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back to article RIM is really in trouble when even Windows Phone 8 looks great

RIM has seen its once dominant market position in corporate mobile plummet from a great height in the last couple of years. The Canadian giant has suffered a huge fall in stock price and, more importantly, penetration - currently around eight per cent market share - with continual declines, quarter upon quarter. So there is a …

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You sure about that

Would you kindly post some evidence other than anecdotes.

I find it kind of hard to believes that CFO's would sign of a command for Very Expensive Iphones just because "the employees wanted them".

And what do you replace your BES with when you turn on all those Iphones?

Can you really lock down an Iphone as secure as a BB ? How ?

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Meh

Don't forget the Government

RIM makes the only device that is really considered secure by the US and Uk governments. There are guides to let you use iOS but they are provided under sufferance. Blackberry has the CESG and FIPS certs so will almost always have a place in governments. Unless it gets bought by the Chinese in which case it'll be dropped faster than an X-Factor winner's contract.

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WTF?

WTF ?

BB are increasing users world wide, especially in second world economies, BB 10 looks like it could be a game changer purely as it looks like nothing before and is designed from the bottom up for comunication.

Win P 8 is a dead duck unless enterprises decide its the one to use the same as Win 7 is now and XP was simply down to lower costs than changing to another OS.

Oh and RIM should be dropped from the language as they are calling themselves BB now and even their business cards don't mention RIM any more.....

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I smell bias

It appears RIM has a long way to go to turn around the oil tanker - just look how long it’s taken Nokia to get to the bottom of the curve - so let’s hope (for RIM's sake) that BB10 offers some inspiration for the world at large to remain with the BlackBerry brand.

The comparison is flawed: Nokia had two viable OSes which it burned in favour of Microsoft's promises; BlackBerry knew that BB OS needed replacing. By offering full-backwards compatibility BB 10 offers a bridge for customers who have considerable investments in the infrastructure. They still have to deliver but, while it was not commercially successful, the PlayBook was an excellent technology showcase. QNX should provide the underpinnings for a parsimonious but responsive OS, which along with BlackBerry's tradition for well designed and engineered hardware should provide some differentiation.

As others have pointed out, BlackBerry remains remarkably popular around the world, cf. the new Nigerian film "BlackBerry Babes".

WP8 on the other hand still looks like it is going nowhere fast on phones. If companies are prepared to change IT policies then they might as well go with Android or IOS, which managers already have than something Microsoft is vaguely promising to offer in future releases.

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Mushroom

Re: I smell bias

WP has quadrupled it's market share in the last year, whereas Blackberry has shrunk about the same.....

For companies, WP is also much more secure than IOS and Android and is easier to manage via Exchange and SCCM.

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Re: I smell bias

> WP has quadrupled it's market share in the last year

That may have been true if your fantasy prediction of Nokia selling 30million WP7 phones in 2012 had actually happened.

However, reality is different from what you have in your dreams:

"""For Q3 2011, Nielsen reported a US market share of 1.2% for WP7,[81] which rose to 1.3% in Q4 2011,[82] and to 1.7% in Q1 2012,[83] and then dropped back to 1.3% in Q2 2012.[84] Kantar released their report and found out that the US market share is at 3.3%. They also reported their key eight countries results that Wp is up from 3.5% to 4.8%.[85]

Worldwide, IDC pointed that Windows Phone had a 50% quarter-over-quarter decline in Q3 2012, thus having a total 2.0% global market share."""

Or perhaps you are still living in the past, like you were for the your claim that XBox division was making a profit, they did for a couple of quarters a couple of years ago.

WP7 may have quadrupled its market share in the first couple of quarters when first released, from nothing, but that was a couple of years ago.

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Mushroom

Re: I smell bias

That doesnt take into account the launch of WP8.....market share is NOW 4 times what it was at the same time last year....

http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/mobile/display/20121128205406_Microsoft_Sales_of_Windows_Phone_Based_Handsets_Quadruple_with_Windows_Phone_8.html

And before you start quoting Octobers numbers, you should read: http://www.forbes.com/sites/ewanspence/2012/12/03/its-not-octobers-market-share-that-counts-for-windows-phone-its-novembers/

And you might want to read what i actually said which was "The writer of the article cant count. Nokia already sold 4 Million Lumias last quarter. That's 16 million a year. So If they double sales over the next year, that means 8 million a quarter or 32 million a year." - which was referring to the authors inability to do basic maths - not a sales prediction.....

However allegedly Nokia ALREADY sold 7 million WP handsets this quarter, so it looks like they are now selling at circa 30 million a year...

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Re: I smell bias

> market share is NOW 4 times what it was at the same time last year....

You probably don't see why you are universally regarded as clueless. The article says:

"""the company claims that shipments of Windows Phone 8 smartphones in November ’12 were four times higher compared to sales of Windows Phone 7 phones in November ’11. """

It is about _shipments_ from the factory to the distributors. November 12 was the first month they shipped. There were probably almost no shipments in October having killed off WP7 and not yet got going with WP8. It may be that in October 11 they were shipping to meet the December sales and had fulfilled all the orders so not much shipped November 11.

It is _not_ about customer sales nor 'market share'. In fact in the article it highlights this with:

"""Actual sales of Windows Phone 8-based smartphones are still pretty low,"""

> However allegedly Nokia ALREADY sold 7 million WP handsets this quarter,

That figures appears to have come from Gartner, the group that claimed that WP7 would outsell iPhone by the end of 2012, and seems to be entirely based on multiplying Q4'11 sales by 4. The x4 figure being entirely about something else. This is the usual incompetent business puffery of paid consultants.

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Re: I smell bias

> "The writer of the article cant count. ...

What the writer said was:

"""As for phones, Nokia is being credited with having sold seven million Lumias, with four million in the last quarter and two million in two quarters before that. It's almost a year since the first Lumia appeared, so even if Nokia doubles its sales a year from now, that would still just be 14 million."""

Double 7 million is 14 million. How hard is that ?

It was entirely your speculation that they could sustain one quarter's high shipments and then double that.

In other words they had _already_ doubled in going from 2 million a quarter to 4million in one quarter (actually it was 3.7 I think), and _your_ prediction was they could double that _again_.

You are not a maths genius.

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Mushroom

Re: I smell bias

You need to learn to read. It says "Nokia is being credited with having sold seven million Lumias, with four million in the last quarter" and "if Nokia doubles its sales a year from now"

So current rate was 4 million a quarter - is ALREADY a rate of 16 million a year. If they doubled that then the current yearly rate would be 32 million. Not hard is it...

Or if you want to look at the historic yearly rate then If we assume linear sales growth we would have sales of 5 million, 6 million, 7million, 8 million per quarter to get to double sales then thats still a lot higher than 14 million....(26 million).

Or even if you are talking about double the cumuative sales at the time then the author says "four million in the last quarter and two million in two quarters before that." errm - so that would be 8 million doubled then to give 16 million then, not 14 million...

So not only were you wrong in stating that i claimed sales of 30 million, but you can't do basic maths either - like the author.

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Mushroom

Re: I smell bias

Well I'm so confident in Nokia's fuutre after getting a Lumia 920 that stuck a 5 figure sum into Nokia shares a few weeks ago at ~$3 share. If you think you are right then do go do the same for RIM......

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Re: I smell bias

> So current rate was 4 million a quarter - is ALREADY a rate of 16 million a year.

Which shows how little you know. Sales vary in each quarter for a variety of reasons. If the sales this year are 1,2,2,4 then next year the doubling could make them 2,4,4,8. These are rounded so the actuals may have been eg: 1.3,1.8,2.1,3.7 or so and total roughly 7 million.

The flaw in your argument is that 4m/Q = 16m/year. It isn't. For exactly the same reason that if they sold 1m snow shovels in December it won't mean that will sell 12m in a year.

> you can't do basic maths either - like the author.

2 x 7 still comes to 14 on this world.

But it is all academic anyway, they are unlikely to sell another WP7 phone.

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Mushroom

Re: I smell bias

Q4 is the businest quarter - and WP phone sales are steadily increasing so my numbers would only have been an under-estimate.

2+2+4 isnt 7....!

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Re: I smell bias

> WP phone sales are steadily increasing

Being optimistic is one thing, but being blind to reality is what you are.

Try working out a 'steady increase' from the graph based on Nokia's actual results:

http://www.tech-thoughts.net/2012/10/nokia-q3-results-lumia-shipments-crash.html

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Stop

Don't write RIM off yet

You can create a reasonably secure BYOD enviroment for iPads and iPhones using MobilEcho and MobileIron over a VPN. We use these two app's primarily to support native e-mail on iPads which allows the bankers to view their pitch books on the move.

My firm will be sticking with RIM for the vast majority of users though because we already have the infrastructure to support it. That reason can also be called inertia but in the current climate we are sticking with what is known to work.

As for the kids, I thought that they were all over BBM?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Don't write RIM off yet

"reasonably secure" does not equal "secure".

As a personal BlackBerry OS7 device user and someone who's company has made the switch from an outdated BES environment to using iPhones and the related MDM solution I can safely say that the security on iPhones secured through MDM is nowhere near as granular (or secure) as BlackBerry's on BES.

I have to agree that this headline did have "TROLL (ROFL)" written all over it. Has the author researched BB10? Has he compared the security available via an iPhone/Androd MDM solution to the BlackBerry Fusion product which incorporates BES and MDM?

And I wont even touch the Windows Mob 8 comparison...

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Wrong strategy

I think RIM have got it totally wrong with their strategy:

1) A huge number of the "80 Million loyal users" use low end Blackberries, BB10 is way out of their price range.

2) RIM have a large Corporate user base who like them because they have physical keyboards, Initial BB10 phones are touchscreens, no physical keyboard, and their last touchscreen phone tanked big time.

3) BB10 needed to be a big step forward in phones in general to succeed. I've used it and its ok, but just ok. There are plenty of cheaper ok phones out there at the moment.

What RIM should have done is release a lower end physical keyboard BB10 device first to establish volume, then follow up with mid tier and premium devices to grow the brand again.

By aiming at premium first with an average OS is madness.

They have made a device that their current base either do not want or cannot afford by failing to understand what their current customers want.

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Re: Wrong strategy

"By aiming at premium first with an average OS is madness"

?? By all accounts BB10 is set to blow iOS and Android out of the water. From what i have seen, and from what has been spouted by journalists who have been shown BB10, it is not an average OS.

They are also issuing a physical keyboard BB10 device shortly after the launch of the touchscreen. How do you know "there are cheaper ok phones out there at the moment" when we dont know the pricing of BB10 devices?

But pray tell...where did you use BB10?

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Where RIM works well

Is when you're roaming at £8 per MB and you've just spent the best part of £50 in no time flat by having the audacity to switch on your Android phone at the airport (or worse still, then checked Facebook using the bloated HTML5 app from Hell). This was never a problem with data frugal Blackberry devices.

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Pint

Go Blackberry!

I *still* miss my Storm2..

;)

Sent via my Verizon Motorola Droid Razr

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Tablet flop

Actually, now the Playbook can sideload (and seemlessly run and multitask) Android apps, no longer requires a BB phone to actually do anything and coupled to the fact that PC World are flogging the 64gb version for £129 it makes it a viable alternative to Droid / Apple slabs.

I just bought my wife one and its a lovely piece of kit, so nice in fact I'm off tomorrow to buy me one.

Added to RIM's stance of support and software upgrades (the recent OS 2.1 release was a significant step up) meaning it will run BB10 means there's life in the old dog yet...

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Re: Tablet flop

Android apps don't have to sideloaded. Lots are turning up on the BB App World as official releases. You can't tell that they're Android apps unless you know them as having been seen first on Android devices. RIM have made the porting job dead simple. It's only Kindle Reader that is the major Android App the hasn't been placed in App world (Amazon - boo) and requires sideloading.

For £129 the 64GB Playbook is a tremendous piece of kit. I have one, and am very pleased with it indeed :)

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Dare I make an Apple comparison?

It feels to me that there are a lot of parallels between RIM now and Apple in 1997 — a product once emblematic of what has become a fundamental device category, and a resilient niche as a result, but marketshare that's been eroded almost down to nothing by later competitors with stronger offerings. So they're betting the house on a bought-in new operating system.

That being said, one reason so much has been written about Apple's recovery is that it was so improbable; there's probably no iPod in RIM's future. So I'm going to keep an open mind but not necessarily a great store of confidence.

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IT Angle

Commodity computing

Good article, but it does not mention that smartphones, indeed mobile phones in general have become a commodity. The USPs used to be functionality (in software), now that every mobile OS does more or less the same than the rest the USP is again hardware.

Soon there will be more, other Linux distros available for mobile phones, Canonical is developing in this direction at this point in time. It wouldn't surprise me if there is or will be a community effort for Debian. Which brings us back to the business adaptivity of mobile OSes: Wouldn't it be better, from a security perspective, for companies to create their own Linux distros for desktops, tablets and smartphones?

It's easy enough.

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There will always be a place for Blackberry

But it will become a niche player which is good at secure email. That's not important enough for lots of people who will favour "secure enough" and other things like NFC, Floating cameras and ecosystems.

Blackberry should build an e-ink long life email device and licence BBM to ONE android manufacturer to give them a point of differentiation.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: There will always be a place for Blackberry

You do realise that RIM had NFC working on all its high end devices before anyone else, and that Apple still doesn't? Or that RIM is rolling out NFC-based micropayments systems in second world countries?

They are doing interesting stuff, but it is not aimed at the US market.

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I said it before, I'll say it again

RIM needs to bail on the hardware. They have demonstrated a unique incompetence in this area, and other companies are handing them their lunch. The App store needs to go too. In fact, the only thing they really should be focusing on is managing mobile data devices. They *should* be focusing on a point to point secure mobile solution. Indeed, they should have for a couple years now.

What do I mean by that? A client, available for all major phone platforms, that provides management and security functionality. Business email, stored encrypted on otherwise wide open devices. The ability to remotely wipe business data. To GPS track phones...the list goes on and on. They could very well have maintained their corporate presence had they jumped on board this ship years ago, but they still have a name in corporate data security and could trade on that, although it would be an uphill battle at this point.

Were I a share holder, I'be furious at the opportunities the board has continually wasted.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I said it before, I'll say it again

In fact the Playbook is a marketing failure but one of the best tablets - and they called the 7 inch form factor when Jobs did not. Their current entry level offering is a niche piece of kit but very well adapted for its job - low power, large battery, simple operation but with the in-depth features there if you look, and physically robust. It doesn't suit the wants of American teenagers, but it provides good messaging and phone performance with a 3 day battery life, and the cheap Android phones just do not do this.

I'm sure that Jeremy Clarkson hates the Hyundai I10 with a passion, and no American would be seen dead in one, but they sell very well around the world for much the same reason: cheap, reliable, economical to run, and much better than the low end products of US companies.

Your assumption is that RIM is incompetent. I would suggest that it was incompetent, but under the new management it is clawing back.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I said it before, I'll say it again

"What do I mean by that? A client, available for all major phone platforms, that provides management and security functionality. Business email, stored encrypted on otherwise wide open devices. The ability to remotely wipe business data. To GPS track phones...the list goes on and on."

So...Good for Enterprise then?

Again another commentor who I can only assume hasn't seen/avoided anything to do with BB10. The hardware has been built from the ground up and they are doing a HUGE amount of work to ensure a large App ecosystem is available on launch. Developers are loving the new OS and I'm sure that will show in January.

Hardware wise, the cheap Curve phones are a disaster but you get what you pay for and I havent had any issues with either of my Bold devices. If Apple produced a budget iPhone I am 100% certain it would have just as many problems as a BB Curve device (or a full price iPhone ;) )

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I smell MS marketing/astroturfing...

...all over this article and the comments.

WP is struggling against iOS and Android.

The only market they could possibly go for is the corporate one. And that is pretty well covered by BB.

I expect there will be plenty of attacks against BB over the next few years.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I smell MS marketing/astroturfing...

But for BB you need a seperate server infrastructure and have to pay a BB network tax. WP does away with all of that cost and complexity and connects directly to your Exchange servers whilst still allowing a similar level of device control....Corporates will be interested.

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Go

Want to embrace new but don't have rubber gloves.

Blackberries have been doing the "Work" thing for us for a few years but now there seems to be a subtle shift from the phone being seen as a work tool to something from the mythical land of handheld nirvana.

I don't want to take up some other system because (to cut down some of the blue sky talk) "You can install all sorts of shit on them!!" I want secure reliable "just works" sort of technology.

I'm getting tired of this blurring of my most people come to work, it's not to beef out their faecebook profile it's to get a task done and precious few individuals will get the tasks done better with more distraction.

It may be part of the mindset that thinks the UK will get by as a service industry and we can support 50% of the population in the media industry the other half (non interesting jobs) can be done by immigrants.

A country has to produce something and as far as I know naval gazing has never really contributed much to the GDP.

Yeah I know it's a rant but as others have said show me where BYOD is working, give real world examples of good practice and efficient deployments, save the name calling for daytime TV.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Want to embrace new but don't have rubber gloves.

Pedant alert

Naval gazing has frequently ensured that the UK did not have a sudden precipitous decline in GDP.

Navel gazing...different story.

BYOD as a concept is, I imagine, well funded by that Californian company that never had much impact on corporations.

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The main reason for BB's success with the teens was

Tight parents providing contracts with limited text allowances or pay as you go sims.

This made the Blackberries main appeal BB Messenger, completely free of charge and very functional.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The main reason for BB's success with the teens was

But it's not free. You pay a ~ £5 a month tax on the line rental just for the BB features...

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even Windows Phone 8 looks great

Ha ha ha good one.

From what I've seen BB10 looks like it may put them back on track. I have never had a Blackberry but I will be having a look at it when it ships. The only way I'd end up with a Windows Phone would be if work gave me one (some of the marketing types have received one) but I'm not holding my breath for that.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: even Windows Phone 8 looks great

Or if you wanted the best Camera, the best Touch Screen, with the best contrast, the best Navigation, the best Maps, the best Augmented Reality and NFC support with Wireless Charging and the best Smartphone OS with the best cross device eco-system currently available on any phone you could go get a Lumia 920......until then you will just have to hold your breath...

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