(By Karl Denninger) The so-called "prototype" handsets got not a yawn but a guffaw.
Simple: No keyboard.
Yes, I know that their CEO said "oh there will be some keyboards" but that's not what they showed off and handed out; indeed it looks like what they handed out was basically just a shrunk-down Playbook.
The problem is that for those who are looking for differences between devices the physical keyboard is one of those things that has made keying emails and messages on a Blackberry work. If it's gone -- in large part or entirely -- then so is RIMM.
I personally hate "soft keyboards" for any sort of message composition. Even for short text messages. And I do mean hate. They suck -- all of them. Apple's, Android's, all of them. They are slow, they are error-prone, they have no tactile feedback as they can't. They suck -- period.
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The keyboard is the one competitive advantage they've had that nobody else gives a damn about but those of us who actually use our devices for work instead of farting around do care very, very much about this. I hate having to fix every third word that's either misspelled or mis-keyed in some other fashion.
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It really is that simple folks and the company had better get out in front of this right now as I'm not the only one who's noted this and if the remaining development base abandons the platform they're
The utter deafness that is exhibited by this organization has now reached astounding levels. Here is a company with the literal best mobile operating system anywhere -- QNX -- and it is squandering all of the advantages they have.
They have the only platform that can run a unified set of applications (both theirs and Android's) at the same time without a problem -- both Apple and Google cannot accomplish this, but RIMM not only can but doesat present in a secure form as they run in a virtual container evading what would otherwise be severe security concerns and they crippled it so you have to wait for the apps to go through "their" appstore instead of allowing Google's "market" to function. If the developer doesn't want to bother with that then the time when you get access to those apps is never.
This is a literal 5 minute change to fix on the part of RIMM -- if your Playbook is rooted you already know this as you can and probably have loaded GAPPS on it and thus have access already.
In other words this is a policy issue, not a capabilities one.
This morning RIMM is down another ~5% on the back of a nearly 6% loss yesterday, for a roughly 11% loss in market cap simply on their "developer conference" and the stupefying lack of vision displayed there.
The reasons are simple: They failed to show off a device that keeps what made Blackberries distinct (that is, with a keyboard) and they failed to exploit the crossover capabilities they already have in the BB10 and Playbook codebase.
The stock is being hammered this morning on extremely high volume -- with good reason.
Management has dissembled and repeatedly proved that it is incapable of anything approaching vision or exploitation of their actual advantages, showing that they will instead squander them and act in ways that are as destructive to the company as would be placing 100 lbs of C-4 in their manufacturing facilities and blowing them up!
RIMM either moves right here and now to arrest the stupidity in their organization and acts -- literally within days -- to correct both of these idiocies or they're done. I will stand here and now and predict that without the head being removed from the ass BB10 and the company will both fail -- not on the technology and not on the capabilities, both of which are superior, but on the utter idiocy that is still being displayed daily in their executive offices.
As of right now given this unequaled and continual display of stupidity I must declare that absent immediate and tangible change, including the immediate firing of the CEO and the resignation of the board it's over and the board and CEO deserve to be held personally responsible for the intentional and wanton destruction of an iconic brand, the jobs and value that was once Research In Motion.
Turn on GAPPS capability RIGHT NOW for the Playbook and BB10. Today. Now. Announce it this morning and enable it in a couple of days as soon as you can test that the code push works.
Open the damned door and demonstrate that just ONCE you will pull your head out of your ass. Both the Playbook and BB10 devices can do this. Make the policy decision and do it right damned now to demonstrate that you have one iota of vision remaining -- that you will exploit just one of the things that make QNX, the Playbook and BB10 unique!
If RIMM does not do this -- and they won't -- Ottawa deserves to lose their largest employer, the shareholders deserve to lose their investment and the entire board deserves lawsuits, clawbacks, personal bankruptcy and then tarring and feathering.
I'm a patient man and I believe in redemption and advantages that can be had and put to use. I've repeatedly shown that this company has the ability to not only succeed but to develop and deliver extraordinary shareholder value, as the tools are there -- the firm has the building blocks to do so.
But at some point you have to declare "Time's Up" when all you see is a continual parade of assclowns, and that's what RIMM has become.
Unless remedial actions are immediately taken -- right here and now -- the stock is going to the single digits, the patents will be bought and the remnants will go to zero.
Disclosure: The author has had and continues to have positions in RIMM. If you're incapable of deducing my current opinion on the firm's prospects from the above please have a mental examination performed to determine whether your IQ is larger than your shoe size.