RIM plans new device roadshow: Will it revive BlackBerry?

RIM plans new device roadshow: Will it revive BlackBerry?

Summary: RIM is planning to show off BlackBerry 10 devices to telecom execs and developers as it tries to stoke demand for a new smartphone lineup that will make or break the company.


Research in Motion CEO Thorsten Heins said the company is planning to take its new BlackBerry 10 smartphones on a roadshow to woo carriers, developers and ultimately consumers.

In two separate interviews with CNET News' Roger Cheng and ZDNet, Heins outlined RIM's product cadence, roughly six new devices and smartphones that look and feel better than previous efforts.

RIM has two devices that will launch almost in tandem---a touchscreen only device similar to a test device unveiled in May as well as QWERTY version similar to the Bold. Heins said the hardware is largely complete, but the software "needs polishing." The phones are roughly 80 percent to 90 percent complete.

Credit: Brian Bennett, CNET

Telecom execs as well as developers will start to see the devices in September. The response to RIM's roadshow will be critical to the company's future. In RIM's most recent quarter, the company delivered a net loss and said that BlackBerry 10 devices would slip to the beginning of 2013. 

Heins outlined a tag team BlackBerry approach for various markets. For instance, RIM will start with two high end devices---touch and QWERTY. The mid-tier market will also get a team of touch and QWERTY BlackBerries. And then RIM will court first time smartphone users and emerging markets.

"These BlackBerry devices will appeal to both corporate and consumer users," said Heins. When asked about RIM's product cadence going forward, Heins said RIM would target a release schedule "meaningful to carriers." "My gut says launches every 12 to 15 months," he said.

According to Heins, RIM's secret sauce for the new devices will revolve around using one device that can keep a user's personas---corporate and consumer---separated.

Topics: Mobility, BlackBerry, Smartphones

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  • RIM is very much alive.... just not in the US

    70 millon + users worldwide, as secure as ever, new devices and OS will just add to those who have already embraced the BB experience. RIM of course hopes that it will attract new customers and Heins is betting his job it will because share holders demand a better valuation. For my part OS6 and OS7 already delivers on what I need. Other than the further apart battery pulls, BB is my platform of choice. Secure, connected, efficient.... and It just works... Cheers.
  • Suddenly...

    the writer don't seems so RIM-negative with this article as before. I thought how can RIM be revived as far as Zdnet is concerned? But otherwise, I've always been quite certain RIM will turn around. My Nexus crashed on me today just when I needed to make an important call!
    Samuel Koh
    • RIM still has a chance

      RIM can turn around, but it wont become a mass market player like it was before. But it can survive in the enterprise I believe. its phones are fast and efficient, with great battery life and stability. They are just lacking in many of the useless features that most phones have. I've never personally owned a blackberry but they work fine for most people from what I have seen.
  • Is really alive...?

    Unfortunately for a company like RIM time is running out, despite having a loyal user base, many are migrating to systems such as iPhone and Android. Companies can not bet your success one and only one feature of a product (BBM), consider this, if a BB does not have the BBM, it's best smartphone to an iPhone or Android?, This has already happened in the past, soo enough to remember the war between Beta and VHS, Sony did not understand the message and the standard fell in the market. It is very surprising as RIM announces "new" models, such as the 9300 had no LED flash, then RIM introduces its "new" 9360 model that incorporates LED flash, please ... What new features includes real and not cosmetic functionality between OS7 and OS5?. Since many companies are left their executives the freedom to choose your phone not forced to use BB, if anyone believes that even a company with great courage I recommend you check the historical value of its shares (compare 2 years ago with the current value), BB has lost 10 times its market value, and that's a fatality. Want to be alive?, easy open BBM to other platforms like Android, iPhone and Windows, so if it would be well receive by the public, if BB continues in that position of self-sufficiency can end up worse (takeover), better make the right decisions now ...

    P.S.: I'm sorry for my english.
    • Good idea

      it would be a good idea for them to license BBM to other carriers and to enterprises. It could share its IP and become a enterprise and consumer services company, which it is currently in a position to do.
    • It is alive!

      Improvements from OS5 to OS7:
      3x faster browser
      Switchable menus
      OpenGL support
      Blackberry Balance technology
      kinetic scrolling
      Improved Music, photos, podcast apps
      A touch friendly UI
      Double processor speed

      Opening BBM to other platforms would be stupid because people wouldnt want to pay 10 pounds a month for it and even if they did it would just make people who still have blackberries switch.

      Before you talk about RIM being dead, why dont you really research what blackberry 10 is like before talking about how dumb their products are, all of the tech companies are run by smart people
      Jack Patterson
  • The thing RIM doesnt have....

    An ecosystem.....

    Devs hate it, and they arent giants in the same way Google, MS and Apple are.
    • Thats not true anymore

      With BB10 devs are getting the best ecosystem. No other platform lets you port your application in just under an hour. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkQvNAysbrk

      Without reworking their apps they now have access to a wider audience. Also RIM actually pays developers that port their apps to BB10.

      Devs L O V E RIM.
      • Awesome

        I really hope Cubiface is the first step in the revival at RIM. Under BB10, now's the ideal time for Android dev's to look at alternate revenue streams .. what with the recently announced Apple patent win over Samsung.

        The door's effectively ajar ... RIM has a golden opportunity to bounce back into the mobile game and be a big player again.
  • Hope it's not too late

    I have been a long time fan of Blackberry they were the first to do mobile email right and have always been the best and most secure at it. Although it has been a long time battle with upper management to explain why they need a lesser phone because it's blackberry. Sorry you cannot have the cool new phone and blackberry doesn't make anything like it. Finally other companies are making products to make the better phones like iPhone work well in a business environment so blackberry finally decides to get off their behinds and make a good competing phone. hopefully not too late for them. If they had a better feed back program and actually listened to IT people like me trying to tell them they needed to step up or they will lose all their customers they might've have realized this sooner and still have a strong share of the market but over the years I have come to feel that RIM simply didn't care what we thought and they were safe. I strongly feel they should have had a better feed back program and actually listened to the users of their products
    • Thats what BB10 is all about...

      Input from users, input from devs, input from enterprises (check Blackberry Mobile Fusion, they've actually opened up BES!)... boy are they listening...
  • Once again ... too little, too late.

    By early 2013, the holiday buying season will be over.

    1) The Surface and Windows 8/RT tablets will be out,
    2) Windows Phone 8 (probably with LTE) will be out, and
    3) probably, the iPhone 5 will be out,
    4) the Samsung Galaxy S III is already out, and
    5) the Nexus 7 is out.

    That does not leave much room for BlackBerry or the PlayBook - especially since buyers will not be in a buying mood.
    M Wagner
    • this is true

      they are going to miss the biggest buying season of the whole year. And you are right there will be alot of options to choose from, it doesnt leave much room for a new platform, which comes in just a little bit too late.
  • BlackBerry 10 and WP 8 are game changers

    No argument with your list as all those products will be in market already, except for your inclusion of the Nexus, which proves, newer isn"t neccessarily better. The over a year old Playbook still beats the pants off the Nexus hands down, no question, in almost every conceivable way. However the game changers will be the additional functionalities being brought by the two newest completely newly built platforms, BB10 and WP8. BB10 provides headroom for new levels of interest-app integration being possible. If devs begin to run with this new potential, look out!
  • Once again... still looking at just the phone

    BB10 is not just the phone, but a complete experience AND a proper ecosystem.

    I've seen the Nexus 7, its awful cant say it any other way. I believe if it weren't an Android device endorsed by Google not many would buy it.
    The Iphone 5, I'm not sure what will happen, it'd have to be superb in every way...
    Samsung Galaxy S III: gorgeous device, it looks great and I love it and, I think, so would Steve Jobs... but its not in an integrated and secure ecosystem as BB OS6. OS7 or upcomming BB10. It's borrowing from Google in terms of ecosystem and depending on it for applications, security and updates. Too bad Samsung isn't interested in buying out RIM...
    Windows 8... not feeling it nor are developers... and they're getting paid a lot to try http://news.cnet.com/8301-10805_3-57410427-75/microsoft-still-paying-developers-to-create-windows-phone-apps/

    PS: I'm not associated with RIM in any way. Just a fan and a enterprise BB/Playbook/BBM user.

    • Can BB10 be used on Playbook?

      Is BB10 specific to phone only or can it be used on the Playbook too?
      • BB10 is made for devices

        That includes Playbook, phones, cars, etc
        From what I've read, current Playbooks will upgrade to BB10 http://n4bb.com/playbook-receive-blackberry-10-os-upgrade-release-bb10-device/
  • What would tempt me back

    I used to love my BBs, sore thumbs and all. But what killed it was the cost of hosted BES (BIS was always second division) and the associated carrier fees. Now that world + dog can get hosted Exchange on any smartphone that supports ActiveSync, BB has lost out on that SME, self-employed and prosumer market.

    No I don't want middleware, non-native mail clients or BES Express. I'd just like a BB to sync my mail, calendar and contacts like iOS or Android, then I'd be happy to return to sore thumbs.
  • From Hubris to Humility to .... Narnia?

    Much of the opinion by the above commentators is fair. Nor can one criticise Thorsten Heins from his attempt to plug the hole in the dam with a little positive spin.
    But business is cruel and Heins inherited an organisation that had lost the ability to think on its feet. All the good work (we hope) going into BB10 cannot turn RIM around; they are still not an agile start up creating good vibes amongst the talking heads. This is a bloated RIM obliged to seek the "gastric band" treatment and; while they may lose body fat they are unlikely to add muscle.

    IF BB10 were to prove a scintillating experience, a truly eureka moment in communication development, then maybe they could survive (but probably not as RIM). However, since distribution to developers in May we have heard no cries of ecstasy and must assume that BB10 is merely an improved mousetrap, not the next great device.
    • +1 to unlockworldwide

      Honestly you couldn't have said it better!