RIM Begins Uphill Climb

After losing $125 million on $4.19 billion in revenue in the fourth quarter, BlackBerry has promised to dramatically transform the company, from the inside out. New CEO Thorsten Heins, with the help of Kobe Bryant and Paris Hilton's crisis management public relations rep, is driving that transformation. (See RIM Reports Q4, Loses Execs, RIM Scrambles to Launch Better LTE Devices and RIP RIM: Will Foresight Be 20/20?)

Two months in to the job, he has already spearheaded a number of executive departures, as well as promised big things for the next iteration of the BlackBerry operating system, the QNX-based BlackBerry 10. But, it's going to be far from an easy fight for RIM. (See RIM Open to Licensing BlackBerry 10 and OS Watch: How Will BB10 Save RIM? ) Here's a few more indications, outside of the many LR Mobile has already chronicled, from the past week alone that the uphill climb is just starting:

  • RIM confirmed Friday that Alan Brenner, an SVP on the BlackBerry platform, will leave after a transition period. Alistair Mitchell, VP for BlackBerry Messenger, RIM's once-popular instant messaging platform, has already left, the company told Reuters. The execs are following Chairman and one-time Co-CEO Jim Basillie, CTO of Software David Yach and COO of Global Operators Jim Rowan out the door. (See RIM Chairman Resigns After Bleak Q4.)

  • RIM is doing away with the ability to sideload apps to the PlayBook, a move its VP of Developer Relations Alec Saunders says is to avoid the "chaotic cesspool" that is Google Play, the Android market. Owners of the tablet will instead have to download and install software through BlackBerry App World. Saunders said in a string of tweets that the move was to prevent piracy and that there would be a solution for developers to test their apps, he was "pretty sure." Saunders also said RIM is making the move because some developers refused to work with RIM until sideloading support was removed. He has claimed in the past that BlackBerry App World was more profitable than Android Market. (See RIM Sprouts BlackBerry Apps.)

  • A RIM employee stabbed in the neck with a broken beer bottle while at a party promoting the BlackBerry brand has died, police confirmed on Friday. A murder investigation has been launched, and RIM UK expressed its condolences on its Twitter page over the weekend.

  • RIM's troubles have inspired a lot of takeover talk, but rumored acquirer Samsung Corp. isn't the one stepping forward with an offer. Instead, "self-proclaimed" Dr. Nono Pearson, who also claims to own the rights to "corporate hip-hop" has put forth a proposal to buy RIM's BlackBerry assets in an all-stock acquisition once his company, United Vision Marketing Firm, goes public. It's not a joke, the rap doctor assured shareholders, promising more details soon. (See RIM-Samsung Tie-Up Rumors Won't Die.)

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 5:36:57 PM
re: RIM Begins Uphill Climb

Or Amazon could be an interesting suitor. RIM could help its mobile ambitions.

gtchavan 12/5/2012 | 5:36:57 PM
re: RIM Begins Uphill Climb When all fails it is always Oracle to the rescue.
joset01 12/5/2012 | 5:36:56 PM
re: RIM Begins Uphill Climb

I would have said that Microsoft-RIM makes most sense but Redmond is so tied up with Nokia now...

sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 5:36:49 PM
re: RIM Begins Uphill Climb

RIM's VP clarified - er rather backtracked - on what he meant with the sideloading tweets. Developers can still sideload apps for testing, but with its next OS release, sideloaded apps will be encrypted so only that user who bought them can use them, he says.

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