Linked by David Adams on Thu 16th Jun 2011 23:50 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless RIM's first quarter results are in and things don't look good. . . RIM said it shipped 13.2 million BlackBerrys and 500,000 PlayBooks. Keep in mind that number is shipped, not sold. That means many of those products could be in the channel or sitting on store shelves somewhere. The company also announced a "headcount reduction" to keep costs in line.
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Despite all that...
by mfaudzinr on Fri 17th Jun 2011 00:23 UTC
mfaudzinr
Member since:
2008-02-13

I still want a Blackberry Playbook once it is available in Malaysia. By the time I purchase it most probably (I do hope) it would have had several iterations of updates to its underlying software. Of all the tablets out there, I find the Playbook to be the most interesting. And when RIM ships its smartphone updated with QNX I'd buy that too. Unfortunately RIM's product releases had been glacier. Playbook was rushed, others delayed.

Reply Score: 3

Little hope
by Not2Sure on Fri 17th Jun 2011 05:35 UTC
Not2Sure
Member since:
2009-12-07

RIM shares deserves the beating they are going to take. It is unfortunate however that the layoffs will hurt RIM employees and not management where some dubious decision-making needs to be held to account.

Instead of cranking out new models of phones with improved user interfaces and competing for the market share Nokia is ceding, they are delaying previously announced product launches by six months according to some insider rumors. Newsflash, once people leave for cheap Android sets they aren't coming back.

I really hope those *ahem* 500,000 tablets were worth all these people losing their jobs.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Little hope
by shotsman on Fri 17th Jun 2011 07:20 UTC in reply to "Little hope"
shotsman Member since:
2005-07-22

Decent Android phones are not exactly cheap.
Cheap ones are exactly that, cheap and you certainly get what you pay for.

Here in the UK we pay well over the odds for 'stuff' but expecting us to pay £500 for an HTC Desire S is just silly. This is inc tax and unlocked.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Little hope
by fretinator on Fri 17th Jun 2011 13:43 UTC in reply to "RE: Little hope"
fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

Decent Android phones are not exactly cheap. Cheap ones are exactly that, cheap and you certainly get what you pay for.

I disagree. I paid $149 for my LG Optimus V on Virgin Mobile. I love this phone. It does everything the big boys do except Flash, but neither does the iPhone! It plays Angry Birds absolutely smoothly. I use it all day long. Combined with the $25/month unlimited data and text plan (no contract), I'm very pleased. You guys can go ahead and get your contract phones. By the time your contract runs out, you may have paid a $1000 for the phone. It's not worth it.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Little hope
by Not2Sure on Fri 17th Jun 2011 20:52 UTC in reply to "RE: Little hope"
Not2Sure Member since:
2009-12-07

You are overpaying by a large premium for your "quality" handset.

And if you read my comment, I said RIM was losing the opportunity to gain the market share Nokia was ceding. I hate to tell you this, but Nokia never competed against "quality" high-end handsets.

We are talking about mid to low-end smartphones that are very attractive in developing markets which Nokia and to some extent RIM has dominated.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by frderi
by frderi on Fri 17th Jun 2011 06:15 UTC
frderi
Member since:
2011-06-17

RIM had its day in the tech market. Their once innovative products are now old hat and their lastest answer to that issue seems to be to bring out a lesser "me-too" version of another innovative product. The writing has been on the wall ever since the iPhone came out, although a lot of people still had their heads in the sand back then.

Safest bet is that RIM will be gobbled up by another industry player after failing to make sense in the market for an unspecified amount of time.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by frderi
by WorknMan on Fri 17th Jun 2011 21:03 UTC in reply to "Comment by frderi"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

RIM had its day in the tech market. Their once innovative products are now old hat and their lastest answer to that issue seems to be to bring out a lesser "me-too" version of another innovative product. The writing has been on the wall ever since the iPhone came out, although a lot of people still had their heads in the sand back then.


Yup, RIM is getting spanked in the smartphone arena and as for the Playbook, well... I knew it was dead before it ever hit the streets.

Unless they're able to pull a rabbit out of their hat, I'm afraid RIM's days are numbered.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by frderi
by Not2Sure on Fri 17th Jun 2011 21:27 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by frderi"
Not2Sure Member since:
2009-12-07

This is what is known as "Whiggish" history in which the past is viewed and explained only as an inexorable march to the present.

The future of RIM was not sealed with the introduction of Apple's iPhone. If that were the case, Android would never have secured any market share. The failure of RIM imho is attributable directly to their failure to market/differentiate their products in the consumer space and to revamp their hardware to excite developers.

Nobody went home on their own time to write a hobby/toy app for a Blackberry. The same was not true of iPhone. RIM still does not have a shipping smartphone with a digital compass, front-facing camera or a decent processor that can handle significant processing (except for the ill-fated Storm2).

I don't think they have no future. In fact they have a pretty decent opportunity here in the US. Blackberry sells effectively to two markets right now, enterprises and teenagers.

If they can exploit that limited brand loyalty and create (and ship!) a product that will excite those teenage consumers as they get more disposable income in the next few years they can remain competitive. I think they have lost the battle in the enterprise, tbh. The only thing they have going for them in sales to corporate America is inertia.

Have to remember that RIM is quite different from Android manufacturers and Apple in that they derive revenue from their own network. Carriers pay them a "tax" for traffic and that is a pretty profitable business model so long as they can put out handsets ppl want to buy.

Just my $0.02

Edited 2011-06-17 21:35 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by frderi
by frderi on Sat 18th Jun 2011 14:52 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by frderi"
frderi Member since:
2011-06-17

The future of RIM was not sealed with the introduction of Apple's iPhone. If that were the case, Android would never have secured any market share.

Not exactly. An Android powered machine is a completely different beast than a BlackBerry. BlackBerry, like the bulk of smartphones before it, are device centric. It is basically a phone with some added services and features. Android is platform-centric, just like iPhone, which was the game-changer for the industry. They are basically application platforms which happen to be sold as phones. But really they're way more than that and can be made into anything imaginable that needs a mobile computing platform.

Its a bit similar to what happened in the eighties, with the Macintosh being the game changer on which the modern graphical Wintel PC was modelled. Once the Macintosh was out, there was no point in creating another Amiga or Commodore. Sure these devices did reasonably well in the market for some time after the Mac was released, but their writing was on the wall as well. They were the old way of doing things, just like Blackberries and Nokias were the old way of doing things in the smartphone market, and the reason why they are beginning to fail in the market like their old personal computer counterparts in the eighties and nineties.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Comment by frderi
by Not2Sure on Mon 20th Jun 2011 09:24 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by frderi"
Not2Sure Member since:
2009-12-07

What a couple paragraphs of bullshit that is.

The API available to application developers on Blackberry is pretty much the same (apart from no native) to that on Android. The only thing I've ever missed in writing applications across the two platforms is voice recoginition which to be honest is probably the feature I've wasted the most time on which is probably also the least used.

If you care to provide a link to some API in the Android SDK that you think is missing or has no counterpart in the Blackberry API let me know. I'll take a look.

Otherwise your bullshit punditspeak has no room here.

Edited 2011-06-20 09:35 UTC

Reply Score: 1

PlayBook still promising
by evert on Fri 17th Jun 2011 08:05 UTC
evert
Member since:
2005-07-06

The PlayBook is still on my "might wanna have" list. Sure, its software is not mature, but there still is promise: QNX, integrated GPS, ability to run Android apps, cool hardware...

They should open-source QNX to attract more developers and focus on the hardware.

Reply Score: 2

Mexicali100
Member since:
2009-10-15

I can't imagine how different things would be in the Smartphone landscape if RIMM had merged with Palm. WebOS is a fantastic OS and Palm brings alot to the table in mobile productivity. If just 20% of Blackberry users upgraded to WebOS powered Blackberries, the WebOS platform would have taken off via word of mouth. HP is a great company with plenty of marketing muscle, but I don't think they will be successful in putting WebOS in the hands of users. RIP WebOS, and RIP RIMM

Reply Score: 1

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

I somehow doubt that they'd be more successful merging Blackberry OS with WebOS than they currently are in merging QNX.

Reply Score: 2

Small complaint - duplicate stories
by Yamin on Fri 17th Jun 2011 14:28 UTC
Yamin
Member since:
2006-01-10

One of the reasons I like OSNews is that it doesn't get flooded by stories. It's rare to get duplicate stories. Most of the time links are combined into one big story. Or maybe I'm Canadian so this stands out more.

http://www.osnews.com/story/24860/RIM_Layoffs_500_000_PlayBooks_shi...

http://www.osnews.com/story/24857/RIM_Misses_on_Revenue_Announces_L...


EDITORS!!!

Reply Score: 2

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

I absolutely don't understand what you're talking about. What is that dead link which you provide supposed to point to ? ;)

In other words - Fixed.

Edited 2011-06-17 14:34 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Yamin Member since:
2006-01-10

My beady Canadian eyes deceived me.

Apologies ;)

Reply Score: 2

Typical Corporate Reaction
by Pro-Competition on Fri 17th Jun 2011 17:47 UTC
Pro-Competition
Member since:
2007-08-20

FTA:

RIM’s first quarter results are in and things don’t look good.

According to the company’s results, net income for the quarter was $695 million, or $1.33 per share diluted, compared with net income of $934 million, or $1.78 per share diluted, in the prior quarter and net income of $769 million, or $1.38 per share diluted, in the same quarter last year.


This is what I will never understand:

Your company makes $695,000,000 profit in one quarter, which is somehow translated as "things don’t look good", so the first thing you do is fire a bunch of workers.

Brilliant.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Typical Corporate Reaction
by cmchittom on Sat 18th Jun 2011 15:21 UTC in reply to "Typical Corporate Reaction"
cmchittom Member since:
2011-03-18

Because businesses don't just plan for the next quarter. Making $695,000,000 profit is bad news if you were expecting to make $900,000,000; you have to think about what resources and how many employees you will need five years from now, and decide whether you can actually, y'know, afford it.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Typical Corporate Reaction
by vodoomoth on Sat 18th Jun 2011 17:27 UTC in reply to "RE: Typical Corporate Reaction"
vodoomoth Member since:
2010-03-30

Because businesses don't just plan for the next quarter.

Hmm, no. Companies don't plan farther than the next quarter, no matter what they want people to believe. See my reply to the parent comment to yours, an see more in (or Google for) "The innovator's dilemma".

Companies with publicly available shares and results have investors (a.k.a bosses) that they work for. They make decisions the sensible layman deems senseless because the layman doesn't share the company's business mindset: companies make decisions based on what is best for them now, which translates in plain English into "what is best for their [fickle and wobbly] shareholder base". I don't believe anything past the trimester horizon matters to the companies we hear about a lot.

Otherwise, Sony would have left the OtherOS option on the PS3 and Microsoft software would run on Linux (and all software would be multi-platform by now). After all, who can tell whether Sony wouldn't have become a giant in affordable grid computing? who knew that the desktop Linux year would have never been and that MS Office not targeting the myriad of Linux distributions would not end up being a terrible decision? I mean, it would have been easy for MS to cover all the bases, right?

Reply Score: 3

RE: Typical Corporate Reaction
by vodoomoth on Sat 18th Jun 2011 16:41 UTC in reply to "Typical Corporate Reaction"
vodoomoth Member since:
2010-03-30

I can give you an "element of explanation" so to speak, because a few weeks ago, I posted a comment very similar to yours.

I've been reading "The innovator's solution" (by Christensen and Raynor) for a few weeks now: the scary thing about businesses, especially the ones that are quoted on stock markets, is that results *must* always exceed expectations, no matter how good those expectations were in the first place. Being on the forecast trajectory of growth is kind of lame, barely acceptable, in investors' eyes. That's exactly why Apple has been "punished" (i.e. its share price lost a few percentage points) after announcing the first sales numbers for their tablet last year. They sold millions of units, a feat many a business wish they had accomplished, and yet "the market", you know, that eerie entity, was not satisfied.

Anyway, that book is an excellent book I recommend to anyone in search of an introduction to the relations between innovation, growth, profit and market, amongst other concepts. As I wrote in that weeks-old comment, the book has been a real mind-opener to me, worth more than its price even before I had reached page 20.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Typical Corporate Reaction
by phoenix on Mon 20th Jun 2011 14:30 UTC in reply to "Typical Corporate Reaction"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

The raw numbers no longer matter. What matters is the "rate of change" in the numbers. IOW, it doesn't matter if you make $1 billion in profit if that's a 10% decrease from last year, or only a 1% increase. Business accounting is hokey to say the least.

Reply Score: 2

No More RIM Jobs....
by Phloptical on Fri 17th Jun 2011 23:01 UTC
Phloptical
Member since:
2006-10-10

har har har Eh?

Reply Score: 2

Comment by maxhrk
by maxhrk on Sat 18th Jun 2011 02:53 UTC
maxhrk
Member since:
2005-07-24

In order to ship playbooks, you must sacrifice lambs (soon-to-be-unemployee) to the furious god.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Tedstriker
by Tedstriker on Sat 18th Jun 2011 05:17 UTC
Tedstriker
Member since:
2011-01-24

RIM makes awesome products. Their phones are great, different and better than iphones and android phones in many ways. The Playbook is also an awesome device, with a promising OS and quality hardware.
As a long time blackberry owner, I decided to try an android phone, and currently have a Motorola Atrix. While the Atrix is good, I wish I had a comparable blackberry....but alas, there are none!!! If I could have purchased a bold 9900 a month ago, BB would have kept my business. But their inability to meet deadlines and over hyping of their products have people losing faith. These are management issues. If you have 3 billion in cash...FIGURE OUT A WAY TO SPEED UP YOUR PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT!!! RIM is losing customers not because they don't want to use blackberries, but because the new blackberries don't exist!! RIM cannot deliver. I'd love for my next phone to be a BB, but unless RIM can get its Sh*&$ together, I might have to go for something else....maybe WP7..?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Tedstriker
by JonathanBThompson on Sat 18th Jun 2011 16:02 UTC in reply to "Comment by Tedstriker"
JonathanBThompson Member since:
2006-05-26

FYI: I don't own any Blackberry hardware (based on observation, quite effective for butt-dialing, as I've been called several times that way), never have, and possibly never will, just to get that out of the way.

However, even having $3 billion cash can't change certain things about product development:

1. Where do you get people that are qualified to do the technical stuff?

2. How long does it take to get the people that are qualified to do the technical stuff?

3. Same thing goes for management droids as #1 and #2.

4. What if you're already at capacity for building space, where do you put more people, and how long does that take to make happen?

5. How long does it take people to meld into a cohesive, working team?

6. How do you cut down the communication/management overhead of trying to parallelize such development? Perhaps not all is easily parallelized. Ideally, it would be, but... there's that qualifier. It's too easy to get caught in constant meetings and not enough coding/testing.

A practical problem that occurs when you try to add headcount is that to do that, first you must suck off the resources of the group that's already doing that sort of work: in other words, before you ever add to the team, first you're effectively sapping their productivity. This all presumes that they even get meaningful applicants that stand a chance of being competent.

Next, let's assume they've finally got that squirrel: now what? It takes a certain amount of time and energy to get the sufficiently trained in at least the "tribal knowledge" that tends to exist in any such environment, and familiar with the project they're working on. All the while, all the new employees are a complete unknown for their abilities/style/etc. because, realistically, no interview process can tell you everything useful to know about a candidate.

If they're not also hiring new managers to deal with the influx of people (this is the assumption that "multiplying the number of workers cuts development time by a similar 1/n ratio where n is the multiplier of total old+new workers compared to previous workers") then that's likely not going to work well, either. However, they also need to ramp up, and hopefully, considering the environment, they're able to take the place of any of their underlings if required, otherwise, it's the blind leading the... we won't go there.

All of this happening presumes a recognition and agreement by upper management that this needs to happen to start with, including agreement that the money needs to be spent, getting the money approved, etc. all of which tends to take time. It's completely unpredictable how long it'll take to find the people that are competent, available, and accept any offers to become employees, and then have them get up to speed. Maybe they'll find them very quickly, but then again, maybe some that interviewed well are duds in practice. Maybe they'll spend many months (or longer) looking for people, but they won't be available: location is very important when it comes to finding a workforce. Could they outsource? Well, sure... but that has its own issues, too. For getting things done quickly, if they could first figure out how to coordinate all the moving parts, that may be the fastest, cheapest route (when you consider the whole package) by going to an existing firm that does whole projects for product R&D, because they already have a management team and structure in place, and the people are known quantities and are already there. Of course, that's all assuming they're not already busy on other projects ;)

So, with all that, throwing money at things doesn't guarantee that they'll get done any faster: if that were the case, surely Microsoft wouldn't have been so far behind the schedule in getting Vista out, right? (Actually, admittedly, there's a lot more involved... that could take a whole book).

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Tedstriker
by vodoomoth on Sat 18th Jun 2011 17:37 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Tedstriker"
vodoomoth Member since:
2010-03-30

+1.

Funny post. Loved this: "3. Same thing goes for management droids as #1 and #2."

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Tedstriker
by Tedstriker on Sat 18th Jun 2011 19:41 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Tedstriker"
Tedstriker Member since:
2011-01-24

I agree, those are certainly challenges that money alone cannot overcome. Never the less, they are RIMs challenges, and if they aren't overcome, then they'll be history. A lot of people identified these problems last year, but they seem to have gotten worse, not better. RIM makes awesome products, but clearly need to gain back some credibility by delivering what they are advertising. Maybe less drone like middle managers would help....?

Reply Score: 1

They had a chance
by joshv on Mon 20th Jun 2011 18:28 UTC
joshv
Member since:
2006-03-18

They could have jumped on the Android bandwagon two years ago, added some special hardware to support their enterprise feature set, and been selling RIMDroids like hotcakes by now, but they were too wedded to their own platform.

Reply Score: 2