RIM is going through big storm the like of Apple experienced of in the past. Apple had gone through so many revival series courtesy of late Steve Jobs, Guy Kawasaki, former Apple's Macintosh evangelist, and designer Jonathan Ive, current Apple Senior Vice-president of Industrial Design and few more.
I believe Heins is capable of turning things around at RIM he's experienced guy, he has eyes for strategy and innovations. If you dont have MBA degree certificate, does it makes someone non-visionary leader? I have to applaud Heins for his quick realisation of mistake his predecessor made in the past.
Douglas, Your friend's point about the affordability of RIM's BlackBerry phone is noted and he makes a convincing case as far as the consumer is concerned. The problem, though, is this: Apple had about $13 billion in net income in the December quarter on sales of $46 billion. Apple's income in that single quarter is far above RIM's total market value of about $9 billion today.
The truth is that while customers in the developing economies may prefer BlackBerry today, it's really not a winning strategy for the company because it is then king of the low-margin market while Apple runs away with the higher margin end. Volume is great when it comes with a fat margin, not when it is starved of profit. RIM had profits of $265 million in its last quarter. That doesn't put it in the same league as Apple.
As it turns out, my friend from Indonesia was visiting today so I peppered him with a bunch of questions about RIM. He is a technologist and very business savvy. He said almost everybody has a Blackberry, even elementary school kids. He said Apple was there but the iPhone was too expensive for everyone. The biggest reason is the commonplace question people ask each other and the low, low device rates. When an Indonesian meets another Indonesian, early in the conversation, the question " so, what is your PIN number?" surfaces. The connectivity of RIM users is virtually universal and expected. The subscriber rates for unlimited everything is $10 per month. I asked him if these were cheap phones and he said that many of the Blackberries were refurbished phones from Europe. These sell for about $180.00 and introductory services rates are free for the first three months. So, the barrier to entry is knocked down. He said the dealers can't discount Apple phones and carry the low service rates too. He did say that Samsung is gaining entry because they have cheaper phones, but services are higher because there is no money left for the dealers unless they hike Samsung related service cost. He also said that he roamed 9 countries for an additional $2.50 month per country. That got him unlimited services everywhere. Oh, before I forget, the PIN is a six place alphanumeric code that is absolutely secure and is unique to each phone for use as IM. So, low service rates, as low as recently offered for unlimited at $5.00/month seems to be key to RIM 's strategy in Indonesia. Add low cost, full featured refurbished phones, and you have a nice formula for market desirability ...price and features.
I expected RIM to have sourced for an outsider as CEO not someone internal. The danger I see is that Thorsten Heins will likely carries on business as usual and carries on in his old bosses footsteps, which may not bring about the change they need to turn things around. His standing relationship with former CEOs may limit his ability to pursue a bold new strategy for the company if at all he has one.
Though much is expecting of the new RIM CEO, and it's too early to measure his worth. I watched his introductory video on blogs.blackberry.com, actually he sounds unconvincing in everything. In quote "We are a great innovative comapny, but sometimes we innovate too much while we are building a product". Does that mean RIM should stop coming up with ideas or what?
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
While no one really can accurately predict the future, we can take guidance from another Drucker saying which is the best way to predict the future is to create it.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.