I doubt Research In Motion really knew what hit them back when the iPhone launched. I doubt they really knew what hit them when Android steamrolled the smartphone market. And, today, I still doubt they really know what the heck they are supposed to do to turn their sinking ship around. Update:
RIM contacted us with a statement on the matter - they state everything in the BGR article is wrong. Read on for the full statement.
Update: RIM's full statement:
RIM made a strategic decision to launch BlackBerry 10 devices with a new, LTE-based dual core chip set architecture. As explained on our earnings call, the broad engineering impact of this decision and certain other factors significantly influenced the anticipated timing for the BlackBerry 10 devices. The anonymous claim suggesting otherwise is inaccurate and uninformed. As RIM has previously explained, and as Mike Lazaridis reiterated on the earnings call, we will not launch BlackBerry 10 devices until we know they are ready and we believe this new chip set architecture is required to deliver the world class user experience that our customers will expect. Any suggestion to the contrary is simply false. We appreciate the interest in our future platform and we will continue to work hard to deliver that platform as soon as possible. At the same time, we also remain very excited with the success of our recently launched BlackBerry 7 smartphones and we believe these products offer a very compelling choice for both new customers and the almost 75 million BlackBerry users around the world.
Back when Research In Motion bought QNX, I thought they were finally getting their act together. QNX has been designed from the ground up to run on constrained hardware far less powerful than smartphones and tablets, and is incredibly resilient. Its highly modular nature should make it easy to tailor-make the operating system to various devices. To put it simply, I was looking forward to what RIM would to with this piece of wonder.
Imagine my surprise, then, when they released the PlayBook - a beta product without even an email client. A rush job, without even the one feature that defines the BlackBerry brand. Various updates have since made the product better, but that initial label still sticks to the device. And - still no email client.
The company continues to stumble. Recently, it unveiled the name 'BBX' for its next-generation smartphone operating system based on QNX (basically unifying the smartphone and tablet worlds). However, RIM failed to obtain the rights to the name, and despite marketing already under way, was forced to change the name to BlackBerry 10. This is not something that happens to a company in a winning mood.
And then another blow: smartphones running BlackBerry 10 were postponed to late 2012, supposedly because the company is waiting on a line of processors to be ready. As much as the company claims this is about hardware, a "company source" has told BGR that it's not the hardware RIM is waiting for, but the software.
Our source has communicated to us in no uncertain terms that the PlayBook 2.0 OS developers have been testing is a crystal clear window into the current state of BlackBerry 10 on smartphones. No email, no BlackBerry Messenger - it's almost identical. "Email and PIM [is better] on an 8700 than it is on BlackBerry 10," our contact said while talking to us about RIM's failure to make the company's new OS work with the network infrastructure RIM is known for.
The source further added that RIM is betting the company on a platform that won't even be as good as iOS 1.0 - which is pretty shocking, considering we'll be almost six years down the line when these new smartphones are supposed to hit the market. If this report is true - and salt is readily available - RIM is in an even deeper hole than previously thought.