RIM said thanks, but no thanks, to Windows Phone

Reuters reports what we kind of knew back in December, that Microsoft boss, Steve Ballmer approached RIM about making a Nokia-style deal to scrap its own operating system in favor of adopting Windows Phone. Unlike Nokia, however, RIM decided it would sink or swim on its own, declining an infusion of cash from Microsoft, in exchange for a stake in the company. During a conference call yesterday, RIM CEO, Thorsten Heins, shot down the idea of moving to another company's OS, be it Android or Windows Phone:

“We came to the decision that joining the family of the Android players, for example, would not fit RIM’s strategy and its customers,” he said. “We are not trying to be one of many. We’re trying to be different. We’re trying to be the best solution for our customers that buy a BlackBerry, know why they want a BlackBerry. And we’re aiming for nothing less than being a viable, successful, mobile computing platform of the future. This is what we’re aiming at. And I think that’s the difference. If you compare us with others, did we take the hard road? Absolutely. Absolutely. But having done this and building and completing this new mobile computing platform that then expresses itself as a smartphone or as a tablet or as a vertical application or embedded in cars, whatever you want to do, that is where we will take BlackBerry. And this is – that’s why it was absolutely required and necessary to build its own platform. I would argue the other way around. If I continue to rely on somebody else’s OS and somebody else’s platform, would that allow me in the long run to really differentiate towards my customers and provide them the services and the environment that they request from me and that they would like to have? I have a big question mark around this. So I think going this way and building the platform we are building has the absolute intent to serve our customers and our markets better than on a standard-based OS and platform.”

Cheers to RIM for standing their ground. Sadly, integrity doesn't always translate into success. Yesterday saw them reporting a large loss for Q1. In addition, they announced that their latest operating system, BlackBerry 10, will not see the light of day until Q1 of 2013. Their struggles have also led to the decision to cut about 30% of their workforce, about 5000 jobs, in order to save money. Read more at Crackberry.com.

Source: ForbesReuters

  • Microsoft dont need these rim company. The company is dead already and never liked blackberry. Windows phone can save them from collapse. If they dont want be help than f**k this crap company good bye
  • Yep
  • Integrity doesn't pay the bills.
  • LOL, +1
  • Is Thorsten Heins Klingon by anychance? Sounds like they want to die with HONOUR! :-D
  • Lol :D
  • Haha
  • So did they take the hard road or rod? Smh....
  • I think either word applies here.
  • Good point.
  • LOL I was wondering about that. They took the hard road and the shaft, er, I mean, rod ;)
  • I had to read the article twice just to make sure!
  • Such a shame wpcentral don't read over their articles, they really need to make this a priority. However, I love the job you guys are doing!
  • Every site in the world and every human makes mistakes. Let's not get to sanctimonious here ;-)
  • You better watch your blood pressure, Daniel.
  • lol, it is up lately...
  • XD
  • Hi pot, I'm kettle...your Grammar isn't spectacular either.
  • I don't know of anybody saying they want a blackberry. In fact, most people I know hate theirs. 
  • The only few people that I knew that had blackberrys has already converted to iPhones.
  • I converted my one remaining BB friend to WP
  • Didnt RIM switch from blackberry OS to QNX? ... so technically they already did what they said they would never do... lol the irony.
  • But But But, it is different!
  • Won't someone please make him stop saying the word"butt'...
  • XD
  • RIM, Good night sweet prince
    I dont think MS should acquire RIM, but RIms going to need some type of partnership.  If they stay the course, they are going to need a huge corporate restructure because they are not going to compete in the consumer market.  If they want to stick with enterprise, then so be it, but they can't expect to remain this big in such a niche market. 
  • Buy for or in part....the patents
  • Why does RIM give me sort of the impression it is pulling a SEGA. Like they keep announcing and planning on new stuff while releasing this or that for hardware, but never fully supporting it to make it grow and instead have to jump to the next thing. On top of that they keep having a delay which doesn't help the already sinking ship. I hope that BB10 is the goal they plan to stick with and hopefully it can slowly pull them back up, because if it doesn't gain traction, then they should have taken the offer. :/
  • I think RIM should do waht sega did, but switched..
    Sega Hardware/Software to primarily software
    RIM  Hardware/Software to primarily hardware
    I just dont see a four hourse OS race. 
  • Yeah, cuz cutting your workforce is really going to get you back in the game.  I know too many tech companies tried doing the same thing, and it significantly hurt the reputation of those companies.  So, yes RIM, go ahead and cut jobs, and try to keep plugging away at BBOS10.
  • RIM is just doing the laid off a favor....or is it favour...whatever...you are going down just like Nortel you bunch of smug Canadian losers.
  • Sounds like Ballmer dodged another bullet. Would've wasted a ton of money on a company who's value is dropping like a rock. Buying them even a year later would save a ton of money. By the time they hit rock bottom their assets should be dirt cheap.
  • Just like Nortel...I expect Rockstar Bidco to swoop in and pick this carcass clean.
  • Man, imagine what could've been. Windows Phone platform for the apps, web browser, etc. and RIM retaining the enterprise and government crowd with their secure e-mail system.
    I had a BlackBerry once... but then i used it... and took an arrow to the knee.. 
    needless to say it was returned...
    god bless the new wave of smart phones.. all of them whatever your pref...
  • Please also RIP the lame Skyrim knee jokes :P
  • Where on that quote does he specifically say no to WP?
  • He's saying no to using something other than their own OS. 
  • Kinda good to see rim taking it's own chances.. And bb10 is not half bad either.but why not both?? It won't hurt to make it's own version of windows phone alongside bb10. Bbm , blackberry hardware and windows Apollo might certainly attract some attention.
  • I remember when everyone had a blackberry curve now android and apple control everything maybe starting your brand with the letter a lead to success
  • Take that "hard rod" and die a sad pathetic death.  Your death will not be honorable.  Place RIMs head on a pike as a reminder to those who refuse to change or change too slowly.  Serioulsy though, it would be good for MS to access to RIMs network for enterprise and gov't customers.  They are losing business to other OSes in the business world so what is he trying to hold to.  I dont remember the last time I saw somone using a BB.  Honestly it was about 3 or 4 years ago. 
  • Ya that's true if you don't live in Ontario. I saw 8 BlackBerry in last 30 mins
  • Yep.  I live in Toronto, and there are BBs everywhere.  Ontario isn't going to keep them afloat though.
  • Should pull back and cater to Ontario only lol. Or take Microsoft up on deal
  • I live in Saskatchewan and I see BBs almost as frequently as iPhones.
  • I have roots in a fair amount of places in NY and Massachusetts. I still see a good amount of people using a BlackBerry all over. Surprising considering the proliferation of iPhones and Androids
  • While in Canada we see tonnes of ancient BB's as much as we see iPhones this doesn't change the fact that by the time BB10 is released it would been almost a year since a new device from RIM. Those die hards are fewer and fewer. A BB WP would have been awesome but Heins is like a captain going down with his ship. He is just sending out his crew on life rafts so he can die with what little dignity he has. I'm sure Ballmer calls him after everyone of these reports to see if he has changed his mind.
  • I typically only see them for enterprise purposes
  • I give props to Steve, and Microsoft. Back in the day they helped Apple get out of their rut (which I'm sure they regret now) and all they are doing is helping them get back up on their feet. RIM is kinda dumb for not taking the offer. By the time 2013 hits, Blackberry will be a dinosaur, and declared on the extinction list, and Android I'm sure will have BB 10 copied by then as well. I guess it's one less fish out of the sea of tech, and only the strong survive.
  • while im not prone to bb I give them credit they are taking a huge risk, but at least they believe in their company. Good luck rim.
  • I dont know my company is ditching Blackberry's for Windows Phone 8 and RT. I think it would be wize to rethink their strategy. Instead of being #1 in phones y not be #1 in communications. Imagine a world where BBM works like a charm between BB Windows Phones and Androids.. So much potential if I was the CEO I would move to both platforms and seperate the brand. Blackberry Play = Android Blackberry Focus = Windows Phone and create an ecosystem that links both platforms together.
  • I say spot on. Great idea
  • RIM demonstrates what would have happened to Nokia if they had gone MeeGo/Symbian. I am just waiting for LG to go bust to prove what would have happened had they gone Android.
  • You'll be waiting a long time... LG make much more than just phones.
  • Yup, I'm currently cooled by my LG air-conditioner. It's cheap and good :-)
  • LG makes Android phones U_U
  • I guess if Microsoft really wanted to, they could just go to the shareholders with an offer they can't refuse and take the company by force. If RIM has to die, it's stupid to not grab them as they're very important to enterprise.
  • not really.  Microsoft already makes superior competing products.  They just need to go in hard to those orgs and sell them on Exchange/Lync/Windows Phone 8
  • RIM shouldn't have wasted so much time on the PlayBook.  Even though it represents the foundations of BB10, it was a waste of resources to bring it to market half baked, just because they had 'tablet fever'.
    In the end, they're going to shrink to enterprise users, but with many companies starting to support BYOD, that market is going to keep shrinking.  BBM isn't the 'draw' for consumers it once was.
  • Too bad. People here want some good keyboards on their phones and RIM has theirs patented. RIM doesn't want honor, they're just stubborn to change.
  • just like the people that want physical keyboards on their devices......both are dinosaurs.
  • Keyboard on the device? Yup, that's old tech. Put the keyboard on the cover instead! Go Surface!!
  • RIM will have a tough time surviving till Q1 2013.  It has no products that are selling well and no new products on the docket.  They will have very little cash flow and will likely start hemmoraging customers as very few people who are becoming upgrade elligable this year (those that purchaced in 2010 before BlackBerry's total fall), are going to wait for an OS that has barely been shown off.  They are going to got to iOS, Windows Phone, or Android.
  • My dad has a BB, and its an ok. maybe newer OS versions are... better? but i dont know, i dont dislike it, but i think Microsoft and Windows Phone dont need RIM. its like I dont know why people bought them in first place and they were famous. i dont think Microsoft or Windows Phone, needs RIM anyway, specially now that people is changing Blackberries for iPhones.
    anyway im sorry for RIM and their decisions, i mean... blackberry 10 until next year? i dont know who took that decision, but its sad if they expect it to survive.
  • RIM won't make it to BlackBerry 10. It's too bad. I kinda like the idea of a Windows Phone with legendary BlackBerry hardware.
  • RIM needs something "magical" to happen, maybe they partner with Apple? And then RIM takes down Apple with them :P
  • BlackBerry and BlackApple....yummy
  • Hear that sound? It's not a rattle snake, it's RIM's death rattle. 
  • business people will navigate towards win8 will some security features it will have, I'm just guessing
  • RIM need to get out the consumer game and focus on what they are best at - business, if they keep there focus on business users they will stay afloat
  • The problem is the "business" concept is dying. Pretty soon, the company-issued phone will be a thing if the past. BYOD is growing and people want phones with an ecosystem (music, movies, tv, set top boxes, etc). Apple, Google and Microsoft have all this. RIM's not even close.
  • This will never change in large scale corporations. As a IT professional over 20 years, I cant see this changed at all.
    Once you allow your company data to go on a employee's personal phone, you open the door to leaks and possable a possable virus on your company network.
    Smaller (under 1000 employees), maybe but, still corportate info needs to be protected and giving allowing a user to have it with all their personal apps and programs opens doors tha tthey will not open.
  • If you read this.. RIM states "did we take the hard rod..yes"...wait..what? LOL someone needs spell check..haha
  • I don't know why it's an either or proposition.
    Why not license WP8 and produce WP8 phone sets for two years while working on BB10? Sure those may not be the terms MS would give, but MS could do worse than have another known handset maker contributing to the cause. If RIMWP8 sells then everyone wins, if they don't then are they really any worse off? Strike a deal where MS funds some QWERTY handsets with the BB name. No resources diverted from BB10 and gain one more chance to succeed.
    It wouldn't surprise me at all to see this story come up again in an other quarter. As a UWaterloo grad I would love to see RIM succeed, but these are indeed grim times.
  • I think that they should do a partnership while still developing their OS. They can have exclusive app on their models just like Nokia does currently. i think it can help at least to make some profit while they prepare their OS and hardware for the future.
  • Yup, shouldn't be putting all their berries in one burning basket.
  • Heins is just what is wrong with RIM. They fired two Founders who were brilliant once but couldn't accept the changes in the World that came after their brilliatn idea. Rim's Board should have been as smart as Nokia's and hired an expert in the telecommunications field out in the real world, and not just another insider brought up in the very insular culture that was killing the Company.  And to choose a CFO as a turnaround agent of change?  Come on! CFOs are conservative types or lunatics, but visionary motivators - not so much.
    I loved RIM for many years, but watching their slow motion suicide leap is painful.  Their Shareholders will rue the day they took a "Hard Rod" where it hurts and walked away from a game changing saviour like WinPhone.
    BB10?  Get serious.  It was outdated when it was announced, and is so late now that  no-one will be happy with it's late-ass copycat "features".  BBs are being reduced to the level of Feature Phones that feature BBM.  Well, in case you weren't paying attention, even with their atrocious security problems both the iPhone and Androids are now considered secure enought for Government workers to use for business, so there went BB's largest and most prestigious customers. WP8 will be more secure than the others, and with its low deployment and maintenace costs, compatibility with the upcoming OS for practically every business computer on the Planet, and no need for a high priced BBM Service, whatever little advantage BBs might have once had will be erased completely this year.
    After that, who's gonna care about BB10?  Sure, some keyboard junkies will bemoan their options, but they're not enough to sustain the Company.
    Seriously, if the Board offered Heins a choice betwen a 10 year no-cut contract, or a 3 year severance, does anyone really think the smart choice would be the 10 year Contract?
    Bye Bye Blackberry!
  • Rim needs to be absorb to stay relevant and share technology not to be straight out bought. I see a future of Microsoft enterprise and blackberry enterprise backgrounds being a successful joint operation if done right if they integrate properly without stepping on each others toes.
  • Seriously! If one could buy a Blackberry phone, choosing between models with and without the legendary keyboard. that ran Windows Phone and integrated natively with Exchange and BBM who wouldn't want to buy it?  Let Nokia make the non-keyboard phone and they would kick the Roid's ass all the way back to the data-mining hell it came from!
  • like alot of the other comments I think what a mistake to not join somebody. They are dieing. I would hate to work for them with the people running it thinking they would rather go down in a blaze first than join anyone. That means people are out of work! What a shame. Good people will continue to be out of work with that company and ceo
  • Fuck Rim.....we dont want to ruin microsoft with Cheap Rim.
  • Seth,
    I think they're still considering it:
  • That was from yesterday though, the Forbes article is from today and takes a different position based off of quotes from the CEO which supercede Reuters.
  • Its not up to the CEO anyway.. Its share holders will have the last word. To me, I frankly do not care.. BB will not get anywhere and they are not going to come up with anything compelling as if other companies are not trying to do the same thing.. BB just sat on their hands while the rest of the phone world ran right past them with better software, hardware and innovation. Microsoft has yet to flex its muscles, but it's coming with WP8.. If these people want to ride a sinking ship, let them. Microsoft will have a life preserver standing by..
  • All this companies will hit there PEAK.. Winmo died,palm died,blackberry dying...
    Android will se its fate....apple will be there for a long long time,WP is on the rise again..
  • it toke Nokia 6 months to make the first lumia .if RIM starts now the first windows phone 8 handset will be December or 2013 ...... They're come crawling back windows phone brings all the girls(/boy) to the yard lol
  • +10
  • I don't think that picture is of RIM's head office--I believe it is their call centre in Nova Scotia.
  • Waiting for the RIM burning platform memo
  • Don't know why anyone still want use BlackBerry it so outdated and look at there apps so nothing
  • Heh, they can keep dreaming of they can survive in its own. I like what Nokia has done so far. They already differentiate themselves by embracing the software and creating their own great apps and sharing some of it to the ecosystem as well.
  • RIP RIM. you lived so long. Wp, IOS and adnroid are now the dominant players now. 
    by the time Wp OEM's release the're sylish phones. I suspect enterprise to dump BB's and go mostly Wp8 and ios or androids.
  • My wife loved, and I mean loved, her BlackBerry. Moved on to iOS and now android and is not looking back! Too little too late for RIM. Now if I can only get her to WP8 at some point. Apps are the hold back so far.
  • I can't see why it would be so hard for RIM to make a couple of WP handsets with the wonderful RIM keyboard that we know and love, especially if MS is flipping the bill. They could still continue development on BB10 and have it ready just in time for the release of Windows Phone 12.
  • Research On Roads :D ROM
  • That would be ROR.
  • Oops...
  • Idiots. 2013? Yeah, good luck with that. Microsoft came late to the game with reinvention. But they also have deeeep pockets. They will sadly fail. What goeth before the fall?
  • Never seen a blackberry. Ever.
  • RIM's downfall is significant in the mobile phone industry. It signals the shift from physical keys to input screens. Table is slowly doing that to laptops too. Without the keypads that RIM is known for, it only has its business enterprise server as a differentiator. That's slowly going away too with WP being one with Outlook and Office.
  • RIM's downfall is significant in the mobile phone industry. It signals the shift from physical keys to input screens. Table is slowly doing that to laptops too. Without the keypads that RIM is known for, it only has its business enterprise server as a differentiator. That's slowly going away too with WP being one with Outlook and Office.
  • I admire RIM's stance. The major problems they face ate daunting though. Their market share dropped 60-75% in one year. After the riots in London governments stopped supporting them because they were unable to shut down their communications. The base line of support has dwindled and along with that, the cash reserves. Microsoft was able to scrap Windows Mobile Photon when it was 3/4ths complete because the cash reserves were deep. RIM is floundering and I would have loved to see them join the MS team and take mobile computing to the next level with Windows & Wimdows phone 8.
  • RIM also thought the iPhone was a lie from Apple when they first heard it. I'm starting to question their judgement on the smartphone-(as in full touch screen)-industry