In January 2012 when Thorsten Heins, RIM’s current CEO and President, was entrusted with the huge responsibility of bringing the company back on the right track, he accepted it gladly but it seems that he shortly realized that the whole process of strategic turnaround is not a cakewalk. As problems started cropping up everywhere, he soon got to know he’s stepped in mess. Right from unexpected poor financial performance to 9 year low stock slump; and from indisposed decision to lay-off 5000 employees to delaying up much-talked BB 10 smartphones – he’s in troubled waters.
To make things worse, RIM’s shareholders have started losing their patience and provoking this Canadian tech-giant to consider the best available takeover deal, but after facing chill winds of the rough phase, Heins has bounced off the wall claiming that next BB 10 smartphones will make up for everything. Heins knows that he is in a ‘do or die situation’ hence he and his whole team have submerged themselves in developing BB 10 devices in the best possible manner.
BlackBerry 10 Glimpse
When RIM unveiled the alpha version of BlackBerry 10 platform, we got an opportunity to have a glance at it to understand its potential. BB 10 platform features a brand new user interface and is extremely capable of captivating app developers’ attention. Toolkit for developers comprises of the BB 10 Native SDK that has Cascades, and an app development toolset which facilitates creating sophisticated apps without requiring writing code in C or Qt. This toolkit also ensures support for HTML5 and Adobe AIR.
It is obvious that in order to return back to the leading position, RIM will have to go one step ahead than its competitors. This is why, instead of just projecting the upcoming BB 10 devices, RIM is more focused on making a platform for mobile computing. Reportedly, QNX platform obtained by RIM is used in medical devices, automobiles like cars, trains etc., and strategically important components at locations like military vehicles, nuclear power stations, military vehicles, air traffic and NASA.
Vivek Bhardwaj, the Head of EMEA at RIM, said that they have explored all avenues to develop multiple toolkits which appear more developer friendly and bring ease to the whole app development process. At present, RIM is focused on developing strong relations with developers, and for that it is organizing tours all over the world. RIM acquired Torch Mobile to enhance touch screen technology of its devices. When asked about the segment BB 10 devices will be targeting, he diplomatically replied that it will be for those people who wish to become successful in whatever stuff they do.
Malik Saadi, Chief Analyst at Informa Telecoms, said that as far as software aspect is concerned, he finds it perfect, but he has qualms whether RIM will continue to create hardware or not. His qualms were based on the fact that despite of spending so much on hardware, investments have failed to yield satisfactory results. That’s why he feels that time has come to license the platform to those hardware manufacturers who can bring out the best from investments. Saadi further added that irrespective of RIM’s best preparations, there remain two worries. One is regarding the right time to launch the phones, and another is related to investors who are now running out of patience.
There is a very strong possibility that RIM’s investors might force company to pre-pone the launch of BB 10 devices, and if that situation comes, all eyes will be on him to see whether he sticks with his decision and continue waiting in the wings, or decides to change his mind to keep investors happy.
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