RIM Co-CEOs Named Business Newsmakers of 2011 by The Canadian Press

2011 was not a kind year for Canada’s tech prodigy, Research in Motion. RIM’s Co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis doubted the iPhone when it launched in 2007. They made claims about how we don’t need apps for the web and blamed iPhone data demands for network congestion. RIM couldn’t even setup the App World developer program properly. These guys just don’t get it.

2011 was supposed to have been a monstrous year for RIM, but their product launches were an absolute failure (*cough* PlayBook). In some positive news, they did win something though–the 2011 Business Newsmakers by The Canadian Press:

“This pair blissfully missed or ignored all of the warning signs of change, turning this Canadian tech success story into a Canadian tragedy,” said Winnipeg Free Press business editor Steve Pona.

“They rode the wave that carried RIM to the top of the market, onto the shoals. They should have been brought to heel by the RIM board long ago.”

Ouch. Insert <RIM joke> here.

Best of luck in 2012, fellas. Bring on BlackBerry 10.

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter, and @iPhoneinCanada, and on Google+.

  • Anonymous

    News maker of the year for all the wrong reasons

    I like RIM because their Canadian but something needs to change fast or else some company will come up here and buy them out.

  • Anonymous

    I picked up a cheap Playbook. Without the AppStore offerings that the iPad offer, it’s still pretty solid. Quick, stable and the perfect size. Let’s hope developers hop on the bandwagon.

  • Anonymous

    “I like RIM because (they’re) Canadian”

    That’s what people said about Nortel … Need I say more?

  • RIMbeGone

    RIM will end up in the odd situation of being a player in 2 markets: Low end devices in developing countries that people buy because they want cheap phones, cheap monthly plans, a physical keyboard so they can BBM all day and then the high end corporate market where they want high security and a physical keyboard. Apple, Android and Windows will take the rest of the market. Sad.

  • Anonymous

    I just wish the Canadian media would stop making things seems worse than they are. Even though I don’t own a Blackberry, I certainly wish them well and hope they can recover from some of these issues. They’re Canadian, they have many Canadian employees and they are GOOD for Canada. 

  • Anonymous

    Being a Canadian company doesn’t excuse you from not innovating. RIM doesn’t want to shift their focus, and because of this iPhone and android is destroying them.

  • ????Dennis

    Gary this is going to be the first time I have to disagree with you…

    The Playbook is a great device. I just picked up a 32gb for $250 new. It got a bad rap when released because of its price point compared to an iPad. However at $199 for 16gb compared to an iPad for $519 it’s a better deal.

    For those of you that were in the dark like me, here is what the Playbook has going for it.

    – Price
    – Screen is gorgeous
    – Can open and edit word, xcel and PowerPoint documents.
    – opens PDF files with ease
    – transferring files is a breeze… Just hook it up to your computer and drag and drop. No need for annoying iTunes syncing.
    – battery lasts a long time due to screen size
    – reading a book is super comfortable due to size.
    – because of the size its easy to transport, it fits in the wife’s purse.
    – the OS is beautiful and multi-tasking is the best of any device out there.
    – the build construction is top notch. It has a soft backing so you don’t need a case for it to prevent scratches and feels amazing in the hand.
    – comes with a case!
    – will have android app store in February when OS 2 is released.
    – Plays all video formats
    – handles flash websites flawlessly
    – The hardware specs are amazing for $200! It has a 3 megapixel camera in front and a 5 megapixel camera at the back. It also has 1gb of ram compared to iPad’s 512mb. It also has a dual core processor.

    I decided to grab it after using a family members Ipad over the holidays. The iPad 2 is just so uncomfortable. The edges and slim profile get uncomfortable after 20 mins of holding it in front of your face. I find the 10 inch screen good for viewing but not when being held. The iPad 1 actually had a better design with the thicker profile. Made it much more comfortable to hold.

    The Playbook’s size is super sweet. It feels amazing in the hand. Give one a try before you dish out close to $600 for an iPad. I’m glad I did!

  • I agree that we definitely should support Canadian companies. The difference in RIM’s case, from my perspective is the ignorance of Jim and Mike and their dismissive nature towards the competition.

    They just haven’t admitted RIM needs to innovative instead of churning out the same crappy Bold design. They keep telling investors to ‘be patient’ like they can’t already see the writing on the wall.

  • I don’t doubt the specs of the PlayBook–they are impressive.

    Here’s a question though: would you have purchased the PlayBook at regular price?

    Also, this to me was an instant fail, and still is for some:
    – No native email application, contacts, or calendar.

    Can you imagine if Apple’s iPad was launched without those critical apps, that were only available if you owned an iPhone?

    Not only that, RIM has stated they will continue to develop Flash for mobile, when Adobe itself has given up.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, the price is a killer part for PB, but everything else is better than iPad just as Dennis stated.

    I don’t understand why people keep arguing the “native email” part. I believe that RIM introduced this device mainly targeting the BlackBerry market. The Blackberry Bridge makes it perfect when you own both devices. Besides, for those ppl who really want to be able to send and receive emails anytime and anywhere, they will have their smartphone already so why bother to set the same email account on 2 different devices?

    For those ppl who don’t care about real time email capability, they can always check emails at home or work on the much bigger screen of their laptop or PC, so they won’t care if there is “native email” on board.

    By the way, just to make it clear, I own an iPhone 4 and a Blackberry Bold 9700 and my wide owns a Samsung Galaxy SII, and I own a Playbook while my wife has an iPad 2. I guess I know the pros and cons between these devices more than many of you. Holding iPad 2 is really PIA unless you have a case to make it twice thicker. I hate the home button. Even though I got Activator installed on my jailbroken iPhone but I still have to use it to turn on the screen or close some apps in full screen mode. Same problem on the Galaxy too. This is why I think Playbook has the best UI design besides the hardware spec. Some ppl complain that RIM made the power button to hard to reach. Yes, because you don’t really need it to operate the device unless you are powering it on. I never used the button again after I turned it on the first time I got it.

    After all, RIM really needs to change their marketing strategy or the Playbook will be a waste of such a good design.

    Again, ppl, stop making negative comments if you never try one yourself. Be fair.

  • Yeah, RIM wanted to target the BB business market with the PlayBook, YET they marketed the device as an all-in-one tablet for gaming, entertainment, etc. So it’s not just for business. If that’s the case, they should’ve expected regular consumers without BBs to buy the device and therefore have access to an email/contacts/calendar app. Not everyone is going to have a BB to get the ‘Bridge’ to work. That’s ludicrous.

    Why would someone want to use a PlayBook, then have to respond to email using their iPhone or smartphone next to them? That doesn’t make sense. Every other tablet has an email app except for the PlayBook.

    The whole point is to be able to respond to email on every device, instead of having it limited to one. I never understood how people are satisfied with a carrier.blackberry.com email on a BB since once you switch away you have to change to another email. That’s why we have Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc.

    FYI I’ve played with my brother’s PlayBook, the first week of the tablet’s launch. The device itself wasn’t very intuitive as I just picked it up and tried to figure it out in less than a minute. It’s more complex than iOS, that’s for sure. I had no idea the bezel had controls as there was no indicator of that to the user. I found since it was 7″ I had to stretch out my arms at an awkward distance from my face in order read web pages, versus the 9.7″ screen of the iPad.

    I’ll give the PlayBook a +1 for specs, but hardware alone doesn’t mean
    anything anymore. RIM botched the marketing of this tablet, and the numbers
    speak for themselves. A $500 million dollar write off plus a
    firesale? Embarrassing and shameful. They should learn a lesson from HP
    with the TouchPad and throw the PlayBook into the fire and burn it. Focus
    on releasing smartphones you keep promising over and over and over instead.

    Don’t even get me started on the BB Bold… 😉

    /RIMrant

  • Anon

    Canadian companies with incompetent CEO’s deserve to go bankrupt.

  • Anonymous

    I think it’s also worth mentioning that RIM being in the situation they are in, loosing market share daily, should not have released the Playbook as ‘for BB user’ device. Sure try and please those loyal customers but you should try and win some back – not by force.

    When the iPod was released Steve Jobs said “The only way you can get one is if you own a Mac.” Later he saw the potential in making it available to PC users as well an look what happened – iPods are the number one mp3 player with well over 90% market share and this has also trickled into greater Mac sales.

    RIM, it would appear, is going backwards.

  • Reverse in Motion

  • Anonymous

    Oh I totally agree it’s their ignorance and cockiness getting them into this mess. You can only ride the original smartphone design for so long before competition threatens you (See Apple/Google). I’m just not a fan of how obsessed Canadian media is with a faltering Canadian company.

  • Anonymous

    Agree with you. That’s why I said RIM made a huge mistake promoting such a good product and marketing it in the wrong way.

  • Simon

    “I like RIM because they’re Canadian”  What a stupid reason for caring about something.  Canada’s biggest problem is that it  allows this attitude to perpetuate.  The country and it’s people need to stop living in their cocoon and accept that we all compete in a global market.