RIM CEO Says BlackBerry 10 Will Make RIM a Smartphone Leader
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Research In Motion CEO Thorsten Heins defended his company and its future on the CBC Metro Morning radio program July 3, saying it is neither in a "death spiral" nor "at death's door," as host Matt Galloway suggested. Heins told the host that RIM remains in the middle of a transition and that he feels "positive" the company will successfully emerge from it.
Heins appears to be a man of considerable patience and fortitude--necessary qualities for his current, unenviable job requirements: saving RIM, revamping its tarnished image and getting the world to understand the magnitude of what the company is working on.
Over nearly 10 minutes of compelling airtime, Heins worked at all three.
He told Galloway:
We're building a whole new mobile computing platform and that is a huge program that we are going through with the company. We're doing in probably 18 to 20 months what others have used 24 to 36 months for. So, the whole company is focused around it, and while we do this, we are still very focused on selling BlackBerry 7 ... So this whole company is going through an orientation of new focuses--around corporate customers, around consumers, around a whole new software platform, and that is quite a challenge to the company.
While RIM has worked to compress its calendar, it nonetheless has been forced to delay the launch of the BlackBerry 10 platform from the fourth quarter of 2012 to the first quarter of next year. During the company's June 28 earnings call, Heins announced the delay, a quarterly loss of more than $500 million and that the company, as expected, will be letting 5,000 employees go.
When Galloway asked why the delay, Heins responded that he, too, was disappointed, but given all that is riding on BlackBerry 10, it must be "of the highest quality," with no compromises.
Could we have rushed it out? Probably, yes. But the point is, it's a new platform for the next 10 years. We want it to be stable, we want it to be reliable, we want it to be of the highest quality. And in the light of this, I think a delay of two months is disappointing, and all the teams are disappointed, but they will continue working hard, get it out in the first quarter, and get it right.
Galloway was quick to point out that that delays have become a RIM hallmark and here he made for some excitingly uncomfortable conversation, telling Heins that in six months' time, when BlackBerry 10 is ready to come out, RIM may not even be around.