RIM CEO on What Went Wrong and the Future of BlackBerry
In an exclusive Q&A, CIO.com's Al Sacco chats with RIM CEO Thorsten Heins on the current state of BlackBerry and how it fell from grace, what the company is doing to ensure things in Waterloo don't get worse, and the product delay problems that have plagued RIM.
Mon, July 09, 2012
We will do everything necessary to be successful. And also, the carriers are supporting us, Al, because they see a duopoly. iPhone and iOS are proprietary and basically closed to them. And they see Android now as actually kind of monopolized by Samsung. So they want to serve choice, and we have to prove to them, that's our job with BlackBerry 10, that we offer that choice and we can offer the competitive element of the market that they're now seeking.
The general message of your recent editorial, and your message in your BlackBerry World keynote address in May, is that you understand BlackBerry stock holders', customers' and users' frustration, but that they should keep the faith and their patience will be rewarded. But how long do they have to wait for RIM to prove it is still in the game? Will BlackBerry 10 solve all of RIM's problems? Or are we looking at two or three more years before faith in RIM is restored?
Faith in RIM and the financial expression of that are two different things. I'm not happy with the situation at RIM either. Who can be happy and satisfied with where we are? What I am satisfied with is that I know we have a path to the future with BlackBerry 10, because I see it.
In January with the full touch device and the QWERTY coming, I think we will reinstall faith in RIM. That's what we're working on. This is what our objective is, and when I've talked to carriers about the delay of BlackBerry 10, the overwhelming feedback was, "First, thank you for letting us know in advance. Second, Q4 is mostly a prepaid quarter anyway, lot of noise coming, actually why don't we focus on a Q1  launch and make this a major launch in Q1?" I think we have a lot of support there.
I have faith in the future. My team is working relentlessly to create that future.
You're not worried about missing the 2012 holiday season?
I'm not happy about this, but the point is, there's a lot of noise out there anyway. You have to ask yourself, is it good to launch within a lot of noise? How do you get above the noise then? Or do you launch outside of this noise and get much more attention?