Print 25 comment(s) - last by sprockkets.. on May 29 at 4:32 PM

RIM's workforce has shrunk by over a quarter in the past three years

Waterloo, Ontario based Research in Motion, Ltd. (TSE:RIM) used to be the darling of the smartphone industry.  For a time "BlackBerry" was almost synonymous with "smartphone", but today RIM has fallen on hard times.  It can hardly convince customers to buy its smartphones, let alone its flopped tablet, despite the price being slashed from $500 USD to around $200 USD.

Desparate times call for desparate measures, and a report in top Canadian newspaper Globe and Mail indicated this week that RIM would be axing 2,000 jobs worldwide, from its roughly 16,500 workers.  That 12 percent reduction in workforce is a sign of just how dire things are for the phonemaker, who is facing the prospect of a sale or bankruptcy.

An anonymous executive told The Globe and Mail, "They’ve been axing people on the sly for months.  Lots of guys are being packaged out right now." an executive is quoted as saying."

At its pinnacle around 2009, RIM employed over 20,000.  With the latest cuts, RIM's global workforce will have shrunk by almost 28 percent.

The layoffs are expected to begin June 1, a day before RIM announces its latest fiscal quarterly results -- which some fear will be another loss.  Some employees are expected to be pressured to take early retirements and buyout incentives, others will be directly laid off.

The cuts could save RIM $1B USD, but that could be a short term solution, given that the company lost $125M USD (an eighth of a billion) in Q1 2012, and many expect those losses to accelerate as sales shrink.

Some fear the cuts won't be enough to save RIM. [Image Source: Jason Mick/DailyTech LLC]

Worldwide the BlackBerry accounts for only 7 percent of smartphone shipments, according to market research firm IDC Group.  And in the U.S. RIM's market share is at about 4 percent -- indicating that a mere one in every-twenty-five devices sold is a BlackBerry.

New CEO Thorsten Heins compares recent layoffs and executive departures to throwing out pieces of a puzzle -- pieces he says you "don't need".  He comments, "[Reviews] kind of allowed me to get a clearer view of what fits, and what doesn’t fit.  Think of it like a jigsaw puzzle. I kind of figured out a few pieces that I don’t need in my puzzle to be successful."

Analysts widely believe RIM's only hope at survivial is its upcoming BlackBerry 10 operating system, but many are pessimistic regarding whether BB10 will be enough to save the sinking devicemaker.

Source: The Globe and Mail

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RE: The customer is always right.
By TakinYourPoints on 5/26/2012 4:48:20 PM , Rating: -1
More detail:

The latest version of Android 4.x does include full device encryption for data protection and Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) for buffer overflow protection; however the fragmentation of the handset market means that Android 2.x is still the most widely deployed and provided on the majority of new handsets. Another side effect of this market fragmentation is that there is no central means of providing operating system updates. Security patches are provided to customers by individual carriers or handset manufacturers. There is an unacceptable delay in this process, meaning that many consumers remain unprotected from critical vulnerabilities for a prolonged period.

Android is currently the preferred platform by cybercriminals. With clever social engineering, they convince a victim to install a “useful” application. The user willingly gives permission, and bingo— the device is compromised. Premium SMS fraud Trojans are a costly reminder of unfriendly apps, but what is worse is the data exfiltration function of some of the digital nightmares malware can copy SMS, intercept calls, remotely activate the microphone, or conduct other sinister tasks.

Attackers are using Android app stores as distribution mechanisms; they promote their apps through online marketing activities, which include sending out spam messages. This is facilitated through the lack of up-front validation of apps after they are submitted to app stores and before they are made available for download. It is compounded by the third-party app store functionality inherent in the Android app model. This open ecosystem is abused by the bad guys, and this will not stop until app store providers themselves establish strict reputation checking. Advising the user to only download from a trusted source does help to mitigate some of the risk, but this also has a downside. Users tend to see the official Android Market, now called Google Play, as a trusted source, yet multiple examples of malicious code are regularly found being distributed through this official channel.

Conclusion for deployment:

IT managers should definitely consider adding Android to their set of flexible policies but should probably limit its use to the least sensitive mobile roles.

iOS is the only good alternative to BlackBerry at the moment, and current enterprise adoption/migration (at least among companies where security rally matters) is proof of it. Android is far too risky to deploy in its current state.

RE: The customer is always right.
By TakinYourPoints on 5/27/12, Rating: 0
RE: The customer is always right.
By sprockkets on 5/27/2012 10:45:34 PM , Rating: 2
LOL, two well sourced and unbiased posts get downvoted, the fanboy circlejerk here is hilarious

You could have just summarized your posts into like 3 sentences. In case you haven't noticed, posting long worded "swash" posts is heavily frowned upon here. You also are quite deluded if you think those sources are "unbiased".

RE: The customer is always right.
By TakinYourPoints on 5/29/2012 12:01:29 AM , Rating: 2
Most of it was cut & paste, but I'll keep that in mind.

Otherwise, how are independent studies that lay out pros and cons that everyone knows about, statistics from Google themselves, and knowing the differences between Android versions biased?

Maybe you don't like what it has to say, but it is far from biased or dishonest.

RE: The customer is always right.
By sprockkets on 5/29/2012 11:41:01 AM , Rating: 2
Well I'll give you points for that, cause you aren't like those other idiots like macdevdude. I also try not to be such a douche either.

I like android and know it isn't suited as well for the enterprise. And as backstabbing as apple has been for businesses, it still will get adopted better than android for most purposes.

By TakinYourPoints on 5/29/2012 2:57:04 PM , Rating: 2
Macdevdude is out of his mind, same as a few other commenters. That said, insanity runs high on both sides of the fence, its pretty weird.

"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson

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