Plan involved radical strategy shiftPublish date: 16 April 2012 by Hanleigh Daniels
According to Reuters, details of former RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie’s BlackBerry revival plan have come to light.
Balsillie’s plan sought to put the Canadian smartphone and tablet maker on a completely new course, moving the focus away from handsets to become a service provider. He reportedly entered into talks with carriers such as AT&T and Verizon in the States as well as the Vodafone Group and Deutsche Telekom in Europe.
These talks revolved around using RIM’s BlackBerry-exclusive network to provide limited data plans to feature phone users that include social networking connectivity and BBM (BlackBerry Messenger), in the hope that this offer might reduce the mobile phone operators’ data burden, whilst at the same time enticing feature phone users to upgrade to a smartphone.
Business as usual for the Canadian firm
According to the report, RIM had already developed software for government and enterprises to deliver these type of services to Apple’s iOS-powered devices and Google’s Android mobile operating system. The company also looked at the earning potential worldwide from selling this service to carriers, but opted to reject Balsillie’s strategy in favour of a direction put forth by its new CEO Thorsten Heins, with the support of former co-CEO Mike Lazaridis as well as RIM’s board.
This direction involves turning the company’s fortunes around via new handsets that operate on the firm’s next-generation BlackBerry 10 mobile OS, which are due to arrive later this year. Balsillie resigned from his position on the company’s board of directors at the end of last month.
In related news, RIM recently made moves to boost the capabilities of its handsets via the acquisition of Paratek Microwave, which designs and manufactures adaptive radio frequency front-end components solutions for mobile devices.