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RIM CEO Says Company 'Seriously' Considered Switch To Android 283

Posted by Soulskill
from the perhaps-reconsidering-now dept.
zacharye writes "RIM CEO Thorsten Heins's interview with the Telegraph on Thursday made headlines for his admission that the company can't keep up with Apple and Samsung without outside help. But there's another interesting nugget buried within the interview that didn't get quite as much attention: Heins says that RIM took a long, hard look at migrating to Android before deciding to plow forward with BlackBerry 10. Heins said, 'We took the conscious decision not to go Android. If you look at other suppliers’ ability to differentiate, there’s very little wiggle room. We looked at it seriously — but if you understand what the promise of BlackBerry is to its user base: it’s all about getting stuff done. Games, media, we have to be good at it, but we have to support those guys who are ahead of the game. Very little time to consume and enjoy content — if you stay true to that purpose you have to build on that basis. And if we want to serve that segment we can’t do it on a me-too approach.'"
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RIM CEO Says Company 'Seriously' Considered Switch To Android

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  • by Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) on Friday August 03, 2012 @01:39PM (#40870347) Journal
    Well, if it wants a small userbase of executives, it has to accept that small revenue stream comming from those people.
  • Seriously (Score:5, Insightful)

    by postmortem (906676) on Friday August 03, 2012 @01:39PM (#40870359) Journal

    You failed as CEO. Google gives you all apps for multimedia, so you don't have to do anything there. But they give you 0 enterprise apps, so that is what you could have done. Its not like corporations are going to pirate your apps and risk being sued.

  • by Vanderhoth (1582661) on Friday August 03, 2012 @01:47PM (#40870465)

    And RIM needs a rapid change in direction

    I disagree.

    There's nothing they can do at this point to recover. I use to like blackberry, but your right and now they're just completely irrelevant. To think four years ago Barack Obama was angry because he was told he would have to give up his blackberry after being elected.

    P.S.
    I'm Canadian and nigher for or against Obama. I only mentioned him because I remember reading the news articles discussing his blackberry issue during the last US Presidential election.

  • by tripleevenfall (1990004) on Friday August 03, 2012 @01:54PM (#40870553)

    Blackberry could have survived as the business market's option. The security they once offered was unmatched.

    But now we even see RIM migrating away from what little they are good at by giving away their keys to oppressive governments in order to continue doing business in that country. RIM is feeding itself by cutting off its own appendages.

    I don't think Android is going to catch on in the business world. We just had a new vendor selection at my employer and IOS was chosen because the comfort level with security and malware on the Android platform is lower. (The nuances in that discussion don't matter, the fact is that the market sees IOS as safer than Android. Perception is reality)

    It's unfortunate that RIM decided to commit corporate suicide because the market has lost something that was once good. Consumers now have fewer choices, and that's bad.

  • Re:Seriously (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jeffmeden (135043) on Friday August 03, 2012 @01:58PM (#40870605) Homepage Journal

    It's an enterprise app like Google Apps is enterprise-ready... You can use it for "Enterprise-like" features but do Enterprises truly use it exclusively? Hell no.

    All RIM would have needed to do was make a suite of apps that look like the old apps they had before (not hard since Android apps don't have hard and fast style rules) and then build a management backend that looked like what they had before, so that admins wouldn't have a huge learning curve when going to a BB/Android hybrid.

    Fear of change is what RIM was banking on, by deciding to do things the way they always had and shunning any alternative. For decision makers that fear is quickly going extinct; today if you don't embrace change then you (like RIM) go extinct instead. That was their downfall, they put all their chips in the "lets just not change" category and didn't realize that change is absolutely inevitable. If they had walked the line, catered to those who still had a preference for the old BB style while allowing change to happen organically, they would have had a niche. As of now, their niche is solely organizations who haven't woken up to change (and those companies are either going to wake up or go out of business. Not a good spot to find yourself.

  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Friday August 03, 2012 @02:06PM (#40870705) Homepage

    We just had a new vendor selection at my employer and IOS was chosen because the comfort level with security and malware on the Android platform is lower.

    Actually, what I can almost guarantee happened is that some executive with no technical background whatsoever said "I love my iPhone, it's so shiny!", and the bit about security and malware was made up to justify that.

  • by ceoyoyo (59147) on Friday August 03, 2012 @02:09PM (#40870769)

    "The security they once offered was unmatched."

    Bull. The very fact that RIM CAN give away the keys to governments (or whoever they like) means their security wasn't very good. Not nearly as good as what you can get yourself with encrypted IMAP/SMTP and/or VPN on an iPhone or Android.

    RIM offered a moderately nice install-it-and-it-works package along with some sweetheart deals with carriers back when data service was a strange concept. Then the reigning champion of install-it-and-it-works walked on the scene and RIM just kept on doing what they'd been doing, with a little bit of me too thrown in. Now a child can set up real e-mail security and RIM really doesn't offer anything, except maybe an existing user base for BBM.

  • by logicassasin (318009) on Friday August 03, 2012 @02:12PM (#40870805)

    The last thing the market needs is a choice between only 2 platforms for smartphones. Yes, I know that Windows Mobile is still out there as is Symbian, but because Microsoft took entirely too long to bring Windows Mobile 7 to market and Nokia really didn't push Symbian as hard as they could have (i.e getting a major player like HTC or Samsung to build Symbian based phones early in the game) they're both pretty much niche players now instead of the former powerhouse enterprise/business players they once were. At one point, when you said "Smartphone", you could only have been referring to a Blackberry, Palm, or Windows Mobile/PocketPC based phone with Symbian being the underdog. Even after June 29, 2007, when the iPhone was released, these were still considered to be true smartphones by many in business with the iPhone being the poseur.

    Palm is gone, RIM is facing tough times, and Symbian is nearly extinct. Windows Mobile 7 is not even a part of the public consciousness even though there is still plenty of advertising for it. This is sad since there's plenty of enterprise users out there that don't need/want "Robot Unicorn Attack" or "iApp For More Stupidity" alongside their messaging services.

  • Interesting quote (Score:5, Insightful)

    by The Mister Purple (2525152) on Friday August 03, 2012 @02:15PM (#40870847) Homepage

    FTFA, Heins remarks:

    "there’s a very stable, slowly growing base of physical keyboard users and most of them are really highly ranked officers"

    So, he points out that the keyboard users are the demographic with the least growth potential AND the least staying potential, and he thinks that's a positive?

  • by tekrat (242117) on Friday August 03, 2012 @02:30PM (#40871039) Homepage Journal

    If you're building a phone for executives ONLY, then make it a $1000 phone. These are people who drive 911's, M5's, Ferrari, or some other similarly high-end car. If these are the people willing to spend $300,000 for a top-of-the-line supercar, then they certainly should be willing to shell out $1 to 2 thousand for a phone. But it better be the best damn phone there is.

    I mean, if you're paying 2k for a phone, not only should it make the iPhone look like a cheap toy, it should make almost all high-tech items look like cheap toys.

    But the problem is that Apple, Samsung and HTC are all making really, really good hardware, and selling it for $200 -- a tenth of the cost. And for all of RIM's wizardry, they aren't going to beat Apple.

    So, the executive who is paying enormous sums of money for a car is going to look at the Blackberry, then look at the iPhone, and still decide that the iPhone is the better product, even though it's cheaper.

    RIM needs to get their act together and make some really smart decisions. Unfortunately, they are not.

  • It's funny (Score:4, Insightful)

    by FranTaylor (164577) on Friday August 03, 2012 @02:39PM (#40871159)

    People talk about problems with android, and yet these problems are precisely where companies like RIM can differentiate themselves, by solving these problems.

  • by candeoastrum (1262256) on Friday August 03, 2012 @02:46PM (#40871243)

    I will also add:

    It was once said, "Nobody ever got fired for choosing IBM".

    Today, nobody ever gets fired for choosing Apple.

    I dont know anyone in business who has chosen Apple for the enterprise so I am not sure how that applies. Consumer devices that they personally own and bring in, yes. I can't think of another scenario where people recommend Apple for servers or clients when its actually purchased by the business.

  • by MachDelta (704883) on Friday August 03, 2012 @02:57PM (#40871377)

    Only when you're the one holding the keys to the garden...

  • by luis_a_espinal (1810296) on Friday August 03, 2012 @03:22PM (#40871623) Homepage

    and iOS was found MORE secure?

    Good luck with that...

    Elaborate. Elaborate precisely.

    <necessary preemptive strike against slashdot fanbois>
    And no. I'm not an iPhone fanboi. I'm actually an Android user.
    </necessary preemptive strike against slashdot fanbois>

    Geek, nerds, technocrats, whatever, they should be able to make statements like this immediately followed by a list comparing both platforms, followed by the most objective conclusion possible. Anything else is just hand-waving bull-crap more appropriate for technically-challenged marketing types than for the supposedly tech-oriented crowd that comes to these interweebz realms.

  • by randy of the redwood (1565519) on Friday August 03, 2012 @03:57PM (#40872077)
    Bravo. Well said.

    Can someone who is better at wordsmithing than I please come up with a meme that says we would all appreciate it if you only post when you actually know something about the subject?

    Sorry to get off topic, but in the past year it seems that the people who post here are more armchair quarterbacks than actually in the field with something intelligent to add. Is this the Reddit crowd coming over here?

    If you have something to add, please do so, but try to include some facts with the post instead of just "IOS is more secure" or "Good luck with that".

  • by nitehawk214 (222219) on Friday August 03, 2012 @04:34PM (#40872527)

    I will also add:

    It was once said, "Nobody ever got fired for choosing IBM".

    Today, nobody ever gets fired for choosing Apple.

    I dont know anyone in business who has chosen Apple for the enterprise so I am not sure how that applies. Consumer devices that they personally own and bring in, yes. I can't think of another scenario where people recommend Apple for servers or clients when its actually purchased by the business.

    Easy, nobody chooses Apple for an entire enterprise, so nobody can get fired for doing it. Now choosing IOS as a standardized phone platform... well I suppose this is no more inappropriate than choosing Microsoft.

    Besides it doesn't matter what platform you use for mobile, if the people setting it up are morons it will be insecure.

    I can remember working a company when my manger rushed over to my desk in a panic, waving his blackberry in my face. "OMG, OMG, our internal development server is open to the public! Do something! Do something, right now!"

    I looked at it, and learned every BB at the company had a giant unsecured backdoor to the internal network, with no additional security or password needed. When I pointed this out I was quashed because the execs could not live without their blackberries. I explained there must be some way for them to see some internal apps and not others, or require some kind of network password. I have no idea if that hole was ever patched.

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