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RIM looked at switching to Android before deciding on BlackBerry 10

Posted: , by Alan F.

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RIM looked at switching to Android before deciding on BlackBerry 10
RIM almost became another Android handset manufacturer according to RIM CEO Thorsten Heins. In the end, the company decided to take its chances with BlackBerry 10. The QNX based OS has been delayed and is expected to launch sometime early next year. Heins remains bullish on BlackBerry and points out that if you add sales of the all BlackBerry devices together, it would be as though RIM had a single device with 45 million in sales last year. That might be an overly optimistic way of looking at sales considering that RIM is laying off employees nearly in half from the 20,000 it once employed, and the company's stock has declined from a peak of over $140 5 years ago to $7.50.

"We took the conscious decision not to go Android. If you look at other suppliers’ ability to differentiate, there’s very little wiggle room. We looked at it seriously – but if you understand what the promise of BlackBerry is to its user base it’s all about getting stuff done. Games, media, we have to be good at it but we have to support those guys who are ahead of the game. Very little time to consume and enjoy content – if you stay true to that purpose you have to build on that basis. And if we want to serve that segment we can’t do it on a me-too approach."-Thorsten Heins, RIM CEO
Still, there are signs that BlackBerry is still a thriving company. It does have over 80 million subscribers and BBM remains as popular as ever. Heins does wonder about Windows Phone and why Microsoft's mobile OS gets all the credit that it does without proof that its is a success. Noting that RIM isn't as well off as Microsoft, RIM's CEO said that he has just one shot at BlackBerry 10 and that it can't be "an intermediate step." In other words, RIM had to go all out with BlackBerry 10 and Heins says that the results are going to surprise some people. One problem is all of those BlackBerry 7 OS devices that will be hard to sell with the new OS coming. One observer called RIM's task of selling its older models with the new line on the way "like launching fireworks underwater".

The executive, who has been testing a BlackBerry 10 powered model, says he has been using the new OS and his handset has yet to reset even once. With the New York Times pulling support for its BlackBerry App, Heins has quite a selling job to do to convince others that BlackBerry will be around. He calls the new OS a once in a decade change that will last the company another ten years. He also blames the media for concentrating on the negatives. Pointing to BlackBerry 7 models, he says that RIM isn't in a trough.

Admitting that RIM took a serious look at Android, Heins said that BlackBerry users have a different mission than those using Android. BlackBerry users get things done and don't have time to sit back to "consume and enjoy content". And if BlackBerry users do have different needs than Android users, deciding to go with BlackBerry 10 instead of Android could prove to be the best move that RIM's CEO has ever made. At least with BB10, RIM can rake in the money from licensing the OS, something that Heins admits that the company is looking at.
"You could think about us building a reference system, and then basically licensing that reference design, have others build the hardware around it – either it’s a BlackBerry or it’s something else being built on the BlackBerry platform. We’re investigating this and it’s way too early to get into any details. We have to also model this from a finance perspective – that’s why we’re working with the financial advisers to see if we do this where would it take the company. Either we do it ourselves or we do it with a partner. But we will not abandon the subscriber base.-Thorsten Heins
source: Telegraph via Phandroid

51 Comments
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posted on 03 Aug 2012, 14:29 14

1. rahulcena5565 (Posts: 57; Member since: 01 Nov 2010)


BerryDroid.

posted on 03 Aug 2012, 22:48 6

29. Wiki_jaan (Posts: 702; Member since: 24 Jun 2012)


or Droid berry

posted on 03 Aug 2012, 23:46 6

32. neutralguy (Posts: 1152; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)


Blackdroid >:)

posted on 04 Aug 2012, 04:24 1

38. dangchitrung (Posts: 57; Member since: 04 Apr 2012)


Banned-droid or Bandroid

posted on 04 Aug 2012, 05:45 5

40. SleepingOz (unregistered)


Spot the troll..

posted on 03 Aug 2012, 14:30 5

2. StreetNerd (Posts: 705; Member since: 08 Dec 2010)


they should go with WP8

posted on 03 Aug 2012, 17:27 5

21. buggerrer (Posts: 287; Member since: 21 Sep 2011)


thats a suicide by windows!

posted on 03 Aug 2012, 20:27 5

26. joey_sfb (Posts: 2898; Member since: 29 Mar 2012)


Where is WP8 when Blackberry was making the case study?

So only WP7.0/7.5 is available and then look at state of Nokia and that's with a quantitative cash infusion of 250 millons from microsoft.

WP8 may be great but i would't be buying one. M$ has a long history of bad blood. If my office give me one i will just use it but i don't see myself using my own money for it.

Hope BlackBerry survive well with their BlackBerry 10. The world need more choices not less.

posted on 03 Aug 2012, 14:36 8

3. CharlieAtInfinity (Posts: 253; Member since: 10 Apr 2012)


Well, if they do shift to Android they should be able to provide high end specification phone with a reasonable price-tag!! and not those QWERTY devices like bold.. which has hefty price-tag even with low - medium end configuration.. else Samsung, Sony, htc... etc will finish off RIM completely

posted on 03 Aug 2012, 14:36 9

4. Gaurav008 (Posts: 274; Member since: 20 Jul 2012)


even if bb os 10fails..RIM would probably get another short at switching platforms...unlike nokia which as far as i see is judt the last straw left for one of the greatest copmapnies and brands...

posted on 03 Aug 2012, 15:18 4

14. muhsen (Posts: 258; Member since: 07 Jun 2012)


hahahaha,r u mad bro?! if bb10 fails ,rim won't have any money to make devices of any os. their devices r piled up on shelves.and they r writting down checks to substitute those so their bb10 is their last chance. unlike nokia which is exceeding analysts expectations on cash flow so they have enough money and nokia lumia wp sales hit north of what analysts expected in q2 and still growing even after wp8 announcement (july is best month for nokia lumia in growth).
and even if wp8 fails(which is very unlikely considering its leaked consumer features and developer features, the windows (nt)8 kernal is enough to make it a success),nokia will have enough money to switch to other os and there r still 4 years for Symbian to expire. and they still own QT
sorry dude but u see the picture upside down.lol

posted on 04 Aug 2012, 03:17 2

34. steelicon (Posts: 309; Member since: 02 Apr 2011)


Cool story, bro.

posted on 04 Aug 2012, 05:48

41. SleepingOz (unregistered)


"hahahaha,r u mad bro?!"
Idk how you conclude that he was mad by reading his comment.
r u stupid bro?!
Ah, Nokia fanboys are always funny...

posted on 04 Aug 2012, 08:08 1

49. steelicon (Posts: 309; Member since: 02 Apr 2011)


I am a NOKIA fanboy but I don't share this poster's enthusiasm. In any case, I'm with RIM's CEO 100%. :-)

posted on 03 Aug 2012, 14:37 2

5. Gaurav008 (Posts: 274; Member since: 20 Jul 2012)


sorry for my typos...

posted on 03 Aug 2012, 14:38 7

6. remixfa (Posts: 13903; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


they need to just make their BES cooperate email security software 100% compatible with iOS, W7/8, and Android... and then licence it out. Then we can see phones with "with Berry inside" or "security: Berry strong" stickers.. lol. Business class security devices on every OS. That way they make money off of everyone instead of continually trying to reinvent themselves.

posted on 03 Aug 2012, 14:51 2

12. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5739; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


And RIM gets to avoid the black hole of hardware obsolescence. I hope they can pull off a miracle, cause a miracle is what they are going to need.

I was a little put off by the comment that BlackBerry users don't have time to consume content.... That sounds a little too much like the comments that came out of the mouths of his immediate predecessors.

posted on 04 Aug 2012, 07:08

44. MeoCao (unregistered)


He sounds as delusional as Elop. It's no way to hide the weakness of BB10 in apps support. The right approach is head down to work instead of saying such things.

posted on 03 Aug 2012, 23:08 2

30. cepcamba (Posts: 717; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)


I was thinking the same thing about the security Blackberry can offer. But I also thought about Androids and iOS having a lot of information-stealing apps. Let's say a consumer uses his BES email on his non-BB phone, then another app, that can access everything on your phone, steals your BES information (I know a lot of Android users are advanced, but I know of some people who just clicks yes on every prompt from their handsets). Then BB will be blamed, and even if they manage to prove that it wasn't their system that was compromised there will already be a negative-media. And since, as Hein's stated in the article, their target users are different from the target users of Androids and iOS manufacturers. So, I guess, they decided to improve on what they currently have to "maintain" userbase, not necessarily expand it. Right now they have less than 10% of the market (around 6-8%), but if they manage to keep it at that (or hit 10%) with majority of the users using at least one of their services then it's already a win for them. Win in the sense that they will again be profitable, not necessarily a major force in the smartphone world but a constant force that will never go down.

Speculations :p

posted on 04 Aug 2012, 07:20

46. MeoCao (unregistered)


This is software problem and there will always be solutions to it. The simpleast is not allowing information sharing with other apps without explicit user's instruction and keeping the log of all those transactions.

posted on 04 Aug 2012, 07:13 1

45. MeoCao (unregistered)


Agree, BBM is to RIM is what Office is to MS, they should strengthen it by increase the user base and not use it to save their OS.

posted on 03 Aug 2012, 14:40 3

7. Aeires (unregistered)


I hope BB10 rocks.

I think you nailed it with the part about BB users having a different mission than Android users. Android does appear to be moving in the enterprise realm, so might change as time goes by.

Would Samsung make BB phones? I can easily see BB running on the Defy Pro from Motorola as well, not that a keyboard phone is mandatory.

posted on 03 Aug 2012, 17:16 1

19. Pings (Posts: 301; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


Enterprise realm? It would be the same for Android, iOS, and whatever Windows Phone. It would be an app that would handle enterprise kind of stuff. To me it's a failure in marketing. RIM marketed their smart phones for the business class. Apple, Google, and Microsoft has marketed their smart phones for any class. The general public is going to associate RIM/"enterprise" as complicated even if it is or isn't. Because who they are marketing it towards. When Blackberries were still relevant people would choose other smart phones over them for this very reason. Everyone talks of how great their cluttered keyboards are. Really? Even back then why didn't they sell like crazy or stay relevant than? I think it's too little too late, and it's time for them to get out the way. Anyone can come up with a cluttered keyboard. I thank Blackberry for showing us the first steps, but how the heck you fall down a staircase when you only took two steps? So are we going to wait for their 3rd, while everyone else is half way up the staircase...

posted on 03 Aug 2012, 14:42 2

8. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4004; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)


I am insanely interested in seeing what a RIM made Android would look like. Or how popular it would be.

posted on 03 Aug 2012, 14:43 1

9. poojaroy (Posts: 52; Member since: 29 Apr 2012)


go with android os with side by side blacberry rim features would b gr8 combination.

posted on 03 Aug 2012, 14:47 1

10. cornerofthemoon (Posts: 505; Member since: 20 Apr 2010)


Will BB10 still be able to load Android apps? I haven't heard much talk about that lately.

posted on 03 Aug 2012, 23:35 1

31. axllebeer (Posts: 265; Member since: 05 Apr 2011)


Yes. I've seen videos of it.

posted on 03 Aug 2012, 14:48

11. Angkor (Posts: 108; Member since: 05 Jul 2012)


Apps are most important in this new world BBM is no match to Android or WP. I love my Galaxy S3 bye bye Berry.

posted on 04 Aug 2012, 16:27 1

51. pikapowerize (banned) (Posts: 1869; Member since: 03 May 2012)


i hope troll droid would just shut the f**k up!!!! you got no heart buddy? android is already dominating, but i dont care to that!! we need more cometetion to these segment!!! WHY... are you threaten that blackberry 10 might replace android as top spot OS?!! haha

BBM is still the best messaging there!! android dont have that!!!! hahaha lol!!! WHAT A TROLL!!

love your freaking s3 but nobody cares.. that phone is a CHEAP LOOKING device anyway.... design wise... its level should be around $100 only! while on blackberry, they make elegant phones!!

s3 looks cheap... even low end blackberry curve 9220/9230 looks more expensive than s3!!!

samsung WTF...

BLACKBERRY FTW!!!!

posted on 03 Aug 2012, 14:56 1

13. MorePhonesThanNeeded (Posts: 618; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


"Admitting that RIM took a serious look at Android, Heins said that BlackBerry users have a different mission than those using Android. BlackBerry users get things done and don't have time to sit back to "consume and enjoy content"."

What a load of crap, BBM begs to differ, the sheer amount of people doing anything but getting things done on BBM is ridiculous. BB users can't consume content because your bloody devices are ancient in design, can barely hold much of anything on it, can't surf the web well and just isn't the thing to use to do anything that people indulge in. To outright say such things shows that RIM hasn't learned a damn thing these years it's been flagging in sales and losing market share hand over fist.

There is clear evidence that people would prefer to be able to have secure email and such and be able to do a lot with their devices. Well with the CEO talking like this it's no wonder RIM devices are pretty much all the same thing boasting specs from 5 years ago. RIM would make money if it sold security suite to Android OEM wanting to go through the business space. But BB10 making a come back is not likely to happen as MS is going to make a big push and they have Nokia, iOS and Android are just commanding the market. Good luck RIM.

posted on 03 Aug 2012, 15:28 5

15. lado1991 (Posts: 1; Member since: 03 Aug 2012)


Have you ever had blackberry when you talk on ancient design or what they can hold :). I have BOLD 9900 and I am happy person to have such fast device, with incredible qwerty , very high quality touchscreen and good browser with best email experience in addition to BBM . And market is not only for touchscreen android phones with same design. BOLD 9900 is one of the most beautiful phone on the market and most solid design :) and when you talk on blackberry remember that still serious businessmen prefer blackberry than androidphones.

posted on 03 Aug 2012, 16:03 4

16. snowgator (Posts: 3209; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)


Man, it's nice to have a Blackberry fan post every once in a while.

I am still cheering for RIM. I think the mobile world is better off with the option of them in it. I must be in the vast minority, but I still think there is enough sales for both BB10 and WP 8 to be successful. They just both have to be good.

posted on 03 Aug 2012, 16:56 2

17. Aeires (unregistered)


Or have a dedicated core target audience.

I'm cheering for RIM as well, they still have way too much to offer the mobile world and would create a vacuum in the enterprise realm if they closed doors.

posted on 03 Aug 2012, 16:59

18. lubba (Posts: 1310; Member since: 17 Jan 2011)


Actually that business man prefers the iPhone. Just sayin.

posted on 03 Aug 2012, 17:25 3

20. wendygarett (unregistered)


BB os with google play :)
BTW you can play android app in playbook... Can't we?

posted on 03 Aug 2012, 22:06 2

28. pikapowerize (banned) (Posts: 1869; Member since: 03 May 2012)


but as far as i know... there is no real android icon on the playbook... i dont know how they will download the app...

but agree with you!! they should atleast partner with google... and just put the play store icon on the bb10 devices!!!

but i still prefer that they should continue updating the contents on app world!!! all people cares it the apps.. on a recent statistics!

blackberry devices will make you look professional and classy...

i wish they lower the price on their bb7 devices though... like hp did to their touchpad... its not selling well but when they put the price to $99... it was an overnight hit!!! and they cant even argue with the price! since webOS is still a decent platform!

posted on 04 Aug 2012, 00:45 1

33. wendygarett (unregistered)


Rim os has flash support... They play google app via flash instead of HTML5....

posted on 04 Aug 2012, 03:52 1

37. pikapowerize (banned) (Posts: 1869; Member since: 03 May 2012)


0h... so its not native apps?

posted on 04 Aug 2012, 05:16

39. wendygarett (unregistered)


IDK... I saw it on YouTube...

posted on 03 Aug 2012, 18:19

22. mas11 (Posts: 1028; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)


Worst decision they ever made lol

posted on 03 Aug 2012, 18:30 1

23. SonyFTW2020 (Posts: 305; Member since: 03 May 2012)


If they choose to come to android and want to make money, then they better come with some real competition....They are welcomed to android anyday all day in my perspective but if they want to profit off of it then they will need to make phones like the One X GS3 and other phones to keep up....

posted on 03 Aug 2012, 20:00 1

24. SonyFTW2020 (Posts: 305; Member since: 03 May 2012)


MAKE THE BLACKBERRY HURRICANE!! but with updated android specs

posted on 03 Aug 2012, 20:19

25. eman99 (Posts: 221; Member since: 03 Aug 2010)


this wouldve of been the best way to go, hopefully at the end they would go with android

posted on 03 Aug 2012, 21:56 1

27. pikapowerize (banned) (Posts: 1869; Member since: 03 May 2012)


oh no... dont go andriod... just let android apps run on blackberry 10 device!!! samsung is the only best player in android and RIM will have a big problem on that.. i remember that nokia also look on android but they saw that samsung is dominating and even the first manufacturer of android (HTC) is loosing! even sony and motorola make elegant, beautiful and tough phones.. they have a hard time catching up on samsung!

i just suggest... run android apps on blackberry 10 devices!!! all people want is the ecosystem on android!!! i did a survey for that!

blackberry without blackberry OS is not blackberry!

thats why i cant find the REAL nokia now! lumia is great but when im looking at it, and holding it, i feel like its not nokia! the REAL nokia is symbian and meego/maemo powered phones!

i wish BB10 the best!!! the world needs options!!!!

license it would be great... and if you could transform to be a full "software" company, i think is it a good choice! but license it cheaper than microsoft's windows phone!! if microsoft gets $50/device you could make $30/device!!! as long that it is cheaper!!! you can catch up RIM... i know you can!! just think about the future not your past!!!

a lot of people are looking forward on a BB10 device... i just wish the OS the best!! RIM you can do it!!!!

posted on 04 Aug 2012, 03:24 1

35. steelicon (Posts: 309; Member since: 02 Apr 2011)


RIM CEO, you really got big balls in holding on to your BB10. We salute you! Unlike the other CEO, who surrendered immediately and even joined the enemy in killing off the rest of what was left of the company. What irony!

posted on 04 Aug 2012, 03:51 2

36. pikapowerize (banned) (Posts: 1869; Member since: 03 May 2012)


RIM BlackBerry for the WIN!!! ex nokia people who did not give up on MeeGo, JOLLA MOBILE for the WIN!!! screw the new management of nokia!!! E(F)lop... what an asswhole!!!

i like windows phone especially the upcoming windows phone 8... but giving up on symbian and meego (some rumors said that they will soon kill S40!) is a really bad move!!

if they could just look on there prototype like nokia air, symbian with linux and Qt...and it is serve by the cloud... it will be a hit!!!! android will be left to dust!!! but iOS iPhone will still be there because of the apple legacy!!

i salute RIM CEO for sticking on BB10!!!! just legally run android apps on BB10 devices then the problem with apps are over.... but i still prefer blackberry app world though.. i hope devs of the likes of instagram, draw something, temple run, ninjump, and words with friends will be available to WP8 and BB10(but temple run has an atlernative on bb devices called tomb escape)

i dont feel sexy with android!! makes me go nuts!!!! while on blackberry, i feel so proffesional sexy and classy (same goes with iPhone) especially the look of blackberry 10 kinda look like meego harmattan on n9 wich is the most beautiful and elegant looking UI and OS ever made!!! and on windows phone i feel so unique and one of a kind!! (just saying)

posted on 04 Aug 2012, 13:54 1

50. snowgator (Posts: 3209; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)


Just a tad excitable, aintchya?? :-D

posted on 04 Aug 2012, 06:36 1

42. JunkCreek (Posts: 402; Member since: 13 Jul 2012)


BlackBerroid

posted on 04 Aug 2012, 07:08

43. Gaurav008 (Posts: 274; Member since: 20 Jul 2012)


See again...consider who is closer to bankrupcy...RIM...or nokia...then say...who is mad...it doesnt matter what analysts say...what matters is real time marketing of products..not what it might happen or might not happen....

posted on 04 Aug 2012, 07:24 1

47. jack1059 (Posts: 72; Member since: 31 Mar 2012)


Good article. I think he's on the right track. Best stick with your own in house OS, unless you absolutely can't maintain that strategy anymore. Switching OS's cost you the independance you need to differentiate yourself in a crowded smartphone marketplace. Nokia's failed OS strategy is proof. Down to single digit market share and selling off everything. Companies are moving towards in house hardware and OS ecosystems so give it up is a last resort only. Smart man. Hope for the best for bb.

posted on 04 Aug 2012, 08:04

48. steelicon (Posts: 309; Member since: 02 Apr 2011)


RIM did not deal with the devil. Good man. I hope they can pull through and succeed!

Go RIM! Go Blackberry! Go BB10! Go Qt! We are with you 100%! Bless your CEO and your company!

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