BlackBerry 10 Is 'Fantastic,' RIM to Emerge 'Stronger,' Says Executive

RIM executive Peter Devenyi says morale is high and the company will emerge stronger than ever, despite delays in BlackBerry 10, massive job cuts and tough financial numbers.

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion has a message to deliver.

RIM has delayed the release of BlackBerry 10, its save-the-company product; is poised to let go of 5,000 employees, reducing its staff by nearly a third; has hired advisers who may suggest the company split into two, if not sell off an important component of its brand; and on June 28 announced quarterly losses of $518 million. Still, the Ontario-based company firmly believes it will successfully emerge from this €œtough transition,€ said Peter Devenyi, RIM€™s senior vice president of enterprise software.

Devenyi spoke with eWEEK July 5, answering questions but above all insisting that morale was high and the company€™s outlook bright. Days earlier, CEO Thorsten Heins did the same on a Canadian radio program.

€œThe level of commitment that exists within this company, to see us through, is strong and truly inspiring,€ Devenyi told eWEEK. €œAs we see and talk to the employees €¦ there's tremendous confidence that exists within RIM that we will succeed in getting through this transition.€

Devenyi added that if one has to go through such a transition, it€™s nice to do so with $2 billion in cash, no debt and as the No. 1 smartphone brand in €œmany countries€ around the world.

Given the delay of BlackBerry 10€”which Devenyi and Heins have been quick to point out is not simply a new smartphone or operating system upgrade, but an entirely new platform€”Heins has said that RIM is encouraging enterprise customers, many of whom are still using BlackBerry 5 and 6 devices, to upgrade to BlackBerry 7€”though these devices will not be upgradeable to BlackBerry 10. Is such advice not sending them down a dead-end path?

Devenyi said that the Bold 9900 and other BlackBerry 7 devices are €œfantastic devices.€

€œThe capabilities we bring with BlackBerry 7€”including BlackBerry Balance in the BYOD [bring-your-own-device] market, including the liquid graphics capabilities, the speed, the new browser€”it is a remarkable advance over some of the older BlackBerry devices. ... As [enterprise customers] see them and use them, it doesn't take much to get them to upgrade,€ Devenyi added.