John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

RIM: I Want to Believe

Many people have lost faith in Research In Motion. Glenn Lurie isn’t one of them.

Not yet, anyway.

According to Lurie, AT&T’s president of emerging devices, RIM is just going through a bit of a rough patch at the moment, and will emerge triumphant on the other side.

“RIM is getting a lot of grief right now,” Lurie remarked at a Morgan Stanley investment conference on Wednesday. “But I wouldn’t count them out. … RIM still holds a nice share in the U.S. There is still a very, very nice share of RIM customers on the AT&T network.”

Which is true.

RIM’s subscriber base still hovers around 70 million. That said, it has been losing subscribers lately, particularly in the U.S. In fact, RIM lost 1.8 million of its U.S. subscribers to other platforms in the past three months, according to comScore.

So what’s going to stanch that bleeding? RIM’s new QNX operating system, says Lurie.

Okay, QNX has great potential, once it’s ready for prime time.

But the company has got a lot of work ahead of it there. Big work. And it extends well beyond just product-migration challenges. Among the other tasks facing RIM:

  • Delivering a compelling QNX experience on a smartphone. And a competitive one, too.
  • Building a strong — or at least decent — developer ecosystem around it.
  • Positioning it well — and clearly.
  • Shoring up any market-share losses the company has suffered in enterprise during the transition.
  • Doing this — all of this — at a time when the competition is leaping forward.

That last one, of course, is the most daunting challenge of all. Can RIM pull it off? Perhaps. But, given the company’s uneven execution to date, it’s going to be a struggle.


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