RIM could license software, sell hardware division after BB10 launch

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Thorsten Heins, chief executive of Research In Motion, said on Monday that the embattled BlackBerry maker must ensure that its forthcoming BlackBerry 10 models are successful before the company can consider strategic alliances, such as licensing its software or even selling off its hardware production.

Heins spoke with German publication Die Welt in an interview covering RIM's prospects for the future, whether RIM's traditionally business-first focus is still applicable, and a number of other topics related to the health of the phone maker.

RIM


Asked whether RIM would consider licensing its new platform, Heins said that the company would need to show that "the platform has a large potential. First we have to fulfill our promises." Heins claims that BlackBerry 10 is future-proof for the next 10 years and scalable from smartphones to other devices such as networked cars.

Reuters pointed out on Monday that in the same interview, Heins acknowledged the possibility of RIM selling off its hardware production, though he specified that the company has a good deal of flexibility and time before it has to make any hard decisions on such matters, thanks to its cash reserves.

Heins said that BlackBerry 10 will launch with around 70,000 apps available for the platform, a far cry from the hundreds of thousands of apps available in Google and Apple's app markets. The raw number of apps available, though, says Heins, is less important than having a "certain selection" of apps "corresponding to regional preferences."

Heins also said that developers will be easily able to convert Android apps to compatibility with the new BlackBerry platform. RIM recently held an event encouraging developers to port their Android apps, and that event is believed to have met with some success.

Heins expressed confidence that the smartphone market, currently dominated by Apple and devices running Google's Android platform, is dynamic enough for RIM to carve out a "substantial" role for itself. He said the industry is still young, even though it is growing quickly.

He also played down concerns at RIM's having lost a million subscribers in the last quarter, noting that the subscriber loss was "not so bad" considering that RIM subscribers have only been able to choose among year-old hardware for some time. RIM still counts some 78 million or so BlackBerry subscribers worldwide.

The forthcoming BlackBerry 10 OS is viewed by some observers as the Canadian manufacturer's last, best hope to reverse its recent fortunes. While iOS and Android have gained, RIM -- once a leader in the smartphone sector -- has found itself cutting costs and going into survival mode ahead of the launch of its new handsets and platform.

The end of January will see RIM introducing its newest BlackBerry devices in a series of worldwide press events. Rolling out at those events will be a full-touchscreen BlackBerry device, a touchscreen device with a hardware QWERTY keyboard, and possibly another rumored device -- said to be codenamed 'Aristo' -- that packs very high-end specs and a bigger screen.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 44


    How about finishing and launching the product first, and then you can worry about what to do with it.

  • Reply 2 of 44
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    I think the new HW and OS looks great. However, I think it's likely too late to play catch up at this point.

    The system looks smooth, too. Smoother than Android.


    [VIDEO]
  • Reply 3 of 44


    The end is near. 

  • Reply 4 of 44


    Good luck to RIM for success.

     

  • Reply 5 of 44
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member
    The REAL question is To Whom? I don't think anyone is interested.
  • Reply 6 of 44
    Why would you pay money to RIM instead of getting Android for free?
  • Reply 7 of 44


    I really hope RIM can pull themselves out of the dumpster.

  • Reply 8 of 44
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,926member
    solipsismx wrote: »
    I think the new HW and OS looks great. However, I think it's likely too late to play catch up at this point.

    The system looks smooth, too. Smoother than Android.


    [VIDEO]

    I fear that you might be right. Btw that's either a small device or that guy has huge hands.
  • Reply 9 of 44
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    Heins said that BlackBerry 10 will launch with around 70,000 apps available for the platform, a far cry from the hundreds of thousands of apps available in Google and Apple's app markets.


     


    Mmm... hyperbole. 

  • Reply 10 of 44


    The problem with RIMM (and has been for years) is that they have no idea what they want to be.


     


    They are an ENTERPRISE company, and what they do best is secure e-mail.  I remember when the Playbook was announced, they SAID that this was going to be their focus.  All the marketing materials... all the videos... EVERYTHING, focused on Facebook sharing... photos... games.


     


    Same with the new stuff.  Are they going to try to get consumers to switch to BB10 by convincing them it's a better device to share photos than an iOS or Android device?  Are they going to keep their corporate customers with this strategy?  What is the point?


     


    Similarly... I remember seeing about two years ago a big section of their website dedicated to a "theme builder."  Honestly?  Rome is burning around you and *THIS* is what you are focused on?  If you have *ONE* person working on this, it's one too many.  Actually:  https://developer.blackberry.com/themestudio/


     


    They have no clue what they want to be... they are going to die because of it.


     


    Even until very recently, they had a product that was entrenched in the corporate world around the globe.  BES was used by *EVERYBODY* and they would have loved to continue to use it.  RIMM had an opportunity to focus on this and become the leading provider of secure communications software and services (on the back end).  Instead... they had people working on developing a "theme builder" for phones that nobody wanted.


     


    Idiots...

  • Reply 11 of 44
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,926member
    How about finishing and launching the product first, and then you can worry about what to do with it.

    Always best to be ready for all scenarios.
  • Reply 12 of 44
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,076member


    I think this could be used in more than just mobile phones. For example, Chrysler uses a QNX based OS to run its uconnect touchscreen radios which work very well and are very responsive. I happen to have their 8.4" screen in my new Dodge Dart and it works flawlessly. The next gen also supports apps which I could see being very successful in the automotive space. This is just one example. You could see this in other devices, appliances, etc. 


     


    I think its way too late for them to come back in the phone space. They're so far behind, people and companies are still dropping them for other alternatives. Its almost like an uncontrollable downward spiral. They don't seem to have the customer loyalty to keep them going like Apple did during their tough times. I think licensing their software is their best bet. 

  • Reply 13 of 44


    Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

    Always best to be ready for all scenarios.


     


    Launching it seems to be the least likely of those. image

  • Reply 14 of 44
    solipsismx wrote: »
    I think the new HW and OS looks great. However, I think it's likely too late to play catch up at this point.

    The system looks smooth, too. Smoother than Android.

    Indeed, it looks very good. Including their Z10 & X10 Launch Promotion


    [VIDEO]


    1. 70.000 is a lot of apps to get from the start; that ought to cover anyones wish, no? I certainly have a difficult time to choose from all available Flashlight apps that the App Store has to offer.
    2. Did you guys get any of this German? Or perhaps mainly the numbers, i.e. 4.2", Dual-Core 1.5GHz, 8MP, 1280x768, 1800mAh, 16GB, (microSD, NFC)
    3. I like the 'flip up for the recent 4 apps tiles', and when flipping to the left the springboard comes back. Do all Smartphones come with a springboard, and hav they all copied Apple, including the dots at the bottom indicating there are more 'pages in your springboard'?

    BlackBerry Z10 retail images spotted online, another leak suggests CAD 799 retail price

    1000

    Wait, is that a, what do you call it...?

    1000

    16 pics
  • Reply 15 of 44
    Probably their best shot at survival, but futile all the same.
  • Reply 16 of 44
    solipsismx wrote: »
    I think the new HW and OS looks great. However, I think it's likely too late to play catch up at this point.

    The system looks smooth, too. Smoother than Android.


    [VIDEO]

    "Sent from my Blackberry device on T-Mobile network. This message brought to by Burger King and Avis Rental Cars. Tweet this to receive a free AMC theater coupon code from Groupon."
  • Reply 17 of 44
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    philboogie wrote: »
    Indeed, it looks very good. Including their Z10 & X10 Launch Promotion

    video:
    1. 70.000 is a lot of apps to get from the start; that ought to cover anyones wish, no? I certainly have a difficult time to choose from all available Flashlight apps that the App Store has to offer.
    2. Did you guys get any of this German? Or perhaps mainly the numbers, i.e. 4.2", Dual-Core 1.5GHz, 8MP, 1280x768, 1800mAh, 16GB, (microSD, NFC)
    3. I like the 'flip up for the recent 4 apps tiles', and when flipping to the left the springboard comes back. Do all Smartphones come with a springboard, and hav they all copied Apple, including the dots at the bottom indicating there are more 'pages in your springboard'?

    BlackBerry Z10 retail images spotted online, another leak suggests CAD 799 retail price

    image: http://forums.appleinsider.com/content/type/61/id/19416/width/500/height/1000

    Wait, is that a, what do you call it...?

    image: http://forums.appleinsider.com/content/type/61/id/19417/width/500/height/1000

    16 pics

    1) I think 70k is very reasonable to assume a healthy ecosystem. If they vet their apps, a good SDK, and good support from companies they could have a more attractive store than Android which might be able to attract users and developers.

    2) Thanks for the translation of the specs.

    3) Not sure about the Springboard but I think the dots for pages first appeared in the iOS jailbreak app store back before there were additional pages to wit no App Store.

    4) $799 CAD?! That's $804 USD. We're talking more than $150 USD more than the same capacity device from Apple. Am I missing something here?

    5) That video of how they are going to market this device reminded me of this classic and funny video from Charlie Brooker on how to report the news...

    [VIDEO]
  • Reply 18 of 44
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,786member


    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

    Heins expressed confidence that the smartphone market, currently dominated by Apple and devices running Google's Android platform, is dynamic enough for RIM to carve out a "substantial" role for itself. He said the industry is still young, even though it is growing quickly.


    It's still a very young industry.  The post-PC era has just barely begun.


    But that's no excuse for RIM letting Apple and its imitators pass them after having the early lead.


    RIM has fallen well behind the pack now, and that gap is "growing quickly."


     




    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

    The forthcoming BlackBerry 10 OS is viewed by some observers as the Canadian manufacturer's last, best hope to reverse its recent fortunes. While iOS and Android have gained, RIM -- once a leader in the smartphone sector -- has found itself cutting costs and going into survival mode ahead of the launch of its new handsets and platform.



    Good luck with that, Thorsten.  RIM talks up BlackBerry 10 as if it were The Messiah.


    But frankly, it doesn't matter how great BlackBerry 10 actually is.  Still too little.  Still way too late.


    RIM's former bread-and-butter, corprorate IT, will take a "wait and see" approach now.  


    Because who knows if RIM will even be around next year.  Time to implement plan A: Apple iPhone.


     


    RIM is falling into an obvious trap.  They're thinking "cool new hardware plus cool new OS equals survival."


    I don't think so.  Hardware is the first baby step.  The OS is a bigger step, but you're still only two stairs


    up from the basement floor. Unfortunately for RIM, steps three and four are impossibly large at this point.


     


    Step three would be to design, implement, and expand a content and delivery infrastructure.  Kind of


    like, oh, I dunno, maybe iTunes.  You know, the infrastructure that made iPod successful.  Then iPhone.


    Then iPad.  Apple has been working on that infrastructure since before the first iPod was released.


    They laid the groundwork with iTunes' "Rip. Mix. Burn." then released iPod ten months later. 


    And they've been relentlessly scaling up that infrastructure ever since.  And without a content delivery


    infrastructure like that, you have no chance of survival.


     


    Got an iTunes killer, Thorsten?


     


    Step four, of course, is "the cloud."  The most successful post-PC players all have robust cloud infrastructures


    to support their content infrastructures.  The "cloud" is now as important to those big players as iTunes


    was to Apple in the 2000s.  The key word being "big."  Because cloud-based computing requires massive


    server farms on huge tracts of land.  All of which requires both time and money to acquire, develop, implement,


    test, and scale up.  And RIM has neither time nor money right now.


     


    Got an iCloud killer, Thorsten?


     


    (Tech newsreading tip: every time you see the word "cloud" in any blog or news story about technology,


    just mentally substitute "internet" for "cloud."  E.g. "cloud-based" becomes "internet-based."  


    Boom. Clearer, no more obfuscation.)  

  • Reply 19 of 44

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RichL View Post


     


    Mmm... hyperbole. 



     


    How, 70k is not nearly as robust of a market as the App Store or Google Play Store offer. I wouldn't call that hyperbole at all, in fact I think it is a perfect explanation of how distant the gap is in the markets.

  • Reply 20 of 44
    RIM couldn't keep up. They were really a one trick pony.
    Now the investors want a way to get out because RIM just won't be able to penetrate the iPhone/Android stampede.
    Look at Palm. Them clowns reached the end of the line, broke the company up into hardware and software and then finally sold to those printer clowns at HP.
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