RIM BlackBerry World Fails to Impress Analysts
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ORLANDO, Fla.--Research In Motion co-CEO Mike Lazaridis spent a good portion of his RIM Capital Markets Day presentation boasting about the features of the new BlackBerry PlayBook, which he also apologized for launching late as Apple's iPad seized and defined the market.
Lazaridis was upbeat, bullish and occasionally defensive about the PlayBook and other products RIM unveiled here at the BlackBerry World developer's conference May 2. However, he did little to assuage financial analysts' ongoing concerns about RIM's hemorrhaging mobile market share.
Lazaridis, who presented for financial analysts for Capital Markets Day but will present a live keynote May 3, employed the PlayBook's HDMI output to show presentation slides. His point was to illustrate the 7-inch slate's viability as a presentation tool for corporate meetings.
While Lazaridis touted several other features of the PlayBook, including its tight integration with Adobe's Flash multimedia software and Web browsing, he also apologized for being tardy on delivering the tablet and acknowledged RIM could have done things differently.
"If you want an apology for being late on some of our products, I can give that to you, but it's not because we weren't working hard," he said. "It's because we wanted to bring the best possible product to market."
An apology was not what financial analysts came for. With the PlayBook launched two weeks ago, analysts were expecting a new smartphone lineup based on BlackBerry 7 OS and some guidance into RIM's transition to build so-called superphones based on the QNX operating system used in the PlayBook.
Instead, RIM unveiled the BlackBerry Bold 9900 and 9930 handsets, which are the phone maker's thinnest BlackBerry handsets ever and employ 2.8-inch touch screens with a QWERTY keyboard. The smartphones, which feature HPSA+ support, a 5-megapixel camera, video-chatting and near field communications, run the new BlackBerry 7 OS.
However, most BlackBerry World attendees viewed the hardware and upgrades as incremental rather than revolutionary.