Jim Balsillie, former co-CEO and co-founder of RIM (Research In Motion) has liquidated what stake he had in the company. This occurred on December 31, 2012. Balsillie’s stock was worth $385 million last March when he resigned from the company’s board, which was shortly after he was removed from his position as co-CEO.
BlackBerry’s stock is down 4.79% since the news of Balsillie selling off his stake. This stock drop can also be attributed Home Depot stating that they are dropping the BlackBerry from their organization.
There is no telling if Balsillie’s actions were a vote of no confidence or simply moving on in life without BlackBerry.
The BlackBerry Z10 was already a recorder seller with Rogers, so things are looking good for company at the moment. We won’t have a clear picture on BlackBerry sales for a few months.
Link to SEC filing
Thorsten Heins, CEO of Research In Motion, in an interview with German paper Die Welt admitted that the company is still considering selling their hardware division after the launch of their new BlackBerry OS (BlackBerry 10).
If RIM were to sell off their hardware division they would focus on the OS and enterprise software as well as maintaining the BlackBerry infrastructure that powers push email and BlackBerry Messenger. This isn’t such a bad idea. RIM spends a fortune developing smartphones in what seems to be 200 varieties with only slight differences for carriers around the world. They could then focus on creating a great OS while relying on hardware designed by other companies.
You can find the actual interview via this link, the site is in German. Mr. Heins states that they are looking at several option one of which is selling the hardware division. Also he states that they are not going to rush to a decision and see what happens with the BlackBerry 10 launch before committing to a decision.
RIM also has the option to license their BlackBerry OS to hardware manufactures. That option could get really interesting for companies like Samsung. Imagine a Samsung Galaxy S 4 running BlackBerry 10 or even a re-birth once again of Nokia. BlackBerry is not dead; they still have some fight left. Lets hope all the delays getting BlackBerry 10 out the door are worth it. We will know in just over a week.
We know RIM (Research In Motion) has some new smartphones as well as a new OS being shown off in a few weeks, but Telekom-Presse has posted the first hand-on video of the BlackBerry Z10.
In the video you will get hardware details and a nice look at the BlackBerry 10 OS. Some of specifications on the BlackBerry Z10 is that the device has a 4.2 inch HD display, 1.5 GHz dual-core ARM Cortex A9 processor, 2 GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage.
Take a look at the video and let us know what you think.
Research In Motion’s CEO Thorsten Heins has put out a statement that BlackBerry 10 has achieved Lab Entry with more than 50 different carriers. This is good news for RIM as a lot of BlackBerry fans are waiting for the company’s BlackBerry 10 devices to arrive. You can read the full statement below from Heins.
I’m very pleased to confirm that we have passed a critical milestone in the development of our brand new mobile computing platform, BlackBerry 10. In the last week, BlackBerry 10 achieved Lab Entry with more than 50 carriers – a key step in our preparedness for the launch of BlackBerry 10 in the first quarter of 2013. We made this commitment during our recent results conference call and we have delivered. This process will continue in the coming months as more carriers around the world formally evaluate the devices and our brand new software.
I have spent the last several weeks on the road visiting with carrier partners around the world to show them the BlackBerry 10 platform and to share with them our plans for launch. Their response has been tremendous. They are excited about the prospect of launching BlackBerry 10 in their markets. Our respective teams are now engaged on the technical and commercial preparation of the launch of BlackBerry 10 and the lab entry is an important milestone in that context.
The hard work will not stop here as we build towards launch. Our developer teams are continuing to generate momentum to bring a wealth of applications to BlackBerry 10, our enterprise teams have started to present BlackBerry 10 devices and services to our business customers, and our engineers are fully mobilized to ensure that BlackBerry 10 launches flawlessly in the first quarter of 2013.
RIM’s subscriber base jumped from 78 million to 80 million before the company previewed their BlackBerry 10 OS (Operating System) at BlackBerry Jam Americas. The jumped of 2 million subscribers happened within the last few months, is it possible the company has brought hope back into the hearts of BlackBerry lovers?
A lot of analysts expected for RIM to lose subscribers because the company lost market share in North America to Apple and Android users.
We know RIM is on track for the launch of their BlackBerry 10 devices as the company has already announced that carrier testing of BB10 is starting in October. New devices are well over due as the company has been taking hits with the outdated BlackBerry handsets and OS currently on the market.
RIM’s Toronto listed shares rose 3 percent to C$6.37 in the midday trading and its Nasdaq listed shares jumped 5 percent to $6.60. The company is said to announce their second quarter results tomorrow.
If you missed the live feed this morning or just want to jump through the keynote, RIM has made it available online. Here it is with RIM CEO Thorsten Heins.
This is something RIM needed to do long ago. Drop the stuffy suits and show they have a fun side outside of their fortress in Waterloo. Lets face it RIM has many obstacles ahead of them. Not only do they need to keep a customer base and interest, they also have to make sure developers are going to make great applications for BlackBerry 10. While this video is more fun than strategic I do think it shows a new side of RIM. A side that for once, looks like they know what is really going on with their company and want to fix it.
The description of the video from RIM:
We are going to keep loving developers at Research In Motion, all the way to BlackBerry 10 and beyond. Watch our leadership team for developer relations bring back the band: Alec Saunders, VP Developer Relations & Ecosystem, Chris Smith, VP Application Platform & Tools, and Martyn Mallick, VP Global Alliances & Business. Thank you to those devs who are working hard, and for those jumping on board every day.
Developing news, Microsoft has entered into a licensing agreement with RIM. This can go a number of ways. We are calling our contacts and will let you know as soon as we do.
RIM has licensed exFAT from Microsoft to allow them to store files up to five times larger on their devices memory and SDCards. This will allow easy handling of media files and large presentations when BlackBerry 10 is eventually released. Full press release below.
REDMOND, Wash. Sept. 18, 2012 Microsoft Corp. announced today that Microsoft and Research In Motion (RIM) have signed a patent licensing agreement that gives RIM broad access to the latest Extended File Allocation Table (exFAT) for certain BlackBerry devices of RIM. exFAT is a modern file system from Microsoft that facilitates large files for audiovisual media and enables seamless data portability and an easy interchange between desktop PCs and other electronic devices. Read more
Research In Motion has announced that the upcoming BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) 10 is going to work with all current BlackBerry devices on the market as well as legacy devices. BES 10 will launch at the same time as the first BlackBerry 10 smartphone early next year.
There was concern that two separate servers may be needed to support the new BB 10 devices as well as supporting the older devices in an organization. This will take some pressure off of IT departments evaluating staying with the BlackBerry platform. Now we just wait and see what the final implementations of BB 10 and Enterprise Server look like.
BlackBerry World 2012 and BlackBerry 10 Jam have taken off today in Orlando, Florida. RIM wasted no time showing off what they have in store for us as the company unveiled its vision for the BlackBerry 10 platform and released the initial developer toolkit for the native QNX based operating system and HTML5 software development.
Focusing on RIM’s vision of the BlackBerry 10 platform the company showed off the BlackBerry 10 developer alpha device, which will be RIM’s first handset to run the same OS as the BlackBerry PlayBook. The device has a 4.2-inch display with 1280 x 768 resolution, 16 GB of storage, 1 GB of RAM, an HSPA+ radio, a mini HDMI port and microSD card slot.
RIM even showcased the functionality of the basic controls, were gestures / swiping reveal notifications and allow users to move easily through applications. We also got a look at the touch keyboard that provides word prediction as well alternate keys. While the developer unit is total touchscreen RIM tried to preserve the look and feel of the famous BlackBerry keyboard by spacing the keys the same as current physical keyboard models.
Users will be able to look forward to some game playing as RIM announced that they would be including 11 games with the BlackBerry 10 platform with many developers preparing games to help you through boring meetings. RIM is also working with PixelMags to give users the ability to read online magazines.
“BlackBerry 10 builds upon the core values and exceptional users experience that have attracted more than 77 million BlackBerry customers around the world,” said Alec Saunders, Vice President, Developer Relations and Ecosystems Development.
Saunders continued, “Developers building for BlackBerry 10 will be able to easily create the kind of cutting-edge and other apps like BBM or by leveraging the new signature design elements of this new and powerful mobile computing platform.”
We are hoping for a BlackBerry 10 release this summer.
According to the guys and gals over at Engadget, Research In Motion is looking to put BlackBerry 10 test units into the hands of developers soon. RIM plans to ship 2,000 prototypes running the company’s OS 10 in May and RIM’s vice president of developer relations, Alec Saunders said, “It’s tangible evidence of the company making progress to finally shipping the device.”
Like we have said before, RIM has really been behind in smartphone development and they need to wow us in 2012 if they ever plan on being a serious competitor again in the market.
Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie have stepped down as co-CEOs of Research In Motion and Thorsten Heins has been named the new CEO.
While we are happy to see a potential change in attitude at the top RIM’s corporate ladder, myself and obviously investors think this is too small of a change. As of writing, RIM shares are down by about nine percent in North America at $15.52.
Not the best way to start off as a new CEO, but only time will tell if this is the right choice. Hopefully Heins makes a very bold move soon and states major changes coming and shows us all a very solid and firm attitude to changing the downward spiral of RiM. Without a move like that I think we are all going to say “New CEO, Old RIM, No Change.”
Following is the press release provided by RIM:
Waterloo, ON – The Board of Directors of BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ: RIMM; TSX: RIM) today announced that, acting on the recommendation of its Co-Chief Executive Officers to implement the succession plan they previously submitted to the Board, it has unanimously named Thorsten Heins as President and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Heins was also appointed to RIM’s Board. The Board acted after conducting its own due diligence. Both appointments are effective immediately.
Mike Lazaridis, former Co-Chair and Co-CEO, has become Vice Chair of RIM’s Board and Chair of the Board’s new Innovation Committee. As Vice Chair, he will work closely with Mr. Heins to offer strategic counsel, provide a smooth transition and continue to promote the BlackBerry brand worldwide.
Mr. Heins said he looks forward to continuing to work with Mr. Lazaridis, globally recognized as a technology pioneer. He said, “Mike created a whole new way of communicating and I look forward to continuing our close collaboration.” Read more