Seeking Alpha

While RIM (RIMM) is relying on its new Blackberry for salvation, the device will comprise a...

While RIM (RIMM) is relying on its new Blackberry for salvation, the device will comprise a jigsaw puzzle of technologies that have been acquired or licensed, including the OS, the camera and the touchscreen. The approach is a big departure for RIM and it's prompted doubts. "It's almost too many things to integrate at the same time," says one analyst.
Comments (14)
  • Gene Chan, CFA
    , contributor
    Comments (218) | Send Message
     
    RIMM going alone = bad

     

    RIMM integrating "best of breed" technologies = bad

     

    Can SA be more transparent with their bias?
    7 Jun 2012, 12:23 PM Reply Like
  • Jtkchen
    , contributor
    Comments (7) | Send Message
     
    Check this guy out, been a shadow RIMM guy since may. Gene, you brought it at $100 didn't you Fredo?!
    4 Jul 2012, 08:49 AM Reply Like
  • Matithyahu
    , contributor
    Comments (95) | Send Message
     
    "Says one analyst." What are this analyst's credentials as a technical expert? What are this analyst's credentials as an analyst, for that matter?

     

    I think that Apple has purchased its share of companies to pull technology into its products. I think Google has done so as well. RIM is doing the same, because in today's world it makes sense. They are still the developers of their most profitable technology--their security--so everything else is almost a non-issue, as far as the "patchwork" phone criticism.

     

    Look, all RIM has to do is come out with a great product and market it successfully. If they can do that, then all the negative criticism will be shown to have been obviously wrong. If they can't, then it will be shown to have been correct.
    7 Jun 2012, 01:00 PM Reply Like
  • kmi
    , contributor
    Comments (4024) | Send Message
     
    If the new BB10 devices are - as they so far appear to be - "mini-Playbooks" they will be absolutely fantastic.

     

    5 min on a Playbook should convince.
    7 Jun 2012, 02:16 PM Reply Like
  • Herr Hansa
    , contributor
    Comments (3080) | Send Message
     
    Good luck finding a PlayBook on display at any retailer that actually functions. Best I saw was months ago at a Sprint store, but they had it locked down in such a way that it was impossible to pull up websites on the browser. Worst was a few office supply stores where the device was on display with no power cord, which left it completely dead. If RIMM cannot get the point of purchase correct, then no potential buyers will be willing to consider buying one.
    7 Jun 2012, 02:40 PM Reply Like
  • kmi
    , contributor
    Comments (4024) | Send Message
     
    That's unfortunate.

     

    What's additionally unfortunate is that the Playbook is currently at $200 but so are many of its competitors' products.

     

    One of the facts of the Tablet world is that they tend to be ecosystem products - iPad + iPhone, Galaxy tab and Galaxy phone, Blackberry and Playbook.

     

    This by definition implies that RIM's competition will likely sell more tablets than RIM.

     

    I, personally, am a Blackberry guy. I've experienced the Android products and the Apple products and simply don't like them. But the fact is the Blackberry phones still lack a bit compared to the competition, and this situation will end if, like I mentioned above, the BB10 devices are mini-Playbooks.

     

    The Playbook is a fantastic device.
    7 Jun 2012, 02:48 PM Reply Like
  • Herr Hansa
    , contributor
    Comments (3080) | Send Message
     
    I've looked into tablets initially because I wanted to see if I could leave my MacBook Pro behind on some business trips. The iPad is large enough to take up a similar amount of space, and I didn't like some of the limitations of iOS compared to Mac OS X. The next devices I looked into were the Samsung tablets, which seemed to better fit what I would want to carry on an airplane. The downside about a year ago was that Android seemed unfinished and clunky, though perhaps with a newer version that may change for the better.

     

    Windows 7 based tablets are whacky, and not finger friendly, though maybe Windows 8 tablets will meet my needs. I don't think the BlackBerry PlayBook is done being updated, and I would expect another software refresh to happen around the time of launch of BB10 smartphones.

     

    As I have waited on getting a tablet, the screen size on smartphones has grown. We already have many smartphone hitting near 720P HD (1280 by 720, or close to that) dimensions, which means that a really good smartphone may be enough to eliminate the usefulness of a tablet. If a tablet really is just a smartphone without talk capability and just offering a larger screen, then there may be some stagnating of the market. However, a more fully featured tablet might get some buyers.
    7 Jun 2012, 02:58 PM Reply Like
  • kmi
    , contributor
    Comments (4024) | Send Message
     
    Tablets are not yet really productivity devices, if that is your use case scenario don't bother.

     

    None of them do very well at this, I've carried windows based tablets like the Viliv ex70 and Gigabyte s1080 in the past for that, and have yet to meet anyone who is as productive on their tablet OS as they are on their desktop OS.

     

    If you want to or can, I'd simply wait. Desktop OS in phone form factor is about 12-24 months out.

     

    By the way, the BB10 device RIM is putting out is expected to have HDMI out (non existent on current Blackberries) and a 720p resolution.
    7 Jun 2012, 03:28 PM Reply Like
  • Herr Hansa
    , contributor
    Comments (3080) | Send Message
     
    I took a big look into future trends not long ago.

     

    http://seekingalpha.co...

     

    Currently I am using a nearly two year old BlackBerry 9650. Most of my business contacts are through e-mail, so that aspect of it still works as I need it to when I am on the move. I'm warming up to the idea of a larger screen, and better mobile browser.

     

    http://seekingalpha.co...

     

    Increasingly it appears that 1280 by 720, or near that, will be somewhat common on smartphones next year. We should see some devices appear at the end of this year. I like the idea of multi-tasking that Windows and BlackBerry seem to be moving towards, though it remains to be seen how well that works. Anyway, that is more my needs, than what I think the average consumer will want. Most consumers will not read an operating manual, so I think more complex smartphones will not sell as well as easier to use iOS and Android devices. More powerful smartphones involve some usability compromises for some people.
    7 Jun 2012, 03:38 PM Reply Like
  • kmi
    , contributor
    Comments (4024) | Send Message
     
    For someone already using a Blackberry phone the critical point is that you don't need to buy an additional data plan for the Playbook, as the Playbook uses your phone as a modem, seamlessly.

     

    I have been using RIM products since '05 and currently I have a 9810 since I need the keyboard but got tired of the tiny screens on the more traditional devices.

     

    The primary use case scenario however remains couch surfing. I still use the Android Bloomberg app on my Playbook, I can stream Bloomberg's live TV through my 9810's 4g connection while in my car (although it can get choppy), and the Android TD Ameritrade trading app works great.

     

    What's sad is that RIM couldn't get devs to make these apps native, but at least they are now available through the Android player.

     

    My point is merely that, it appears that the BB10s will be Playbook minis, and after the 2.0 OS, the Playbook has been an absolute joy (the OS version it shipped with had bad wifi connectivity and other irritations)
    7 Jun 2012, 04:01 PM Reply Like
  • Herr Hansa
    , contributor
    Comments (3080) | Send Message
     
    Well, why tether when you can just look it up on a smartphone? That's my point in this. I think that in the future a smartphone may be all that is needed on some business trips. I don't actually spend much time at home, which is probably why couch surfing on a tablet holds no appeal for me. I do have a Nook Simple Touch, mostly because I get tired of staring into a back-lit screen all day, even though the LED back-lit screen on my MacBook Pro is quite nice. Besides that I would prefer magazines to reading on devices.

     

    I'm not really the average consumer, so I have to put away those ideas of what I might want, when I consider how people may buy and use these devices. As an investor, I don't feel a need to own products made by a company in order to make an investment decision. I think that sort of thinking can lead people to make the wrong choices. Apple laptop computers have been great for years, and I really have liked nearly all I have owned, but my like of them has never been a reason to invest in AAPL; I did that mostly on their growth potential, and I made some nice profits along the way. Investing in RIMM, though I consider is speculation at this point, is not about me using a 9650, nor about me considering whether or not to buy a BB10 device. I might just as well decide to get a Windows Phone late this year. I tend to like some beaten down longshots, and do some bottom fishing, because I made some substantial profits on some of my other investments.

     

    I do not recommend anyone buying shares in RIMM, because absolutely no person knows how the company will fair. Just because there are enthusiasts and fans of BlackBerry phones, is not enough reason to invest. That fan base cannot sustain more than 1/4 of the current user base. What BlackBerry needs, now that it is the most hated company in technology, is to change new users opinions. All that rides on an advertising campaign we have yet to see. If RIMM cannot change consumer attitudes, they could have the "best" smartphone ever created, and still have trouble selling them. These devices do not sell themselves. The average consumer buying a smartphone is completely clueless, and barely knows how to operate it. This market is like selling wool sweaters to sheep.
    7 Jun 2012, 04:20 PM Reply Like
  • kmi
    , contributor
    Comments (4024) | Send Message
     
    I'm really the same use case as you, and your points are my points: there is little if any productivity value in a tablet over a product running a desktop OS.

     

    I enjoy my Playbook, but most times my phone suffices. Not always - it's a better device at the bar than my phone or a laptop. But at a current $200 price, not expensive.

     

    I keep my real data, spreadsheets, etc on my phone, not my Playbook, because the phone is never left behind, ever.

     

    The point I am making is that the BB 7.1 devices are behind the competition, but the Playbook is not, and that the BB10 devices are expected to be mini Playbooks.

     

    For the future? Tablet operating systems are a dead end. They lack functionality that is becoming available with more powerful ARM processors and more power sipping Intel cpus. The future isdesktop OS in phone form factor.

     

    Right now, I don't see it as a RIM future. Nor for that matter as an Apple future since iOS is so different from Mac OS. Google can likely do a better job of converging Android with a full desktop Linux OS, however, and its a pretty established OS.

     

    My bet is that RIM will do well with the BB10 devices in the phone world, and Apple and Google will do fine short term (12-24 months) with their ecosystems, but once desktop on phone factor becomes ubiquitous MSFT and Nokia may be the longer term winners.
    7 Jun 2012, 04:42 PM Reply Like
  • Herr Hansa
    , contributor
    Comments (3080) | Send Message
     
    All smartphones are a "jigsaw puzzle of technologies". About the closest fully integrated hardware on devices now on the market are from Samsung, though even they buy some of the chips from other companies. About the most integrated software is from Apple, though they purchased Siri and are still trying to polish and integrate that better. Why re-invent when you can find existing technology? All smartphones are packages of many technologies, from various chips and camera modules, to software. Even all laptops are jigsaw puzzles of technology, and become even more complex once third party software gets installed.
    7 Jun 2012, 02:44 PM Reply Like
  • Loon-a-tick
    , contributor
    Comments (1560) | Send Message
     
    Canadians can integrate anything all the time.Look at our population. Yes,oui,si,da, ya ,yeah!Go Rimm!
    7 Jun 2012, 03:13 PM Reply Like
DJIA (DIA) S&P 500 (SPY)
ETF Tools
Find the right ETFs for your portfolio:
Seeking Alpha's new ETF Hub
ETF Investment Guide:
Table of Contents | One Page Summary
Read about different ETF Asset Classes:
ETF Selector

Next headline on your portfolio:

|