Can RIM come back from the brink?


To say that it’s been a tough year for RIM is an understatement.

Their BlackBerry PlayBook met with poor reviews on launch largely due to the absence of an email client and a near-non-existent app store.

Their aging fleet of BlackBerry handsets have seen their once dominant market position erode significantly due to pressure from Apple’s iPhone and the horde of Android smartphones that have entered the market this year.

Their shareholders are openingly questioning if the company should be split up and the co-CEOs replaced.

Last week, the company suffered one of its worst network outages ever, affecting millions of its customers worldwide.

And to top it all off, despite a late-year refresh to the company’s flagship models, the QNX-based handsets that are meant to be the company’s future, are still nowhere to be seen.

Yeah, it’s been a tough year.

But there’s a glimmer of hope on the horizon, and today at 8:30 AM PST, co-CEO Mike Lazaridis will take the stage at BlackBerry DevCon in San Francisco to tell the world about what’s next for RIM.

According to an interview given to the National Post’s Matt Hartley by RIM’s other co-CEO Jim Balsillie, the company will have “leapfrogged everyone with what we’re announcing [on Tuesday] and you’re going to see it on display.”

Big words, especially given that general speculation is that no new hardware will be part of today’s announcement, leaving us to wonder if this brave new world is more about RIM’s network and software platforms than about creating more competitive devices.

You can watch the Lazaridis keynote as a live webcast.

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2 comments

  1. Tony F

    RIM should really get away from the teasers and promise-ware.

    RIM was once boring and predictable in the sense that they consistently delivered products and revenue. Ah the good old days…

    Now they seem to be spiraling into another IT company that tries to ‘keep up with the Jones’s” with mediocre products and missed delivery dates. Not a good plan.

    The number of my friends not getting another RIM product when their cell contract ends seems to be growing. Even I am looking a Droid products

    RIM seems to have forgetten they became the company that they are today 1 customer at a time, not a country at a time.

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  2. Steve

    I think you meant “the QNX-based handsets that ARE meant to be the company’s future”, rather than “aren’t”.

    Personally, I have great hopes for their new platform; QNX is a solid foundation and offers flexibility and responsiveness that others will be hard-pressed to outdo, if it’s used properly. Given that they own the maker of QNX, as long as they don’t push the devices out the door prematurely, I am expecting a strong showing.

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