RIM Finds Itself on the Right Road but Not at Its Destination, CEO Heins Says

By Michelle Maisto  |  Posted 2012-05-02 Print this article Print

To create the next platform, RIM purchased QNX€” a "micro-kernel" OS that hadn't been allowed to splinter, Android style, and was being used by 95 percent of all car brands and was in 60 percent of cars on the road. From there, RIM employees made tremendous personal sacrifices to develop the platform, trying to compress a process that normally takes years.

Now, RIM finds itself on what executives feel is the right road, but not yet at its destination.

What happens until it arrives?

"We have a lot of hard work still ahead of us," said Heins. "We still need to integrate it. We need a lot of test time€”we call this hip time€”and then the reports flow in."

As for BlackBerry 7, once BlackBerry 10 arrives later this year, a dedicated team of a "few hundred" employees in Raleigh, N.C., will continue to support BlackBerry 7 users "for a while."

The new OS, Heins said in answer to another question, will also have localization teams dealing with country-specific adaptations of devices and software. Another cool feature of BB10€”a detail left out of yesterday's presentation€”is that "it's very easy for the keyboard to detect what your native language is."

Regarding the potential licensing of BlackBerry 10 to hardware partners, such as Samsung, Heins said he couldn't yet comment on that. "First," he said, "I need to prove BlackBerry 10 to my team."

Heins said he didn't want to dwell on the problems that got RIM where it is. "We don't have an LTE [Long-Term Evolution] product yet. We probably innovated too much in our touch solutions €¦ But we are where we are."

He added that he "absolutely expects" RIM to regain its market share in the United States. "We are here to win," said Heins. "I'm not here to be just in the game."

Michelle Maisto has been covering the enterprise mobility space for a decade, beginning with Knowledge Management, Field Force Automation and eCRM, and most recently as the editor-in-chief of Mobile Enterprise magazine. She earned an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University, and in her spare time obsesses about food. Her first book, The Gastronomy of Marriage, if forthcoming from Random House in September 2009.

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