they can do to keep from becoming completely irrelevant - which is bad given they shouldn't have been in this position in the first place.

Those arrogant delusional co-ceo's should have found their own replacements 4 years ago when they would have had a chance to fight their way back instead of pretending there was no problem until it was too late - which is where the company is now.
post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacBook Pro View Post

Is Research in Motion a good purchase for Apple?

Apple could offer activation and management server via OS X Lion Server that iPads, iPhones and iPod Touches such that could be managed within the business enterprise which would allow Apple to bring back a enterprise server solution.

The activation and management service could include RIM's encrypted and compressed email, messaging and web browsing. While this wouldn't sell millions, I believe this could be a popular solution for government and companies where security is a primary concern (defense, finance and healthcare).

I believe this would create a halo effect within the enterprise for additional enterprise products such as chat server, calendar server, domain name server, AFP and SMB server, LDP server, mail transfer agent, web servers, wiki servers and many others.

I see BB a better fit with MS than I do with Apple.

Apple is pouring Billions into the own Data Farms and content delivery, I don't see why they would buy BB and try to merge the two.

Apple already has a path forward set in play by Mr. Jobs well before his passing.

However MS could get a handset production and buisness services that could merge right in with Exchange and Share Point right out of the box.

Most of the heavy lifting so to speak is already there for Exchange and Share Point just need to integrate and streamline.

This could actually solve a few of MS problems where as it may create more than Apple wants.

Even though Apple has made great strides into the business arena they still don't seem interested in marketing to that segment.

I refer to no replacement for a SAN, rack mount server and hints of the end of the MacPro.

Althought I have been using MacMini well before Apple released a "Mac Mini Server" for web hosting and email it is still not robust enough for enterprise, i.e. Virtualzation or Data.

I would love to know what iron Apple is using in their Data Center.

They may have Apple hardware but I bet there is quite a lot of X86 64Bit *nix in that building.
Life is not measured by the breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away. - GC
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Life is not measured by the breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away. - GC
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post #12 of 19
BB is still strong if they consider simply their secured infrastructure and low bandwidth requirements. While the carriers keep promising the swiss cheese LTE platform Blackberry has been operating really well back in the 2G days. I'd be pushing that if I were them. And their carrier relationships. So much of the BES infrastructure depends on that. It's likely too late for that but even a couple of years ago this could have been important leverage.

One thing crippling iOS (and Android) devices are their reliance on high, high, high speed networks to drive the apps. I live in DC and have a Sprint iPhone. There are times when I even my weather app takes a few moments to update. I had a Blackberry which sipped data by comparison.

All the carriers are building out their LTE networks but the coverage map in comparison with 3G looks like swiss cheese. BB was king even when 2G was all there was available. Anyway, if I were a BB marketer (and, whew, am I glad I'm not) then I'd be pushing the fact that there really is no waiting. When the BES network is up anyway.
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by myapplelove View Post

Eventually they ll be a backlash against the iPhone,

Why will there eventually be a backlash against the iPhone?
Apple managed the astonishing feat of getting the equivalent of a personal computer into the hands of everybody from eight to eighty year olds, and did so while providing absolutely no instructions...
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Apple managed the astonishing feat of getting the equivalent of a personal computer into the hands of everybody from eight to eighty year olds, and did so while providing absolutely no instructions...
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post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

Why will there eventually be a backlash against the iPhone?

Because it won't be the status and identity symbol it currently is after it saturates the market. Nothing that appeals and is by and large affordable to a large demographic across class boundaries ever stays appealing for ever. But there's not point you arguing this with me here and now, wait and see, it will take time though, a few years at least.
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by myapplelove View Post

Because it won't be the status and identity symbol it currently is after it saturates the market. Nothing that appeals and is by and large affordable to a large demographic across class boundaries ever stays appealing for ever. But there's not point you arguing this with me here and now, wait and see, it will take time though, a few years at least.

I disagree.

I think the majority of users buy the iPhone because of ease and convenience of use, and there will never be a backlash against that.

Did you buy your phone because of it's 'status'?
Apple managed the astonishing feat of getting the equivalent of a personal computer into the hands of everybody from eight to eighty year olds, and did so while providing absolutely no instructions...
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Apple managed the astonishing feat of getting the equivalent of a personal computer into the hands of everybody from eight to eighty year olds, and did so while providing absolutely no instructions...
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post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by myapplelove View Post

Because it won't be the status and identity symbol it currently is after it saturates the market.

It's not a status or identity symbol now…

Quote:
Nothing that appeals and is by and large affordable to a large demographic across class boundaries ever stays appealing for ever.

Yeah, clock radios sure died out quick, didn't they. So did cars, come to think of it.

Quote:
But there's not point you arguing this with me here and now, wait and see, it will take time though, a few years at least.

Slapppy! You're back!

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

I disagree.

I think the majority of users buy the iPhone because of ease and convenience of use, and there will never be a backlash against that.

Did you buy your phone because of it's 'status'?

I didn't, I boight it because i thought it was innovative, and because it offered many uses and ftted with the ecosystem of macs I d been using for a loooong time; but a lot of people do. I think in a few years people seeking to establish their status via their mobile phone (plenty of such buyers) won't be satisfied with the iPhone being a device used pretty much across class boundaries. When a phone is used by the soccer mom, the gangsta, the politician, the athlete, the rich kid etc, some from any demographic will start feeling uncomfortable being associated with the others, that's at least what I think will happen, but not soon, give it a few years, say 3 years.
post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

It's not a status or identity symbol now

Yeah, clock radios sure died out quick, didn't they. So did cars, come to think

Of course it is, for many people, and I am talking about brands, not types of device.
post #19 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by myapplelove View Post

Of course it is, for many people, and I am talking about brands, not types of device.

Yeah, I agree. I was so shocked when I saw how affordable the Aventador was that I immediately sent it back to the dealership...

Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

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Social Capitalist, dreamer and wise enough to know I'm never going to grow up anyway... so not trying anymore.

 

http://m.ign.com/articles/2014/07/16/7-high-school-girls-are-kickstarting-their-awa...

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