RIM CEO Thorsten Heins says RIM Can Be Successful
In a fast-paced and engaging conversation with RIM CEO Thorsten Heins, the seemingly unflappable (a stark contrast from his predecessor) Heins said his company is “looking at all options. That does not mean we are preferring one over the other.”
What exactly does “considering all strategic options for the company” mean?
Describe RIM’s situation is a single word
What are you transitioning from and to?
Heins explained that the whole industry is transitioning from “a world of mobile communication, a world of social networking, a world of wireless” to a “a new domain of mobile computing.” the capabilities on most mobile platforms is now, thanks to dual core processors, high-resolution screens and powerful graphics, comparable to what you’ll find in most desktops and laptops. The only difference, explained Heins, “is that we run off a little battery instead of a plug.”
With BlackBerry 10, it’s not just about the smartphone and tablet market, “we want to be a driver in the mobile computing space,” said Heins.
Does this mean RIM is ready to build laptops?
Are you thinking about a sale or merger?
“I go back to what I said. We’re looking at all options. That does not mean we are preferring one over the other.”
Heins explained that the team running the strategic option investigation is “a small team in the company.” The rest of RIM is “rallying around BlackBerry 10. The company is running behind BlackBerry 10 and not behind any strategic option that is open.”
Would you ever consider combining BlackBerry hardware with Windows Phone software?
Are you really selling the company jet?
What other cuts are you making?
Why did you wait until after BlackBerry World to announce the BlackBerry 10 delay?
Are you still thinking about licensing BlackBerry 10?
What makes BlackBerry 10 Better than iOS and Android?
Do BlackBerry Enterprise Server and BlackBerry Internet Server have a future with BlackBerry 10?
How do you save/hold onto developing/emerging world markets?
Do you consider the PlayBook a success?
“I consider the PlayBook a success insofar as it has taught us to build toward BlackBerry platform. [It was] an important step to prove the platform and then make the architecture for BlackBerry 10.”
Heins, though, admitted that the launch had not gone smoothly. “We had some lessons to learn for how to bring the product to market,” he said, calling it a “bumpy road.”
Ever the cheerleader, Heins told me there are “lots of people out there that love” the PlayBook. Developers are, by Heins’s measure, jumping on the platform, and he insisted that it’s a great gaming device. “The gaming community loves it.”
Heins also promised that the PlayBook will be ready for BlackBerry 10, and that apps that work on the tablet today will work on it with BlackBerry 10 next year.
“When I travel, I don’t take a laptop with me, I take the PlayBook. It helps me,” said Heins.
I truly believe we’re just at the bringing of this now.
Can RIM be saved?
“I believe that RIM can be successful; otherwise I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing.”
The interview was over, I had asked my last allotted question, but I threw in one more:
You have a degree in physics: What do you make of the Higgs boson discovery?
I could almost hear Heins smile.
“I’m pretty excited, I haven’t worked in atomic physics for a while [but] I’m very excited about it. It proves a whole model we all assumed for 20 or 15 years. We needed proof for what gives our universe mass and dimension.”
Sounding almost giddy, Heins repeated how the discovery is “very exciting” and then added, “Sometimes I take my old physics books and read through them and I love it.”
If Heins gets his way and RIM recaptures its former mobile market dominance, it’s unlikely he’ll be cracking open any of those physics books again any time soon.