John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

RIM: I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Get Up

Research in Motion can mend the infrastructure failure that led to what is now a metastasizing three-day BlackBerry service disruption, but recovering from the PR nightmare it has caused will likely take quite a bit longer.

Despite RIM’s repeated reassurances and apologies, ill-will toward the company is building, with public outcry mounting and growing calls for compensation from users all over the world.

And it couldn’t happen at a worse time — just two days before the launch of Apple’s iPhone 4S, which racked up pre-order sales of 1 million in its first day alone, and a week before BlackBerry Devcon, RIM’s big developer event.

A three-day outage like this would be a PR challenge for anyone, but for a company working hard to shore up its declining position in the smartphone market, it’s a daunting one indeed. These outages may well drive some BlackBerry users to consider alternative smartphones, as Jeff Fidacaro of Susquehanna observed in a note to clients this morning.

“Our view is that the longer this issue remains in the headlines and the longer users are without service, there is clearly an increasing risk of building negative goodwill and increasing the churn rate to other platforms such as iPhone and Android,” Fidacaro wrote.

As I write this, RIM shares are trading under $25. In February they were at about $70.50.

Below, a particularly apt skit from comic legend Ronnie Corbett …


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik