RIM's new CEO is shaking up the BlackBerry world but is it enough?

RIM's new CEO, Thorsten Heins, spoke to Kevin Michaluk of our sibling site, CrackBerry.com, about some his thoughts and ideas on where RIM and the BlackBerry platform are heading. When the iPhone launched, BlackBerry was the biggest, baddest competition on the planet but in recent years, Android has taken much of their place, and given Apple's recent results it's going to be tough for RIM to regain their relevancy in the mobile space.

The entire series of interviews is being posted on CrackBerry, and addresses quite a few things about Research In Motion. Where they went wrong, what they can do to fix it and even speaks candidly about some of the latest rumors about RIM moving to license their platform -- and even BlackBerry Messenger.

Kevin: There have been a lot of questions this week about whether RIM will ever license out the BlackBerry platform, and your answer has been that "we're open to discussions". Will we ever see BlackBerry Messenger on other platforms? We've have seen RIM put an Android app player onto the PlayBook. Would we ever see it go the other way? Maybe not full out licensing, but maybe pieces of BlackBerry services showing up on other platforms? Thorsten: You should never rule this out; business is very very dynamic. It's dynamic on the device side as well as on the software side. So never say no to anything. We're constantly exploring our room to maneuver and our room to explore other businesses so I wouldn't say categorically no to it. There is a time where this might make sense, and I have a team looking into this. I'm not saying I won't license. People are again putting this in a black and white spot. I'm open for licensing if it makes sense. But it's not what I was hired for; I was not hired to build a licensing company. I was hired to take BlackBerry to new heights. And that's what I will do with my team.

Reading through and listening to some of the statements made, it sounds as though RIM -- and more importantly, RIM's new CEO -- is fully aware of what needs to be done. But awareness of the situation isn't all that needs to happen here. There needs to be execution. Appointing of Thorsten Heins wasn't met with universal approval from the markets, who despite many calling for Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis' removal for quite some time.

In a time when Apple is turning record breaking profits and Android is rapidly gaining market share there needs to be a solid plan of execution here on RIM's behalf or things just will not turn out the best for them, no matter who they appoint as CEO. Will Thorsten Heins be the one to put those plans into execution? Time will tell for certain but either way, he's at least talking as if he's the one.

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Chris Parsons

Editor-at-Large at Mobile Nations, gadget junkie, energy drinker, ranter.

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Reader comments

RIM's new CEO is shaking up the BlackBerry world but is it enough?


The expectations might have been too great if they had brought in someone from outside of the company.

It will be an interesting year for RIM, if the can innovate and execute their plans on time and complete, then they will do well. If the don't, they will bleed customers to those who already do this. Years ago Motorola and Nokia have seen this happen to them, RIM will survive, but I am not sure they will ascend to the throne again for some time. We'll eventually see Apple do the same years from now.

This year is make it or break it for RIM. If they don't figure out how to gain some ground then they will not survive. They need to take their time and build a fast high quality slate smartphone and release it by Christmas bug free and full of features.