Mike Lazaridis, the Greek Canadian businessman who founded Research In Motion (RIM) and recently stepped down as the company's co-Chief Executive Officer, is putting his money where his mouth is. Lazaridis wholeheartedly believes big things are in store for RIM, and while it might be easy to dismiss his outwardly optimism as mere lip service, his investment of an additional $50 million in company shares speaks louder than words, though he had a few of those to spend as well.
The general consensus is that Research In Motion needs to do something drastic if it has any shot at all of restoring relevance and competing with Apple and Android. Swapping out co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis for a single leader in Thorsten Heins might be a step in the right direction, but his insistence on staying the course isn't sitting well with investors during his first day on the job.
Research In Motion (RIM) is no longer at two-headed beast after it's Board of Directors acted on the recommendation of its co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis to implement the succession plan they previously submitted to the Board, RIM said in a statement. The unanimous decision has been made to name Thorsten Heins as President and Chief Executive Officer, effectively immediately.
With the way things have been going lately, it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world for Research In Motion if a company swooped in and scooped up the BlackBerry handset maker, especially if said company was Samsung. There's only one problem with that specific scenario: Samsung isn't interested. Never has been and probably never will be.
We're seriously starting to question the intelligence level of tablet makers, or at least their ability to predict consumer reactions to price cuts. Exhibit A is Hewlett-Packard's $99 TouchPad fire sale. HP's goal was to clear out existing inventory, and it did, but not before owning the world's most popular tablet, and arguably the hottest tech item around. What did Research In Motion learn from this?
Google's Android platform is having little trouble holding onto its No. 1 spot in the U.S. in terms of the number of mobile subscribers. According to comScore's mobile subscriber market share report for the month of November 2011, there were 234 million Americas age 13 and older who used mobile devices for the three-month average period ending in November, many of which are turning to Android.
Research In Motion can't seem to get a grip on this whole tablet thing, figuratively or literally. Playing out like an episode of The Sopranos, thieves hijacked a truck carrying 22 pallets of BlackBerry PlayBooks from an Indiana truck stop while the driver was using the local facilities to shower and grab a bite to eat. It's estimated the truck was carrying 5,000 PlayBook devices worth around $1.7 million.
Poor Research in Motion. Even when they do good, they do bad. Case in point: Indonesia. RIM launched the Blackberry Bold 9790 there on November 25th, and over 5,000 interested Indonesians showed up to buy it. Good, right? Not quite. You see, RIM was offering the phone for 50 percent off to the first 1,000 customers, and those 5,000 people turned into a stampede as folks rushed to get the deal. Over ninety fainted, three were injured, the sale was canceled, and now, several RIM representatives – including RIM’s Indonesian CEO – are now being charged with criminal negligence.
Before you go and drop a couple of Benjamins on a Kindle Fire from Amazon or $250 on a Nook Tablet from Barnes & Noble, there's something you should know. Research In Motion is slashing the price of its BlackBerry PlayBook to $199 at Best Buy, Staples, and a bunch of other popular retailers, putting it in direct competition with the two aforementioned tablets.
Research In Motion wants to make it clear that it intends to keep supporting and developing Adobe Flash for its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, even though Adobe itself is abandoning Flash on the mobile Web in order to "aggressively contribute to HTML5." Dan Dodge, President and CEO of RIM's QNX operations, announced RIM's continued commitment to Flash in a blog post.