RIM CEO sees new BlackBerry powering growth

Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:47pm EST
 

By Euan Rocha and Janet Guttsman

WATERLOO, Ontario (Reuters) - A new line of BlackBerry 10 devices will provide Research In Motion with a framework for growth over the next decade, offering long-term value for unhappy shareholders, Chief Executive Thorsten Heins said on Wednesday.

In an interview with Reuters, Heins said RIM had identified $800 million of the $1 billion of savings it promised for the financial year ending in early March, and was confident of finding the rest as it gets ready to launch the new phones.

RIM is betting that the new smartphones will help it claw back the market share it has lost to the likes of Apple Inc's iPhone and devices powered by Google's Android operating system.

Both consumers and corporate customers have abandoned the BlackBerry in droves, even though the devices offer security features that rivals have been unable to match.

"There's this high-level security that you cannot walk away from, and then there's 'good enough' security," Heins said in an interview at RIM's Waterloo, Ontario, campus, a sprawl of low-rise buildings.

But analysts remain skeptical, especially after the botched 2011 launch of RIM's PlayBook tablet computer, which the company had hoped would compete with Apple's wildly popular iPad. The PlayBook had top-of-the-line hardware, but its software was far from complete at the launch and needed multiple updates.

RIM delayed the roll-out of the BlackBerry 10 phones to the first quarter of 2013 so as not to repeat the errors that surrounded the PlayBook launch.

Heins said the delay was the correct decision - the way to ensure the BB10 phones are a high-quality product rather than a rushed one that would not meet customer expectations.   Continued...

 
Research in Motion President and Chief Executive Officer Thorsten Heins discusses the upcoming release of BlackBerry 10 during an interview at the RIM offices in Waterloo November 14, 2012. Research In Motion Ltd plans to introduce its new line of BlackBerry 10 smartphones on Jan. 30, the company said on Monday, giving investors a measure of confidence the long-awaited devices are approaching the finish line. REUTERS/Mike Cassese