RIM's Latest Announcement Is Proof It Gets It

With Research In Motion (NASDAQ: BBRY  ) unveiling its new BB10 tomorrow, CEO Thorsten Heins and team continue to shed light on what BlackBerry users can expect, lending some credibility to RIM's meteoric jump in stock price. Since Heins let the BB10 cat out of the bag in November, RIM's share price has doubled, leaving some to wonder if investors have gotten a little ahead of themselves.

Buying on speculation alone, be it talk of a possible takeover or hopes for the wondrous new BB10 OS, is a scary proposition. But to RIM's credit, its given shareholders some tangible reasons for getting excited over the last few weeks, and yesterday's announcement should add a bit of fuel to the RIM fire.

Recent news from Waterloo
Other than some select corporate and government clients, the general public has had to rely on beta-testing rumors and selected feedback to get a sense for RIM's BB10 OS and its new smartphones. Granted, most of the news from the beta group has been good, but secondhand data only goes so far.

As discussed in a recent article, RIM has given proponents plenty to get excited about in the past week alone. According to a Jefferies analyst, RIM will likely make its BlackBerry email an option for Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) iPhone users and the plethora of smartphones running Google's (NASDAQ: GOOGL  ) Android OS. Beyond the obvious flexibility for RIM's customers to use their personal phones in the workplace, making BlackBerry email available (should it come to pass) to Apple and its 51% domestic market share customer base -- as welll as Google's world-dominating Android OS users -- would speak volumes about RIM's new outlook.

There was a time when the notion of RIM working with Google and Apple, in any fashion, would have been unthinkable. But the world of mobile computing has changed, and so has RIM.

Its new BB10 mobile payment solution, Secure Element Manager, was recently blessed by Visa (NYSE: V  ) , and the second of RIM's developer "port-a-thons" netted some 19,000 apps, and that was in addition to the 15,000 announced the week before. Of course, not all those apps will pass muster with RIM engineers, but suffice it to say BB10 won't be short on goodies, a point of contention for earlier BlackBerrys.

The latest from Waterloo
The possibility of making RIM's secure email available to "the enemies," developing new payment solutions, apps, and receiving a blessing from virtually all the wireless carriers lay a pretty solid foundation for BB10's rollout. Now, according to an announcement from CMO Frank Boulben, BB10 will offer instant access to top-flight music and videos via its BlackBerry World store.

As per the press release, RIM has partnered with some serious music and video heavyweights, too. Warner Bros., MGM, Disney, CBS. The list goes on and on. Providing smartphone users with a complete, mobile experience isn't just a good idea -- it's a necessity. And more than the availability of top-flight videos and tunes, this latest news -- making the BB10 OS available for Apple and Android users and addressing concerns about the number of apps -- speaks volumes about the direction of RIM going forward.

The lines between personal and business smartphone use are blurring, and not acknowledging iOS, Android, or smartphone users' preferences would have been fatal. But if earlier announcements weren't proof enough, RIM's new entertainment alternatives make it clear: The world it once dominated looks a lot different than it did even a year or two ago, and RIM gets it.


 

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Comments from our Foolish Readers

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  • Report this Comment On January 29, 2013, at 8:45 PM, digitally404 wrote:

    I, for one, look forward to the software service world of RIM.

  • Report this Comment On January 29, 2013, at 9:07 PM, TimKnows wrote:

    I cannot wait to get this new phone!!!!!

  • Report this Comment On January 29, 2013, at 10:34 PM, tt4u wrote:

    InfoThatHelp, does it scare you that BlackBerry is making a comeback? Does the thought of losing money in whatever stock you're holding(I feel like either Apple or Samsung), that you feel the need to bash RIMM in any and every article written about it?

    What amuses me the most, is that in every comment I've seen you write, you've supported your claims with absolutely nothing, or making laughable, irrelevant comparisons between smartphones and televisions.

  • Report this Comment On January 29, 2013, at 11:25 PM, neveragainfoolme wrote:

    tt4u, just let him be. He can bash RIM all he wants. After all, everyone's free to speak their mind. Meanwhile, I'm going to make a lot of money with RIMM. :)

  • Report this Comment On January 30, 2013, at 2:11 AM, CarusDave wrote:

    InfoThatHelp, what are you trying to prove? We all know Apple make good products, but they aren't alone anymore because as you stated, they had the best OS and its now 6 years old, probably over 10 years since development...its getting old and there are some fresh alternatives out there, but I'm sure Apple will keep doing well despite of it.

  • Report this Comment On January 30, 2013, at 7:20 AM, RandomMeaning wrote:

    " they had the best OS and its now 6 years old, probably over 10 years since development ...its getting old"

    You do know that Apple's iPhone has enjoyed the highest satisfaction and retention of any smart phone since its inception and those scores have increased while the sales have greatly increased, don't you? I suppose Apple could, should, and might change things but this meme that iOS is dated just doesn't make sense when you look at the actual data.

    "there are some fresh alternatives out there, but I'm sure Apple will keep doing well despite of it."

    Of those "fresh alternatives" only one is doing well: Samsung - the company which copied the iPhone and iOS the most closely. Not without cost though. Their marketing budget for their smartphones is 10 times larger than Apple's. Also, Samsung offers bounties to cell provider employees for each Samsung phone sold. As does Microsoft but not Apple (although goodness knows they could afford to). I don't think RIM can afford to play that game.

    In regards to why Apple does well despite over throwing their OS like RIM, Nokia, and Microsoft you should understand that making radical changes to the OS is one of the reasons those three companies have lost massive market share. Who wants to buy a phone from a company which will completely abandon them in a year or two, obsoleting the OS and all the apps that worked with it? Microsoft is the worst offender, having end-of-lifed Windows Phones, the Kin, Windows Phone 6.5, and Windows Phone 07. Will Windows Phone 08 stay around? I wonder. It would not surprise me at all if they kill that off too when the introduce their own smartphone.

    Android devices, on the other hand, rarely get updated at all because the cell providers would rather you bought a new device than update it so they don't provide the necessary software and support. Also, fragmentation is quite rampant.

    Apple's decision is to constantly refine and update. My brother's original iPhone still works and has been updated each year. Does it get all the newest goodies. No. But it has evolved far beyond its original capabilities. Which is why many people feel very happy with their iPhones and iPads, knowing that their devices will evolve and improve over time, not get abandoned because some exec is trying to jump on the latest band wagon.

    There are indications that RIM has the same intentions. For their sake, I hope so. A stable platform is far more desirable than an erratic one. I'm looking forward to seeing what RIM has to offer. Unfortunately, activist posters have created a negative aura of desperation around RIM. I hope they can rise above it.

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