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How Research In Slow Motion can get on the Fast Track Again


NASDAQ:RIMM stock chart with volatility as at September 29, 2011

Demonstration of how Apple’s FaceTime works on iOS devices, which is now also supported with Mac computers.
Source: CNet

Demonstration of Skype for BlackBerry, only available in the U.S. for Verizon customers. International users are not able to use the app to make VoIP calls or chat with Skype friends.
Source: CrackBerry, via YouTube

Adobe engineer demonstrates how developers could use Adobe Air to create a single code base for applications that can be used to run the apps on multiple operating systems.
Source: Adobe, via YouTube


RIM’s overhauled BlackBerry Bold 9900, includes capacitive display and keyboard.
Source: RIM, via Bloomberg

The Ontario-based BlackBerry maker, Research In Motion LLC (RIM), continues to disappoint investors, as sales and free cash flow to equity significantly declined in the pervious fiscal quarter as a direct result of still not having released a competitive device more than a year after Apple launched its iPhone 4 – in fact, Apple will announce the next generation iPhone next Tuesday.

Investors largely blame top management for being too slow to innovate coupled with a corporate structure filled with intermediaries and lack of accountability that works counter-intuitively in facilitating efficient information flows, decision-making, and innovation.

Despite the significant downturn, the company holds over 2,000 patents, and is the market leader in providing enterprises with the most secure mobile communication and management infrastructure. However, competitors are now able to offer many of those core BlackBerry features in their own products with a better user experience and on a more cost-effective basis.

But, it isn’t too late for RIM just yet.

Here are some of the most important things RIM should consider to remain a going concern.

1. Take back control of your own platform:

Apple has been criticized for being notoriously controlling over what apps work on its iOS platform to the point where competitors have raised anti-trust concerns.

Although being too controlling might not be a good thing (and Apple isn’t as controlling today), at least it provides a very consistent user experience, but the same cannot be said about the BlackBerry user experience.

For example, the U.S. telecom Verizon reached an exclusive deal with Skype to make the Skype VoIP/chat app available exclusively only to Verizon BlackBerry customers. As a result, millions of other international Skype/BlackBerry users do not have practical access to Skype (even in Canada) because of the exclusive deal reached between Skype and Verizon in the U.S. – this would have never happened with any Apple product.
As another example, after you’ve restarted your BlackBerry, have you ever noticed new app installation icons (like mobile commerce app Zoom on Telus) on your menu? That’s courtesy of your carrier that has pushed the apps to your device after reaching a deal with the app makers, in the process re-arranging your menu configuration. Even if you delete the service books, after another restart, those apps re-appear. Could you opt out? No.

2. Focus on the user & innovate

One thing Apple really understands is consumer wants, and as a result, people are willing to camp out in front of stores to buy new Apple products.

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RIM Unveils Exciting PlayBook Features at BlackBerry World, Including 3D

TORONTO — The Waterloo-based maker of the popular BlackBerry smartphone, Research In Motion Ltd (RIM), recently launched its first tablet computer, the BlackBerry PlayBook, over six months after the company first announced the product.

RIM has largely been criticized for releasing the BlackBerry PlayBook without key features when not paired with a BlackBerry smartphone, such as a native e-mail client, BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) support, and native calendar support, among other key features that would be expected in a new high-end tablet.

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RIM Partners with Microsoft for Cloud-based Services

blackberry-playbookThe Waterloo, Ontario-based maker of the BlackBerry smartphone, Research In Motion (RIM), today announced a cloud-based data storage partnership with the world’s largest software vendor, Microsoft Corp.

RIM will use Microsoft servers and software to provide cloud-based storage solutions for clients, as more of them shift their data to the cloud.

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RIM Offers Preinstalled Music Store on PlayBook with 7digital Partnership

The Waterloo-based maker of the popular BlackBerry smartphone, Research In Motion (RIM) Inc., has confirmed a new partnership with the online media retailer 7digital Inc.

The strategic partnership aims to make RIM’s upcoming BlackBerry PlayBook tablet more attractive to consumers by offering a seamless app for users to purchase digital media, including individual songs, albums, videos, among other content.

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RIM Looking to Add Android App Support to PlayBook Tablet

RIM BlackBerry PlayBook tablet computer, to launch Q1 2011.

The Waterloo-based maker of the popular BlackBerry smartphone, Research In Motion (RIM) Ltd, is working on adding functionality in its yet-to-be-released BlackBerry PlayBook tablet computer that would give the new tablet the capability to run third party applications designed for Google Android devices.

RIM has seen market share trend downwards as consumers (and traditional corporate customers) have shifted to other mobile platforms that offer a superior user experience (like more applications and better Internet browsing) all with comparable communication features.

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RIM Releases New BlackBerry PlayBook Dev Tools, Extends Free PlayBook Offer to Developers


Research In Motion BlackBerry PlayBook tablet computer, slated for Q1 2011 launch, likely week of March 15, 2011.

CES might have just wrapped up, but the Waterloo-based maker of the popular BlackBerry smartphone, Research In Motion (RIM), isn’t sitting around.

RIM has announced the availability of new tools and services aimed at the developer community, as the company tries to build a strong inventory of third party applications for its upcoming BlackBerry PlayBook tablet computer.

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RIM releases Adobe AIR SDK for its PlayBook tablet

The Waterloo-based mobile tech giant, Research In Motion (RIM), has announced the availability of the Adobe AIR Software Development Kit (SDK) for its new QNX tablet operating system used by its new PlayBook tablet computer.

RIM CTO, David Yach, said in a statement today, “The new SDK for the BlackBerry PlayBook unleashes a wealth of opportunity for the Adobe and BlackBerry development communities to easily create value-added applications and experiences for customers and we are extremely excited by the positive feedback received from developers in early trials.”

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RIM CEO refutes Steve Jobs’ PlayBook dismissal

The Cupertino-based tech giant, Apple, reported earnings for the fourth quarter of this fiscal year, posting record revenue of $20.34-billion and a record quarterly profit of $4.31-billion in the period.

To mark the most successful financial quarter in the company’s history, Apple chief executive, Steve Jobs, joined the quarterly conference call to discuss the earnings and developments at the company.

Mr. Jobs made a number of interesting comments looking at the future of the company, while criticizing the strategies of top rivals like Google and Research In Motion.

The latest market research data indicate the maker of the BlackBerry smartphone, Research In Motion, is losing market share to both Apple iOS and Google Android devices, as users switch to those competing devices that offer a better user experience.

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RIM likely to use QNX tablet operating system in BlackBerry smartphones

bb-playbook-frontThe Waterloo-based maker of the popular BlackBerry smartphone, Research In Motion (RIM), continues to face intensifying competition in the mobile market space coupled with more analyst uncertainty, putting significant downward pressure on the company’s stock over the last six months.

The consumer segment is becoming more and more important for RIM, but consumers are beginning to opt for competing mobile smartphones that offer more advanced multimedia and gaming support (with communication nearly on par), including a superior Internet browsing experience comparative to current BlackBerry smartphones.

Only days ago, RIM announced the new BlackBerry PlayBook, a tablet computer that is powered by the QNX operating system, which is scheduled to hit stores in the first quarter of 2011, with pricing yet to be revealed.

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