Jan 27 AT 12:26 PM Edgar Cervantes 52 Comments

RIM CEO talks about Android, needs a reality check

rim ceo

RIM’s success has been declining since the iOS and Android operating systems started skyrocketing. Currently, Blackberry devices hold a dismal position in distribution charts, and Research in Motion is in desperate need of rescue. In an attempt to seek a newer approach, past co-CEO’s have gotten off their thrones, and allowed Thorsten Heins to take over the Canadian company. It seems like RIM will need a bit more than this man’s leadership to get out of that hole, though.

One of Thorsten’s first duties as CEO included sitting down for an interview with Kevin Michaluk from CrackBerry. In the interview, RIM’s CEO goes into what he sees coming in RIM’sĀ future. When asked about the possibility of BlackBerry building on Android, he responded the following:

Just take a look where the Android OEMs are. I leave this to you. Take a look at their recent announcements and what you will immediately see is there is just no room for differentiation because they are all the same.

What we choose is the harder way. I get it. Did we miss on some commitments? Yes, I admit that. That happens in high tech. This is not baking cookies. This is building high tech products. From time to time your aspirations and your development timelines hit some bumps in the road that were not foreseen. But I think going down that path is exactly right for BlackBerry and its customers.Thorsten HeinsRIM CEO

Needless to say that Thorsten is completely wrong. Android fans frequently brag about the amount of options the little green robot offers. Yes, most devices are black slabs, and usually have 4 buttons below the screen. There is no doubt that it is the most flexible when it comes to innovation, though.

We have seen a plethora of designs here. Dual-screen devices and even BlackBerry-esque ones are just the beginning of the list. Not to mention the fact that most manufacturers design their own UI overlays, and (whether we like it or not) it gives a different feeling to all Android smartphones.

We are not here just to point out that Heins’ opinion of Android is wrong, though. We all have our preferences. The issue here, with all due respect, is that this CEO seems to be a bit out of touch with reality.

It first hit me during his introduction video, where one of his first statements was that “if they continued doing well what they are doing, he sees no problem with RIM being among the top 3 players.” I believe the contrary – unless RIM makes some good changes soon, it will probably disappear off the face this little place we call Earth, relegated to the likes of Symbian. I am not the only one that says it, and certainly, the numbers don’t lie.

There are reasons why RIM has been considering licensing its services (with rumors of RIM probably licensing its software) to other operating systems. Undoubtedly, RIM has great services, especially for Businesses, but their hardware sales have been abysmally decreasing. We believe that these products have not been able to keep up with the evolution of the smartphone market in general.

I remember my first BlackBerry device, about 5 years ago – it looked almost identical to the latest and greatest BlackBerry phones. The software’s look and feel is unbelievably similar, as well. Then they released some designs like the Storm, followed by the Torch, with a closer resemblance to your typical black slab smartphones. Yet RIM CEO Thorsten Heins believes that Android-related products and services are “all the same.”

Don’t get me wrong. Competition is a good thing, and we want BlackBerry/RIM to come out of this hole. And we will have to wait and see what improvements RIM can make. We simply don’t know if Thorsten’s plans and views have what it takes to do this. Other operating systems are currently focusing on Enterprise solutions, as well.

In sum: You do need some changes, RIM, and you need them quick.

Via: Android Central

Source: CrackBerry

Hello, I am Edgar Cervantes. I am an avid Android fan, and keeping myself updated on the topic is part of my daily life. I will always work hard to give the best of me to our community of Android enthusiasts, and I am very honored to be part of this ship. Hopefully we can all enjoy sharing our knowledge and opinions!

    Most Tweeted This Week

  • Techrocket9

    I know this is an Android-centric blog, and I probably even agree with the sentiment conveyed in the title, but I kinda wish that the title was a little less editorialized. It’s completely reasonable/normal/right for the body to contain political commentary, but I don’t think that the headline should.

    • tengo

      I agree with the points made in this article but have to agree with Techrocket9 on the title… a little jolting.

      As somewhat of a counter-argument, I’d also like to point out that these type of comments coming from the CEO is not surprising. He has to put a spin on all the competition to ensure there is more value in his company. If he came out and said, Android is doing it right and we are wrong…. well then i’d be surprised (along with their investors).

      With all that said, i’d like to point out that I am an Android user, fan, and supporter — i’m not trying to downplay the little green guy in any way.

      • AsakuraZero

        for a company that is going DOWNHILL in the last 2 years, i tihnk the last CEO quitted just to avoid his name to be dirted because of the bankrupsy of RIM

        RIM didnt hit a bump, they got NUKED by apple and google, and they dont even know how to respond that attack after 2 years, they are not going anywhere anymore.

        RIM Needs to get out of the hardware bussiness and do us a favor, that or do something incredible im up for both

        • Tim

          I’m sorry that I’m assuming the role of grammar police, but quitted? Yikes.

          • JonGarrett

            dude, its obvious that English is not his native language.

          • Arenaboi

            Seriously don’t be rude, I hope all people, INCLUDING bilingual people don’t have to worry about perfect spelling and grammar to feel comfortable posting here

          • Joe Mama

            Tim, u should quitted.

          • Owain

            There is nothing wrong with ‘quitted’. I doubt English is his second language either, probably just from the UK where we often type like we speak in an informal setting…

          • Ray

            LMAO @ Tim. You forgot the quotation marks on “quitted.”

            I’m just saying you can use some assistance yourself. lol

    • mustybooks

      I thought the title was quite fitting to be honest. The main body of the text justifies it well enough. How RIM look as if they are walking blindly into the abyss and then criticising an OS that controls a massive section of the smartphone market worldwide.

      Everyone is entitled to their opinion though. :)

    • pjax

      androidandme is a bit android-biased. I think we all know that

      • TruFactz

        But Of Course………..ANDROID……..And Me.

        • pjax

          and we all know that…

    • Richard Yarrell

      Honestly what would anyone say in his situation. Personally RIM is and always will be the BIGGEST JOKE in technology and truthfully he looks like a total AHOLE. Reminds me of how our resident troll looks like here on androidandme @squiddy20 BARF BAG….

      • squiddy20

        Hey Dick, why don’t you try debating with me instead of putting out these childish, immature, and repetitive insults? Or are you just afraid to get schooled again? Seems like the joke’s on you since you’ve failed to defend yourself against any of my arguments and feel that you’re on top of the world despite having a phone and services that are available to any and every Verizon customer. Or maybe the joke’s on you because you’re the only person I know to have been booted off of Phandroid at least 4 times, Android Central and Android Police at least once each, and god knows how many other websites. Surely YOU must’ve been one hell of an “AHOLE” to pull all that off? Hypocritical dope. Go look in a mirror when you attempt to insult me, it might actually stick better.

  • n25philly

    He’s right, I mean all the Android tablets do these weird things. For example they let you receive e-mail? What’s up with that? It takes a real innovator like RIM to release products that are incapable of doing anything worthwhile.

  • J-Man

    Look at the profits made by Android OEM like Samsung and then the ‘profits’ made by RIM. See anything interesting? The ‘all-the-same’ Android is racking in the cash and dominating, when RIM is dwindling slowly out of existence.

    RIM’s CEO needs to look at his own company before making such statements.

    • mustybooks

      Phrases such as “out-of-touch”, “away with the fairies” and “on cloud cuckoo land” all come to mind. How do these people become CEO’s of a company the size of RIM?!

  • redraider133

    I think he should worry more about getting RIM back on the map and fix the issues they have with their own OS before trying to say every android looks the same. What does he call what his company does with releasing the same phones all the time with outdated hardware and the outdated os that very few seem to prefer.

  • Bryan Stoner

    I got lost when he said “high tech”.

    *Side note: I agree with Techrocket9 a little bit. The title for this article is a little harsh.

  • Nate B.

    I do agree that it is hard to make something “different” in the Android world with all these rehashes manufacturers are doing but, Android is for the win. I hope other big name companies decide to fall back on how many duplicates they make and focus on a flagship bases yearly, or when needed like HTC is claiming to do.

    • Nate B.

      This is the reason I like Galaxy Series phones and Nexus phones. They truly change as the successor comes out. You do get rehashes of Galaxy phones though with a tad bit faster processor or higher res, but we all know what I mean.

  • spazby

    Blackberry is doomed without android

  • Skis03

    I have been saying for years, every Blackberry is essentially the same as the last. The only thing they have going for them is their software services.

    • honourbound68

      nod. almost all the bberries look like the others… and when they do come out with something different, it’s not always well designed (i don’t remember if it was the storm or torch that my brother got but it was terrible). RIM better step up their game or their CEO will keep having to spin more bs with red-RIMmed eyes.

  • Alexander drzfr3shboialex

    Blackberries look exactly the same. I see no difference -_- Dumb ass. Android has better asthetics.

  • Starship

    RIM needs to figure out what they want to market themselves as. I see them being an Enterprise only business and creating a BlackBerryMessanger app for Android, WP7 and IOS.

    They work so well for businesses. Their failure lies in trying to market a business system to people who use their phone strictly for entertainment.

    • OnIn2

      “to market a business system to people who use their phone strictly for entertainment.”

      Nail meet Hammer

      What does RIM what to be when it grows up ? It can’t survive on the current path. Reinvent itself or die is what happens in high tech.

  • sunrise

    Blackberry is doomed. This guy is just as bad as the previous 2.

    Wikipedia will soon have a section on the downfall and complete end of Blackberry.

    • cb2000a

      Unfortunately I have to agree. Rim will be a tiny blip on the radar if they don’t do some thing really good and fast. Apple and Android will rule the smart phone market.

  • YNWA

    Just a company circling the drain trying to say they are doing great and bashing their competitors. Nothing out of the ordinary.

  • milton

    this guy need a reality check himself RIM have not done anything for the costumers that have pay money for there devices no upgrades no innovations they are not thinking in what the people out there want if they don’t change that the company is going down and soon. i

  • Billy

    This guy did say that massive changes need to happen at RIM. He explained that he believes they can do it on their own ground without sourcing or selling.

    I am a huge Android fan and certainly don’t agree with everything he says .. but a lot of it is just spin.

    I do think that RIM has expertise, technology, and IP to make a comeback … the problem has been management, leadership, vision etc…. Whether this guy has what it takes .. is yet to be seen. It will be an uphill battle for sure.

    I also think there is room in the market for multiple players. I see no reason why Google, Apple, MS, and RIM cannot all co-exist in a global market.

    We have lots of exciting times ahead …. the mobile market has been a roller coaster and will continue to grow and be exciting.

  • Billy

    RIM should go hire Jon Rubinstein …. That could be interesting.

  • Gr8Ray

    I guess that means he falls in with the “Android is not fragmented” camp.

  • minimage

    Funny that I was finishing up a battle with a 9650 about an hour after this was posted.The BB had decided to stop reconciling with our Exchange server. The usual fix, resetting her account and reactivating BES, failed until I hammered on it a bit. She asked me if I thought BlackBerry would be around much longer.

  • minimage

    She= the owner of the BB. I’ve never owned one, but I’ve worked on a bunch.

  • Suriya

    First think the differentiation before commenting on whether can be done with Android. You guys are out of ideas.

  • lokidokie

    Haha. I feel sorry for the guy

  • finndogg

    That dudes crazy, even the DOD is getting rid of them. BB is pretty much a thing of the past.

  • Nathan D.

    He just mad because android is kicking his butt

  • Josh F.

    This guy is weird looking. He looks like Gabe from The Office. Ew.

  • CTown

    Well, he’s right… as long as you look at the phones from 300 ft away! Seriously, all of the differnet OEMs who use screens, SOCs, and not to mention some of the non-standard options (like NFC, dual-screens, the use of a stylus) from all of the differnet part manufactors and he is going to say all Android phones look and behave the same.

  • kungpaodragon

    He can say what he wants for whatever reason he thinks justifying. Whether it’s because he’s the CEO saving a dying company or if he’s nuts like the guy from Nokia. The fact remains despite the fact that Apple already offers a “single-identity” and may I say innovative and quality product, Android still made a huge stride catching up to iOS. Point is, people like what they like. Nobody wants the same things (well, ok, maybe some people want the same iThing…) Android is just an OS of a different model. As long as it continues to innovate and improve while Google continues to provide guidelines (like no more Menu button, etc), there’ll be consumers. So given the fact that Android is open source, it will continue to innovate thanks to the community. Google will continue to support it. And it will not be easy for anyone (RIM) to try to break into the market without some significant technological break through like teletransportation through the phone…

  • DroidPower

    there’s no way that BB can end up in the top 3 without doing something drastic. ios and android have huge shares of the market. Two practical ways for BB/RIM to come up from behind is 1) innovate like crazy and hope users, esp their core business ones, will love it, and/or 2) burn cash like microsoft is doing to get more market share. Seeing as how RIM does not have the cash…it has to innovate.

    But then comes the CEO saying android devices are all the same… how can you innovate when your ceo does not recognize how the industry is shaping up?

  • The_Diz

    I truly wish SONY and RIM would team up for a massive joint venture. What a wonderfully entertaining cavalcade of self delusional fail that would be.

  • minzhu

    Don’t blame CEO, they want RIM win.

    RIM has strange culture and self distruct political environment.

    In RIM if a new hired person figure out major problem and introduce efficient approach, both manager and his buddy group member will proof their wrong approach works. just like someone point out driving a car is right way, pushing a car is wrong way, then both manager and his buddy group member will hate you, and proof that 3 person can also move the car by pushing it. cheating email will be sent to some vice president, saying like: see, the car moving, pushing a car is a natural part of the process, in order to deny new hired contribution of introducing skill of drive a car, they have to deny merit of driving a car.

    It is very strange company culture and strange company political environment, it promote stealing and cheating skill. RIM’s management may be a typical instance in MBA course.

    This culture deny or steal hardworking team members’ contribution/innovation, generate strange political environment, destroy RIM.

    So don’t blame CEO, some of their VPs and VPs’ expert generate terrible culture and self destruct political environment.

  • Mike

    Coming from a company that released a tablet without an email client and expected business professionals to still buy it, well it’s clear this guy knows what he is talking about.

  • nippi

    when people start talkin shit bout that means u r threat to them.

  • TruFactz


    One: Love the title, cause clearly he does need one.

    Two: Ur talking about Android devices being the same when Apple’s devices ALL look EXACTLY the same? From iPhone to iPod to iOS to iPad?????? Get a grip on life Pal.

  • lee

    The best thing, I know, about BB’s are battery time and BBM – other than that, forget it! What happened to the rumoured android BBM apps. btw ??