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RIM's sale makes a breakup highly likely as sales are dead in the water

Since 2010, we've been writing about the slowly unfolding train wreck that is BlackBerry, Ltd. (TSE:BB), aka. the phonemaker formally known as "RIM".

I. Ground, Sweet Escape Lie in Sight for the RIMdenberg

The roots of the RIMdenberg disaster (or BlackBerry burnout?) lay in a pair of incompetent managers who were skilled at delivering communications clients, but were unable to deliver when the smartphone was called upon to do more.

In many ways, the BlackBerry story resembles that of Palm -- a pioneering firm that experienced wild success only to crash and burn hard as the market it fostered matured.
The RIMdenburg made its final descent after holding on for so long.
[Image Source: Jason Mick/DailyTech LLC]

BlackBerry smartphones launched in 2000 with the BlackBerry 957.  At the time, BlackBerry was the primary peddler of push email -- a service that delivered messages to customers far faster than the polling email (POP) clients that dominated rival devices at the time.

RIM saw strong success with its Pearl smartphones, which launched to the consumer market in 2006 and the Curve family that launched in 2007.  Both families featured basic cameras and media capabilities -- pretty much all that you could ask for in a smartphone at the time.

II. Palm Travelled This Road as Well

When Apple, Inc. (AAPL) launched the iPhone in 2007, it was just a curiosity.  Nokia Oyj.'s (HEX:NOK1V) Symbian was the top platform in smartphone sales volume at the time, but BlackBerries were widely regarded as the smartphone of choice for business and creative leaders.

Palm meanwhile was seeing similar success, albeit never scoring as lucrative business deals as RIM's massive contracts.  Some of Palm's biggest earnings came not from its own devices, but from inventing and licensing technologies that defined the products of others:
  • Graffiti handwriting recognition software (licensed by Apple for use on the Newton tablet/PDA)

    Apple Newton: The Simpsons
    Palm software defined Apple's Newton. [Image Source: 20th Century Fox]
  • PalmPilot Desktop/Palm Desktop synchronization software for Hewlett-Packard Comp. (HPQ) and other pocket-PC makers' PDAs.
In 2000, despite going through a mess of owners, Palm's initial public offering saw frenzied buying that valued it at $54B USD.  But the 2000s were cruel to Palm, which declined in influence even as BlackBerry's market cap waxed.

III. webOS -- Palm's Rendition of BB10

To be fair, Palm appeared to recognize its fate far sooner than BlackBerry.  In 2009 it went through a last ditch push to reinvent itself in the modern smartphone market, releasing webOS.  At the time Palm was viewed as a serious competitor to Apple and the new kid on the block -- Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Android.

Palm's webOS shown flashes up brilliance, but Palm and RIM has a fatal flaw in common -- they both suffered from a sluggish pace of product development.  Palm's product wasn't bad -- but the Palm 2 and Pixi were more minor revisions than a necessary upgrade.

The BB Storm brings back not-so-fond memories for me. [Image Source: BB]

RIM made a few half-hearted attempts at a full-touch device, but the results were appallingly bad (trust me I owned one -- or shall I say three, given that two were warrantied out due to hardware failures before my third Storm decided to kick the bucket leading me to buy an HTC Corp. (TPE:2498) Evo 4G instead).

HP Kills Palm
A fire sale to HP failed to save Palm. [Image Source: GigaOm]

Palm's John Rubenstein failed to develop a clear vision for the company, which plodded close to bankruptcy until it was bailed out in a $1.2B USD fire sale to HP in 2010.  For a brief instant it looked like the experiment might succeed -- in Feb. 2011 HP prodded its new unit to pick up the product pace and two smartphones, plus a tablet were announced.  But amid weak sales, HP lost its confidence in its fixer-upper and simply yanked it off the market

IV. RIM "Hits the Brakes"

Meanwhile, RIM's momentum in the smartphone market was gradually slowing.  After hitting $83B USD in market capitalization in June 2008, RIM shares began to retreat, as investors perhaps sensed the company was stalling as an innovative force.  Worse still, RIM's co-CEOs seemed somewhat oblivious to this development. In 2009 Mike Lazardis told a Fortune reporter in an interview, "Sometimes we have to put the brakes on.  We've shown that we can handle annual 100% growth. I'm not sure we could handle more than that."

Indeed sales continued to climb through 2010, even if share prices didn't follow in suit.  But by 2011, the foot began to drop on the brakes and the RIMdenberg teetered from upon its lofty heights.  RIM had promised something big -- a brand new OS dubbed "BlackBerry 10" by holiday 2011.  That date slipped.  A few months later, co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie were shown the door, but that did little to halt RIM's burning descent.

BlackBerries in the trash
Droves of clients are dumping BlackBerries. [Image Source: LihPao]

RIM's new CEO, Thorsten Heins wasn't much better than his predecessors at pushing out BB10.  It ultimately took him another five more quarters before BB10 finally rolled out in the U.S. March 2013.

V. RIM -- a Final Girl in the Face of the BlackBerry Sales Bloodbath

When BB10 finally arrived, it felt eerily familiar to me.  It was like listening to the plaintive webOS swan song all over again.  Like webOS, BB10 was much overdo and had elements of brilliance, but lacked the firepower needed to change the minds of consumers who had long ago relegated BlackBerry to the scrap heap.

Still, much like with Palm, RIM (now BlackBerry Ltd. (TSE:BB) seemed to linger on quietly in its final days.  Much like a horror movie where you spent hour seeing everyone die, but the final girl survive, you almost thought that RIM might get away.

In 2012 I tried to explain the reality of RIM's decline, writing:

With RIM I'm not by any means trying to "troll" the company, and I constantly point out that it is still profitable. That said sales are dropping (U.S. and overall global), the brass posted a gloomy 2012 outlook, and BB 10 is late.

I'm glad to see there's some good notes and to hear a bit more about why the Torch 2 is worthwhile.

But ultimately I'm reminded of the Palm situation -- one where some customers swear by the product and point to its merits, while the majority dismiss it.

To be fair, BB proved far more capable of convincing tops shareholders foolishly not sell than I had expected.  

RIM Sign
RIM held on for longer than many of us expected [Image Source: BGR]
In mid-2012 I wrote:

Regardless, if there's one thing that's clear it's that a sale of RIM is likely coming soon.  It seems unlikely that RIM will survive to see its ever-slipping operating system arrive.  

Investors will surely be eager to salvage what little they can from the company.  The company does have some decent assets -- namely its large intellectual property portfolio, its recognizable business brand, and its superb physical keyboard mastery.

Ultimate BB held on.  But after a confidence devastating $1B USD loss and abysmal sales in the last quarter investors finally successfully pressured BB to throw in the towel.  

I'll admit -- I was a bit shocked.  After seeing BB survive for so long, like that final girl, it was a real shock to see it sold at last.  It was both utterly surprising and utterly predictable all at the same time.

VI. Cautionary Tales for Those Who Follow

Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. (TSE:FFH) has received a tentative agreement to buy BB for $4.7B USD.  And that may be all she wrote for BlackBerry.  In an interview with The Financial Times Fairfax CEO Prem Watsa cheers, "Rest assured when we do this it won’t be done to split the company.  I mean one of the reasons I went on the board, and I said it publicly, was to keep the company in Canada and to make sure it survives and exists in Canada. It is one of Canada’s most successful companies. Companies do fall on hard times and they come back again and we expect this company to do the same."

Prem Watsa
Prem Watsa claims he won't break up BB, but then he went on to say that he might -- hmm.
[Image Source: The National Post]

It wouldn't be surprising see this billionaire angel investor and BB malinger about for a bit longer.  But the reality is after losing hundreds of millions on BB Mr. Watsa may be looking to cash out via sales of BB's rich intellectual property portfolio and enterprise business units.  The article closes with the comment:

He said all possibilities are open including getting out of the hardware business and changing the CEO. He said he’s a fan of CEO Thorsten Heins and thinks he’s done a very good job, but said he was handed a tough job when he took over in early 2012. “We have to in this due diligence look at all of these things,” Watsa said.

Not if, but when the coffin is nailed shut on BlackBerry, it should be marked as a cautionary tale of how even the mightiest can fall if they let stop innovating.  Together RIM and BlackBerry were once worth $137B USD at their respective peak valuations.  Now Palm is gone and BB is worth $4B USD and fading fast.

Companies like Apple or Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) may be sitting on seeming invincible cash piles -- and to be fair their hordes are much larger than anything BlackBerry or Palm ever clutched -- but Palm and BB/RIM illustrate that in time even they could fall, should they fail to keep up with market trends.

Source: Fast Company

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By Samus on 9/28/2013 1:26:43 AM , Rating: 2
What HP did to Palm was a crime. The company was so confused at the time flipping through CEO's and a board that was arguably more dysfunctional than congress, it was really just a matter of bad timing that Palm was purchased when they were. Unlike Blackberry, Palm had a great product people might have wanted. Brand recognition (the fact that HP rebranded the devices and no longer called them Palm) caused marketing issues, and they were all ridiculously overpriced. The HP Touchpad hit the market at the same price as the iPad! Customer satisfaction of Palm devices was the highest in the smartphone industry until Windows Phone 8 took the crown in 2012 with the lowest return ratio.

While I like the comparison of WebOS to BBOS10, both OS's that heavily rely on gestures, the fact is WebOS is 5 years old and still more revolutionary than BBOS10 (or detestably, any other mobile OS today.) I don't think we'll have a better multitasking engine or efficient GUI until telepathic communication between human and smartphone is developed.

Where Palm was too ahead of its time (and the last of a breed of great smartphones with keyboards) Blackberry devices still feel dated today. Palm had substantially better developer support, especially in the homebrew community that exists today. Palm had wireless charging years before others made it mainstream, and it still weighs in as the best wireless charging implementation with the use of alignment magnets, efficiency, and quality of material (touchstone.)

The HP Veer was undeniably the best smartphone I ever owned. Nothing to date has had that amount of performance, battery life and functionality in a device that is literally the size of a Jumbo egg.

RE: Palm/=HP
By melgross on 9/28/2013 4:34:01 PM , Rating: 1
The crime Hp committed was in buying Palm in the first place. It was a crime because Palm misrepresented themselves in that sale. While Hp thought they were getting a finished system, as facts that came out later showed, the OS was far from complete, and needed as much as another year of development. There was no way Hp could have waited that long. Many senior developers had left before Hp finished the deal, so there wasn't that many people left who actually understood the OS.

The truth was that Palm was dead before Hp bought it. There was nothing Hp could have done.

While some people think that WebOS was so advanced, in reality it was screwed up internally, and as a result was functioning on steam. It was impossible to come out with a significant new version because the internals were a total mess.

In addition, it wasn't that wonderful a UI. The problem with it was that it wasn't very discoverable. How many people could be expected to know that you needed to swipe below the screen for some functions? Well, pretty much no one. The truth was that you needed a manual before you could't really use it. I would see people in the phone store pick it up, fool with it a few seconds, and then put it down. Not very encouraging.

And then, those ads! What were they thinking? They were trying so so hard to be ever so cool that they forgot the most basic rules of marketing. What they needed to do was to explain some of what the phone could do, the way Apple does. That way, they could have a feature that was difficult to find, or understand, understood before someone picked the phone up.

I'm tired of people blaming Hp for killing something that was deservedly dead before they had anything to do with it.

RE: Palm/=HP
By retrospooty on 9/29/2013 9:14:47 AM , Rating: 2
I think your whole assessment is way off. WebOS was simple and intuitive. It took 30 seconds to learn and love it. It was the best UI ever. HP buying Palm and dumping it after 1 year is like if the Washington Redskins drafted RG3 sat him on the bench for a year then dumped him off to another team. A Total waste. It just needed a bit of polish, less than Android did at the time, alot less. It needed apps too, but the OS was incredible. THe UI beat the stink off of Android, WP8, combined. BB10 was the closest, but still not there in 2013 where Palm was in 2009. IT has the overall functionality, but misses the intuitive simplistic fun factor. Palm WebOS was a pleasure to use and I miss it every single time I pick up a phone or tablet by any other maker.

RE: Palm/=HP
By melgross on 9/29/2013 9:17:55 PM , Rating: 1
Technical people always seem to make the same mistake of assuming that what they are willing to do to figure something out is what everyone else will do. That's simply not the case. I have people coming to me all the time to fiqure out something that they can't seem to understand. Often, it takes but a few seconds to get it, but they seem amazed at that fact.

So sure, you may have liked WebOS, and it just took you 30 seconds to figure out the basics, but that's not the way most people think. And it's most people that a company needs to buy their product, not us nerds.

RE: Palm/=HP
By retrospooty on 9/30/2013 8:21:29 AM , Rating: 2
I dont think you actually ever used WebOS, because it was easy as pie to deal with. Not just for me, but my wife who is non- technical and our daughter (5 years old when we had Pre's) had no issue either. 30 seconds. Done. Training over. Swipe up left, right. Trained.

Sure, the underlying core could have used a few years more work, like I said, it was farther along than Android and WP at the time... But it was a fantastic UI that is still unrivaled today.

RE: Palm/=HP
By Flunk on 9/30/2013 9:46:35 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think that anyone actually used WebOS. Their competition had hundreds of cutesy cartoon games like Bakery Story and Angry Birds. Like it or not that's what has sold the majority of people on Smartphones.

Sure email and internet access are great, but everyone has that. Not only that, the competition also has a 30 seconds and you'll love it interface. I'm not an Apple fan but you can't argue that iOS is difficult to use. Now Android has caught up in the ease of use department too. You can't really beat entrenched competition by moving slower than them. That's Blackberry, Palm and to a lesser extent Windows Phone's biggest problem.

RE: Palm/=HP
By retrospooty on 9/30/2013 10:36:19 AM , Rating: 2
No, not many people used it. It wasnt ever released as a whole package. This doesnt take away fromt he fact that hte UI is still unmatched 4 years later.

- The UI best evar!
- Apps - barely got up and running.
- Hardware. Typical Palm crap, high fail rates, rickety, cheap.

Not enough to make anyone wnat to buy it. The hope was that HP would pout some decent hardware with it and push app development. Instead HP sat on it, doing almost nothing for a year than dumped it. A total waste.

RE: Palm/=HP
By Samus on 9/29/2013 10:25:02 AM , Rating: 2

WebOS was complete and running on the Pre, Pre 2, Pre Plus, and Pixi over 2 years before HP acquired Palm.

WebOS was on version 2.1 before before the HP acquisition. HP developed 2.1.2 through 2.2.4 for phones, and 3.0.5 for the Touchpad.

From your post it is clear you don't fully understand the history of Palm and how they were capable of being a real competitor in the smartphone (maybe even tablet) space. But, they ran out of money and HP was there to pick them up for pennies on the dollar. When you look at acquisitions lately (RIM for 5 billion, Nokia for 7 billion, Motorola for 10 billion somehow!?) the purchase of Palm for a cool billion seems like a steal, and it really was.

It was enough of a steal for HP to just write it down as a loss after 9 months. It's really a move that hurt the consumer more than anything. We are left with a duopoly of two inferior operating systems. Palm had been around for 20 years, having invented gesture dictation/navigation (all the way back to graffiti) and the first PDA/smartphone. WebOS pulled off what nobody else has in the smartphone space; a product that is so simple it didn't even need an instruction manual. I show people all the time how they have tasks running in iOS and how hard it is to close them. All that technology is now lost; they didn't even give them a chance.

RE: Palm/=HP
By retrospooty on 9/29/2013 10:34:39 AM , Rating: 3
"WebOS pulled off what nobody else has in the smartphone space; a product that is so simple it didn't even need an instruction manual. "

Exactly... And they did it in 2009. 4 years later, no-one has even come close to matching it.

My Dream platform:
WebOS's UI/gestures and task switching.
Androids power and flexibility
IOS's apps and responsiveness.

RE: Palm/=HP
By melgross on 9/29/2013 9:10:44 PM , Rating: 1
RE: Palm/=HP
By retrospooty on 9/30/2013 8:27:28 AM , Rating: 2
Pasting an article that says it came from some unnamed Palm insiders means about zero. They could be bitter laid of employees that left early on, or fictional for that matter.

I agree with Samus... From your post it is clear you don't full understand the history of Palm or WebOS, its useage or usability.

RE: Palm/=HP
By Argon18 on 9/30/2013 11:49:41 AM , Rating: 2
HP is very guilty of that crime, buying out good tech companies and then promptly killing off the product line.

Remember the DEC Alpha chip? Fully 64 bit from its inception in the early 1990's, it was running at 500 Mhz when the very best from intel was the 32 bit Pentium Pro at only 200 Mhz. It was leagues ahead of anything else, the fastest chip in the world by a long shot.

Then HP bought Compaq and prompty killed it in favor of the Itanium. Facepalm.

RE: Palm/=HP
By retrospooty on 9/29/2013 9:08:24 AM , Rating: 2
" I don't think we'll have a better multitasking engine or efficient GUI until telepathic communication between human and smartphone is developed."

Yup. It was the best ever, and I miss it to this day. Palms main issue was hardware. The hardware was total crap. WebOS just needed some more polish, but people that were willing to buy it were turned off on the crap hardware. Palm has been putting out crap hardware with absolutely ridiculously high failure rates since the 1st Treo.

By Vonrikken on 9/29/2013 11:10:05 PM , Rating: 3
Unprofessionally written. Lots of spelling/grammatical errors and the author takes it upon himself to give himself props for whats he sees as the accurate comparrison of Blaclberry to Palm. Fire Jason Mick, he is trashing the credibility of this website.

RE: Fail
By Florinator on 9/30/2013 5:34:32 PM , Rating: 2
You're not doing a very good job spelling yourself, actually:

"what he sees"

RE: Fail
By Captain Awesome on 10/3/2013 8:56:50 AM , Rating: 1
You held onto your Blackberry stock didn't you?

Maybe a price reduction?
By abzillah on 9/28/2013 2:01:32 AM , Rating: 2
Blackberry should have just done a price war.
Lower their margin of profit and get customers back.
If the iphone cost under $200, blackberry could have reduced the cost of their phones to the carriers to ~400, and the money the carriers saved could have been passed on to that specific customer who bought the BB.
T-mobile is heading towards a direction that is better for the customer. If people are paying full price for their phone, but are charged lower monthly price for plans, then companies will have to compete on the price of their product. The price of the phone not being tied to the price of the plans is a great idea for all of us.

RE: Maybe a price reduction?
By melgross on 9/28/2013 5:01:35 PM , Rating: 2
So you think that a relatively small company, losing hundreds of millions a quarter, should sell their product substantially below costs and lose hundreds of millions a quarter more?

You know, if they had done that, they would needed to dip into that $3.1 billion in cash and investments before last quarter, which is now down to $2.6 billion.

Selling product below cost is never a good idea. Even if sales increased, so what? What would that have accomplished? All it would have done was to get people to expect their phones to sell for $200, which would clearly be unsustainable. And then what?

Besides, their problems couldn't be solved that way because in their most important market, North America, most phones are bought on contract. And once a phone is free on contract, being cheaper still, results in no benefit for the buyer. A free phone under contract is still a free phone.

And you may have noticed that carriers phone plan prices have nothing to do with the actual price of the phone. They're the same for everyone—even if you choose to not get a new phone after the two year contract is up. They pocket ALL of that profit. Even if you buy your phone directly, for full price, you still pay the same money for the plan.

Some kind of effort.
By random2 on 9/27/2013 11:56:12 PM , Rating: 2
>In 2009 it went through a last dish push to reinvent itself...

...last ditch effort...

By poisonkitchen on 9/28/2013 3:28:48 PM , Rating: 2
The original handwriting recognition software on the Newton was CalliGrapher which was developed by a Russian company called Paragraph, after the initial bad press, it was significantly upgraded with the Rosetta handwriting system that used both Apple and Paragraph technology.

Palm had ported Graffiti to the Newton but it was a 3rd party venture not licensed by Apple.

6 points?
By Azethoth on 9/27/2013 9:07:01 PM , Rating: 1
Are you even allowed to go up to VI Jason? I thought your contract limited you to just III ;-)

As a Canadian I am saddened by this failure to see and survive the market change. On the other hand, the iPhone was the first phone to easily transport my settings and other junk from the old phone to the new and backup to a computer without hassle. So yeah, thanks for playing RIM.

I am happily vendor locked until something else really compelling comes along. I have my eye on you Lumia with the awesome camera and intriguing winphone interface!

Interesting article, however...
By teng029 on 9/28/13, Rating: -1
RE: Interesting article, however...
By W00dmann on 9/28/13, Rating: -1
RE: Interesting article, however...
By Cheesew1z69 on 9/28/2013 8:17:39 PM , Rating: 5
And ironically enough, no one is forcing you to come to this site, or read his articles. If you don't like them, stfu and gtfo. Pretty simple.

By Bubbacub on 9/29/2013 8:39:48 AM , Rating: 2
to be fair its hard to know if an article is a mick original when you click in through anandtech.

RE: Interesting article, however...
By W00dmann on 9/29/2013 10:06:32 PM , Rating: 1
Hi Cheesew1z69, at least we now know for sure it's you, Mick, hiding behind a pseudonym, downrating others' responses while uprating your own. So obvious and so pathetic - right in keeping with your character. :D

RE: Interesting article, however...
By Cheesew1z69 on 9/30/2013 7:15:07 AM , Rating: 2
And you couldn't be anymore wrong, I am not Mick. Like I said, you don't like it, you can either leave or don't read. It's that simple.

By Janskicat on 10/3/2013 2:42:18 AM , Rating: 2
You all sound everything like a bunch of gear heads discussing Fords vs. Chevys! No minds changed here...

By troysavary on 9/28/13, Rating: -1
RE: Incompetent?
By Moriicon on 9/28/2013 8:04:07 AM , Rating: 2
Yes valid points, but incompetent people do screw up such a hugely successful company at the top of its game!

Calling it a mistake is an understatement, more like a series of fatal decisions for the company. Such a shame as having BB in the market as good for all consumers.

I honestly see a time where the iPhone goes through the same withdraw from the public, old saying "every dog has its day".

RE: Incompetent?
By ResStellarum on 9/28/2013 8:57:31 AM , Rating: 2
If businesses don't adapt and evolve they die, it's as simple as that. The record industry (MAFIAA), Microsoft, Nokia, Blackberry, and Palm are all examples of companies who stopped evolving. I won't say 'innovating', because Microsoft's basically turned that into a platitude at this point.

RE: Incompetent?
By melgross on 9/28/13, Rating: 0
RE: Incompetent?
By YearOfTheDingo on 9/28/2013 4:54:07 PM , Rating: 2
Even if they had recognized the danger posed by the iPhone, what could they have done? Market forces were against them. Convergence in the mobile space clearly favor the bigger players. Consider what Apple, Google, and Microsoft bring to the table. RIM simply did not have the resources to build a comparable eco-system. Even if by miracle they had BB10 out the door two years early, the outcome wouldn't be all that different.

RE: Incompetent?
By Samus on 9/29/2013 1:54:56 PM , Rating: 2
Even if they had recognized the danger posed by the iPhone, what could they have done?

Good point. Microsoft and RIM underestimated the iPhone and have paid for it dearly. Both now have 1% smartphone market share, and prior to the iPhone, had 10-30% smartphone market share in Windows Mobile 6.5 devices like the HTC Touch Pro and RIM had OS5 devices like the Blackberry Curve/Bold. Both sold exceptionally well prior to the iPhone.

Then the iPhone came out, and they did nothing for years. Now it's too late.

However, two players did NOT underestimate the iPhone.

Google, working on a camera operating system, decided to make a dialer app and radio back-end. HTC built a device around it that originally wasn't even going to have a touch screen (G1/Dream) and instead had a trackball for navigation. The touch screen was added at the last minute, and fortunately, the trackball wasn't axed from the bill of materials. Google knew early on (conspiracy theorists might say they stole the idea because, after all, Eric Schmidt was on the Apple board during the development of the iPhone, and Android was coincidentally released shortly after he stepped down. Google knew in order to compete with the iPhone, they would need to do it on price. ie; Free.

Palm had a different approach. Compete with the iPhone on features, not price. Jon Rubinstein, inventor of the iMac, iPod, iOS, and so on, is the true innovator and reason for Apple's success. Steve Jobs exploited his talent (with capitol to back up the ideas) much like he did for Woz in the 70's and 80's. Rubinstein was the brainchild behind NeXT, and even pushed Jobs to invest in what is now Pixar. Rubinstein is the visionary; a hybrid of Woz and Jobs skill set. So it's fitting he knew how to compete with the iPhone, and that was webOS. By the time he came to Palm the company was in such bad shape, and was making such low-quality hardware, there was less than 2 years of cash reserves. He didn't want to sell Palm to HP, but it wasn't his decision.

He was so bitter about the merger that he only signed a 24-month contract under HP. He left in exactly 24-months, and now works at Qualcomm where he will again help the advancement of technology to benefit the consumer. God knows what he'll do next.

RE: Incompetent?
By melgross on 9/29/2013 9:20:45 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, Hp only GAVE him a 24 month contract,and after moving him out of the way at Hp, he left, as was their intent when they moved him to a position where he had nothing to do.

RE: Incompetent?
By YearOfTheDingo on 9/30/2013 2:00:46 AM , Rating: 2
The iPhone didn't succeed just because people failed to notice it. Apple had a very strong position in mobile music. The iPod gave them a powerful mean to muscle into a new market. Google also has assets it could leverage: its search engine and web-based applications. On the other, there's much less synergy between mobile phone and Windows, Office, Xbox, and other Microsoft products. But at least they have these other sources of income to keep them in the game. RIM had none of that. It's basically a one-hit wonder.

"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton

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