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Monthly Archives: January 2012

You would have thought Thorsten Heins would put an end to anything which could be perceived as bad for the company as soon as he positioned himself in the RIM hot-seat. Unfortunately (this word honestly feels like it’s become synonymous with RIM recently), that isn’t to be the case as the company’s BlackBerry division have just rolled out a new advertising campaign and enlisted the help of a few Superheroes to invigorate customers to #BeBold.

The team of four, which are said to personify #BeBold resolutions (but can easily be adapted to mirror the companies problems,) is said to include:                                                                                              The Achiever, GoGo girl who is known for “Saving the day with a brilliant strategy”;                             The Adventurer, Max Stone is “Able to jump out of a plane…”;                                                                  The Advocate, Justin Steele is “Always ready to stick up for his friends”;                                               and The Authentic, Trudy Foreal who is “Not afraid to call it as she sees it”.

Well, if it wasn’t evident a few days ago that they need a new Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), it sure is now.

Looks like HP chose the wrong Apple product to blatantly copy (context), as the results for PCs shipped in Q4 2011 have just come in, and Apple are leading with a 17 percent share of the 120 million PC’s shipped mainly because of their iPad sales (which reached over 15 Million), as well as their Mac sales which topped around 5 Million in the quarter,                                                                       The data, recorded by Canalys (which includes desktops, netbooks, notebooks, and tablets), shows HP slipped down to second for the first time in years – which could be attributed to the flooding in Thailand, which affected hard drive manufacturing plants for most of the year.

Results like this are sure to piss off those who claim that “the iPad is not a PC”, but it’s only going to get worse for them as Amazon will probably take a huge chunk of the market share next quarter, due to their Kindle Fire tablet (which has already notched up six million sales in Q4 alone (its launch quarter)).

While Motorola promised to make fewer device models during 2012, it looks to be a whole different case when it comes to variants of devices already on the market – as Motorola has just announced that they will be releasing the Motorola Droid RAZR Developer Edition, to appease the customers who are disappointed that the original Droid RAZR did not  come preloaded with an unlockable bootloader.

We have some news for the community of people interested in unlockable/relockable bootloaders. Today, we announced a step forward in Europe with the availability of an unlockable version of our most in-demand product: the Motorola RAZR™ Developer Edition. This solution allows us to continue meeting our carrier and regulatory obligations, but also meets the needs being expressed by our developer community.

In the coming months, we also plan to introduce an unlockable developer device in the United States through MOTODEV, Motorola’s global developer network. Stay tuned to Motorola’s Developer site for additional info.

The Developer Edition, which comes with an unlockable bootloader, apparently couldn’t be pushed out to the original models due to “carrier and regulatory obligations”; which others, namely HTC, have no problem with.

Now, I can understand if a manufacturer might release one variant much later on in a device’s lifespan to add a major feature which wasn’t previously available (such as LTE support). but what Motorola is doing is far from that and is basically a slap in the face to early adopters of the Droid RAZR – who will now have to fork out an extra 500-600 dollars or Euros for a new RAZR if they ever want to see a custom ROM or kernel on their device.                                                                                       I honestly wouldn’t have even said anything if Motorola offered a free swap to Droid RAZR customers who want the Developer Edition instead, but that’s just not the way they roll unfortunately.

If Google’s $12.5 Billion purchase of Motorola goes through let’s just hope that they adopt Google’s motto of “Don’t be Evil” (even if Google’s currently having a hard time adhering to it themselves).

With it set for release the day after this was recorded, Adam Lashinsky, sat down with LinkedIn earlier this week to talk about his new book, “Inside Apple” as well as some of the methodology Apple have lived by over the past 15 years to make themselves the most valuable Tech company in the world today.

I highly recommended watching this, for anyone who isn’t planning to purchase the book (which is available now by the way) but still has some interest in Apple as a company.

RIM recently appointed a new CEO in Thorsten Heins as investors were not happy (understatement of the year, I know) with the former Co-CEOs; Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis.                                         Upon hearing this, many [analysts] responded to the news with some worry for RIM’s future mainly because Heins actually said that the company “would not be undergoing drastic changes”, in addition to the former Co-CEOs (who could be blamed for the company’s current position) still having active roles within the company.

Jumping to the defence of his company, Heins spoke to Reuters and confirmed that he will be detailing his proposed changes to the board, who he claimed are 1000 percent behind, in a few weeks

“I will have time with the board in two weeks to present my ideas and changes,” Heins said.

Claiming that the board is behind him “1000 percent”, Heins shouldn’t see any problems from them with his proposed changes which are said to include plans to release a revamped model of the BlackBerry PlayBook with a High-Speed Wireless connection (based on current LTE Technology) and the new PlayBook 2.0 OS in Spring, as well as the BlackBerry 10 OS,set run on RIM’s next-gen BlackBerry Smartphones which will reportedly feature LTE connectivity (something the major U.S. carriers have been requesting from the Canadian company for a long time).

While speaking on BlackBerry in the U.S. to WSJ on Friday, Heins revealed that a recent internal review showed that around 80-90 percent of U.S. BlackBerry users still have yet to adopt the BlackBerry 7 OS, either because they don’t have hardware capable of running it (effectively leaving them “two generations behind”) or they just don’t see the importance of it and the new features that come with it.

“When I talk about BlackBerry, I’m talking about [new BlackBerry 7 phones],” Mr. Heins said. “I have to realize that only 10% to 15% of the people know this.”

But nevertheless RIM supposedly do have plans to change all that, with the support of the major U.S. carriers, according to Reuters.

“All the plans are ready. The carrier agreements are all ready. Now we have to get off the starting grid. Now we need to execute that upgrade program,” Heins said.

 

Good Responses coming there from Heins, but “will this all pan out for RIM?” is still the question on everyone’s lips. Honestly, I really don’t think so, especially with their Smartphone market share looking to go significantly down even further in the U.S. over the next few months due to recharged rivals; Microsoft , who are currently set to take the market by storm after partnering with Nokia (which apparently cost Microsoft $250 Million) to create the Nokia Lumia Smartphones which will feature WP 7.5 Mango – with release dates penned down for sometime in the near future (some are already available e.g. Lumia 710).                                                                                                                                      I can’t really comment on any of the BlackBerry 10 devices yet as I have not seen them, but whose to say the Technology (Dual-Core LTE Processor) they are waiting on isn’t on par with some of the products which are already available from other companies. I mean it is possible since they’ve been for the hardware for quite a few months now, and will still have to wait for it until around September.

And then in the Tablet market, where Heins claims they will be competing with the iPad through the upcoming revamped PlayBook, in Spring. He needs to understand that you can’t just go straight to the leader of the pack, especially when your product could still be easily compared with some of the runners in the back. To fully compete with the iPad, the PlayBook is going to need completely new hardware in addition to the upcoming software update (PlayBook 2.0), as you honestly can’t expect to keep up when you’re holding a backdated product.

 

In review, what I’ve said might seem harsh, but Thorsten Heins and RIM’s plans (which have been revealed) seem to rely too much on variables which they really don’t have much control over, i.e. carriers marketing their products, waiting for other companies to produce hardware for them, etc..                                                                                                Seriously, if this is the way they will continue on with the company, we could see them playing catch up for the next 3-5 years.

At the time of me writing this post you probably wouldn’t have even heard of me… but anyway here comes a short intro:

Well, Hello there, my name is Wilson and I’m primarily a Blogger/Journalist who has been doing this for just over a year now. A year in which I originally tried to create a Tech -related online publication (oddpattern.com), but learnt the hard way (while of course gaining much experience through) that you cannot do it successfully unless you have funding and a strong team behind you. The site is currently still separate from this blog but will be merged at some point before June.

So after all of that I’ve now just decided to run a one-man show where I’ll give my opinion on some of the latest goings on in the tech world and beyond…

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