RIM Executive in Denial

The public flame out of a smartphone company is never easy to bare, but at least RIM CEO Thorsten Heins is trying to keep us entertained.

The BlackBerry making chief was quoted as saying “There’s nothing wrong with the company as it exists right now,” in a recent interview with Canadian Broadcasting Corp’s Metro Morning show.
Uh…ya.  Hilarious.
RIM’s stock value has dropped something like 70-75% in value since the beginning of 2012.  2012!!  Adding insult to injury, there have been departures from the executive wing, layoffs coming for some 5,000 employees, 6-day work weeks and restricted summer vacations for the remaining employees, and RIM’s golden egg, a new iPhone-like BlackBerry running the newly rewritten BlackBerry OS 10 won’t be ready until the first half of 2013.  (And well all know that when a tech company says ‘the first half of’ we can safely assume the very last of the first half.)  Research in Motion is the new Palm.  Anyone remember the Palm Pre and webOS 1.0 back in 2009?
Yup, that sounds like a company that’s headed in the right direction.
Look, I like BlackBerry hardware. I still have my Curve and Storm2.  They were good messaging devices and I get the whole “Crackberry” thing.  If RIM really wants to get some market share going, I say look to recent history to get  a new game plan.  HP’s Palm TouchPad shot up to the number 2 tablet in the US when they had a fire sale to draw down inventory.  The TouchPad, #2!!  People where lining up for HP’s ‘hot’ new little tablet and got the lines Palm always wanted for one of their devices.
RIM is reportedly sitting on a $1 billion dollars stockpile of Blackberry smartphones and Playbook tablets.  They should start selling them at a deep discount, without cellular service contracts from the BlackBerry website.  Who knows, it could work.  I’d like to have a BlackBerry Bold with BlackBerry OS 7 and a BlackBerry Playbook in my collection.  They would be fun toys to play with.  Maybe RIM can get a temporary boost in marketshare, and more importantly, mindshare, until they can get the new BlackBerry smartphone out.  If there is no 2-year contract that I’m bound to, there is no reason why I can’t march into an AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, or T-Mobile store and buy a new BlackBerry…assuming that the top four US carriers actually picks up the new device.
So, to recap:
1. RIM CEO Heins is drinking too much “BlackBerry” Kool-Aid
2. Make no mistake about it, RIM is in serious trouble
[Photo credit: David Manning/Reuters, via The Daily]

MobileMe Closed Down, iWork is Next

Yesterday marked an important milestone in Apple’s cloud strategy; the shuttering of MobileMe.  The iWork website is next on the chopping block and is currently scheduled to be shutdown on July 31.

iCloud, introduced last year along side iOS 5 is the replacement for MobileMe and iWork.  MobileMe used to be a $99/year subscription service for synchronizing all sorts of information between your Macs, PCs and iPhones.  Even though the MobileMe service is, for all intents and purposes, “closed,” subscribers can still login to the MobileMe.com website and migrate their data over to Apple’s new iCloud service.

iWork.com was launched in 2009 as a way for  iWork ’09 users to share their iWork documents with others.  Visitors to the iWork.com website are greeted a warning banner that the service is closing down at the end of the month.  iWork.com users were also notified via email that they will need to download their documents or risk losing them.

MobileMe has not been the shining star that Apple had hoped it would be.  In Walter Isaacson’s autobiography of the late Apple co-founder, Steve Jobs, it is recorded that Walt Mossberg’s headline regarding MobileMe was “Apple’s MobileMe Is Far TooFlawed to Be Reliable.”  Anyone who has followed Steve Jobs “second act” at Apple knows that a headline was not going to be allowed to stand. Mr. Isaacon also recounts Mr. Jobs f-bomb laced furry at the MobileMe team.

I was never a subscriber to MobileMe, as the $99 annual price tag seemed a bit steep for an email account, cloud storage, and personal data syncing, especially since Google offered similar services for free. (And I was a Palm Pre/webOS user at the time.)

MobileMe users can start their iCloud migration from MobileMe.com.