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RIM also confirms that even top of the line BB7 devices won't get BB10

Waterloo, Ontario-based Research in Motion, ltd. (TSE:RIM) hoped to ignite interest in its upcoming BlackBerry 10 operating system, showing its hand remarkably early with a flashy developer preview event.  But the fact remains that BB10 is very tardy, with the launch being pushed back half a year due to hardware issues.

I. RIM's New Ad Campaign Avoids Showing Phones, Talking About Features

Still, the company is trying to put on a brave face.

In the wake of its somewhat humorous, somewhat odd "Wake up" protest of Apple, Inc. (AAPL) stores in Australia, the company its looking to expand that catch phrase into an entire advertising campaign.

The first stage rolled out as the "Wake Up" website was replaced with an elaborate scrolling text ad, which spouts a string buzz-phrases such as "There is no middle ground...You're either in business or you're not" and "You're either here to leave your mark and eat opportunity for breakfast, or you’re satisfied to just float through life like a cork in the stream."

RIM ad
RIM's new ad shows no product and does not discuss features.

RIM even takes one more opportunity to take a stab at Apple, parodying its slogan, stating, "You don't just think different… you do different."

The text infomercial concludes remarking, "There’s only one device for people who mean business… the brand that’s been in business from the very beginning.  Wake Up. Be Bold."

The good news is that at least the "do different" stab at Apple users may draw a chuckle or two at their expense and at least the ad seems focused on RIM's core audience of business users -- unlike its previous ad with cartoon superheroes which seemed geared at children.  

RIM Superheroes
[Image Source: RIM]
 
But like the childish "Be bold" cartoon superheroes campaign, the "Wake up" campaign offers no real inclination of why exactly people should buy a BlackBerry.

No phones are shown in either campaign.  No actual features are discussed.  There's just some sort of vague suggestion that BlackBerry use embodies your personality and is deeply invested in business.  It's hard to imagine that vague message selling any product, much less one that the consumer market is forsaking in droves.

Of course, if RIM wants to pour money on nonsensical ads, no one's stopping them, though the shareholders might be growing a bit concerned.

II. No BlackBerry 10 Updates, Even for Seemingly Compatible Phones

Part of the problem may be that RIM just doesn't have appealing products to sell right now; but at the same time it can't afford to totally quit consumer sales until BB10 finally arrives.

RIM is trying to sell consumers on a defunct operating system -- BlackBerry 7.  And last week it confirmed everyone's worst fears; nary a single BB7 device will be upgraded to BB10.

The company assuages, "We will keep a dedicated team of 200 for BB7 and continue to innovate in that space."

BlackBerry TorchBlackBerry Torch
Even RIM's top-of-the-line all touch BB7 smartphones like the BlackBerry Torch 9860 (pictured) won't be upgraded to BB10. [Image Source: RIM]

But the overall feeling is that RIM is just months away from abandoning its current lineup, at least in terms of serious improvements.  That choice is particular frustrating for devices like the all-touch Torch 9860.  It's somewhat baffling why RIM wouldn't support upgrades for this top-of-the-line BB7 device.  After all, the spec is remarkably similar to the alpha BB10 devices, other than the absence of an LTE modem.  But would it really be that hard to support a 3G version of BB10?

III. RIM Appoints Former LightSquared Castoff as Its CMO

In related news RIM announced that it handed out a couple of key RIM jobs, its CMO and COO spot.

The new chief operating officer will be Kristian Tear, a Columbia University (New York)  and Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden) grad.  Mr. Tear's career took him around the world in Sony Corp.'s (TYO:6758) global mobile device units.  He eventually obtained a position as CEO and President of L. M. Ericsson (OMX:ERIC B). 

The new chief marketing officer will be Frank Boulben, who had stints at Verizon Wireless co-owner Vodafone Group Plc. (LON:VOD) and France Telecom (EURO:FTE) subsidiary Orange plc.  But Mr. Boulben's most recent role might be a familiar one to our readers.

He was in charge of marketing during LightSquared's botched satellite LTE bid, which failed on the grounds of wild GPS interference due to negligent engineering, a failure compounded by swirling allegations of corruption.  Apparently that failure sent Mr. Boulben scurrying away... straight to RIM.

SkyTerra 1
Hopefully RIM's new CMO does a better job at the Canadian company that he did at his last job, helping lead the fatally flawed LightSquared satellite LTE bid. [Image Source: Boeing Comp.]
 

Well, for better or worse, he's the chap who's now in charge of marketing at RIM.  The choice may seem a bit troubling, but it's hard to imagine that it would be easy to recruit top grade executive talent when RIM is clinging to a much-delayed BB10 as its last hope to keep from sinking like the Titanic.

Note:

Mr. Boulben was originally erroneously referred to as RIM's new CFO.  He is actually the new CMO.  RIM defends his track record at LightSquared pointing out that he won 40 contracts in under a year, before LightSquared ran afoul of the FCC and USAF.

 

Sources: RIM [1], [2], NeoWin



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RE: Give me a break
By Reclaimer77 on 5/9/2012 1:32:42 AM , Rating: 2
Uhh you don't get it. There's demand for Android. There's NONE for RIM. RIM is in the position where it's do or die time. EVERYTHING they do from this moment on must be perfect and better than what Apple and Google is doing if they seriously expect to recover some of the massive ground they've given up.

Stop being a mindless RIM troll and actually think about the context here.


RE: Give me a break
By wlee15 on 5/9/2012 1:51:18 AM , Rating: 2
Sure there is RIM had $4.19 Billion dollars of revenue in it's last quarter.


RE: Give me a break
By retrospooty on 5/9/2012 6:35:47 PM , Rating: 2
What of it? Profit is negative $125 million... From RIM's earnings report. Next quarter will be worse, and the one after that even worse. All this in an industry that is absolutely booming.

" revenue of $4.2 billion, down 19 percent from the third quarter, and a net loss of $125 million. Total BlackBerry shipments for the quarter dipped 21 percent to 11.1 million units"


RE: Give me a break
By dark matter on 5/9/2012 2:25:32 AM , Rating: 4
May I ask, where did you learn to use capitals like that. I never would have thought that emphasizing like that would make you're opinion become facts. It's very impressive.

Now, you say "better" than Apple or Google. Myself, I would claim "different".

Let's use an analogy. Let's say restaurants, as I grow weary of car analogies, it becomes boring.

So let's assume Apple makes the best Apple pie in the land.

In your world, RIM has to bake an even better pie than Apple, a "perfect" pie in your world. But, dear esteemed one, perfection is highly subjective. You do know that. What may be perfect for you, say a big hot Apple pie with custard and nutmeg may make me want to vomit.

So you see, asking for "perfection" is impossible. A dream. So lets actually start looking at reality here.

Should RIM trying bake an Apple pie. Or should they focus on what made them great, selling "Ham Sandwiches". Sure, they may not be as appealing to the average joe as an Apple pie.

But, a balanced diet is important. And not everyone wants Apple Pie.

And there is the folly in the industry. Everyone seems to be trying to copy the secret recipe of Apple. Instead they should be focusing on the bread and butter of what made them great.

Leave the sweet stuff for the kids.

Do you like? I'm good aren't I. Now get ready you, it's time for school. This is your dad and I've told you no computers in the morning.


RE: Give me a break
By retrospooty on 5/9/2012 8:50:29 AM , Rating: 2
I didnt think anyone would take the baton from Pirks, but you definitely won the douchey post of the day award.

Anyhow as far as the issue, I think you are taking the word "perfect" too literally. RIM has to execute extremely well... And that isnt something they have done for the past 5-6 years. Buying QNX and putting that OS into their devices is a good thing. It's a good OS, but its already way too late. They acted on it too late and when they acted, they moved too slow. They have been in bed with QNX for over 2 years now and there is still no phone on the market. They prototypes that were sent out in the past few weeks to developers dont even have phone or wireless capabilities, so they may be a clue how far along they are with it. Either way it's a new OS, a new platform, a new direction for RIM and they are on their last legs. When is the last time RIM put all that "new" into one release and did it well? Never. Good luck RIM, your gonna need it.


RE: Give me a break
By Reclaimer77 on 5/9/2012 10:06:49 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
May I ask, where did you learn to use capitals like that. I never would have thought that emphasizing like that would make you're opinion become facts. It's very impressive.


Okay Captain Condescension. It's a habit I picked up from older forum systems that didn't have an italicize feature when I wanted to emphasize a word. Actually, I don't know why I do it. Moving on...

I don't recall ever saying that RIM has to make "Apple pie" to succeed. Being different is great. However you can be "different" without sitting on your hands for years and ignoring market trends. Which is what RIM did.

You keep saying do what made RIM great, but ummm, they weren't really all that great. They just innovated earlier which left them in a vacuum with virtually no competition. Once competition entered their market, they handled it very poorly. Actually they didn't even try to handle it, they did nothing.

quote:
Do you like? I'm good aren't I. Now get ready you, it's time for school. This is your dad and I've told you no computers in the morning.


lol okay dad whatever you say. Seriously this level of douche isn't helping, making this personal is silly.


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