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Lazaridis decided he would isolate the QNX team and get them to focus solely on the new operating system, while leaving existing programmers to work on products for its existing platform, BlackBerry 7. But first, RIM had to answer a key question: Should it move over some of its old Java-based applications, or rewrite them all from scratch?

If the company abandoned Java altogether, what would it mean for third-party developers who used it? These were not easy decisions. Discussions among the senior leaders in Mr. Lazaridis' organization dragged on for a year — far too long, according to several insiders.

Eventually, the decision was made: BlackBerry 10 would be built from scratch. The problem with that approach was that a new team was being entrusted to recreate the BlackBerry. Those who had created the original system were still working on devices for the BlackBerry 7 platform. Once again, the company was split. But the BB7 was late," Mr.

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Lazaridis saw the work as a precursor to the BlackBerry 10 line of smartphones and was impressed by what the team brought to the product. But the QNX team was overwhelmed and needed to draw heavily on the company's other resources to complete the PlayBook. Similar issues arose later on the BlackBerry The tablet, originally slated to come out in the fall ofdidn't appear until April,and it failed to sell.

It was an awkward accessory to RIM's smartphones, and lacked e-mail, contacts and apps. Once again, RIM had missed the mark: Tablets that sold well worked as standalone devices, which the PlayBook wasn't. Some questioned the wisdom of launching the PlayBook in the first place, feeling it was a needless and costly distraction. And the decision to isolate QNX also created tensions and morale problems: Those who weren't on the team worried about their future.

In December,Verizon Wireless announced it would invest in fourth generation 4G LTE technology to accommodate the growing demands of customers who wanted to surf the Internet on their phones.

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It signalled to device makers that it would look to feature 4G smartphones in its marketing. RIM executives tried to make an engineering argument to carriers that 4G technology was no more efficient than 3G, and that its Bold phones were just fine.

Heins and chief technology officer David Yach "were trying to reshape the argument because they knew our products couldn't go there," a former executive said.

We lost channel support and feature ads. Lazaridis had enjoyed a close working relationship. But as the well-regarded Mr. Yach began to question the company's ability to hit deadlines on products, his views were dismissed and he was made to feel he wasn't a team player, damaging their relationship, observers said.

He left the company in early The PlayBook flop merely added to the sense of a company in decline; became a significant turning point for RIM. The pressure mounted on Mr. Lazaridis and the board. In January,they stepped aside as co-CEOs and handed it over to Thorsten Heins, a German executive who had run the company's handset division.

Almost immediately, there was division about how to roll out the BlackBerry The original strategy had called for the company to launch an all-touchscreen version first, because sales were still going well for the company's BlackBerry 7 keyboard phone.

But bysales of BlackBerry 7 phones had lost steam, and Mr.

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Lazaridis, now deputy chairman, felt the company should switch its priority to getting a keyboard version out, to meet the demand from BlackBerry die-hards. Heins's new management team held firm, sources close to the board said.

Lazaridis, abandoning the company's competitive advantage in the hopes consumers would embrace yet another touchscreen was too risky a strategy, setting up the showdown at the board last year. In the end, management agreed to continue developing the Q10 keyboard phone.

But the all-touchscreen Z10 would be launched first. By the time the first BlackBerry 10 smartphones were unveiled in January of this year, market observers generally agreed that the products were two years too late — a view widely shared among many senior RIM insiders. Everyone underestimated the complexity" involved in building the new system.

A BBM plan For 20 years, Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis operated in tandem, building an increasingly successful partnership that allowed each other's strengths to flourish. They shared an office in their early years, even possessing each other's voice mail passwords.

As RIM grew, they worked in separate buildings but spoke several times a day. But they had different personalities and their lives seldom intersected outside the office.

They have barely spoken since leaving the company. Lazaridis, science was both a job and a pastime.

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Balsillie was brash, competitive and athletic, and wore his reputation for being aggressive, even bullying in meetings, as a badge of honour. Easy-going, they would kill BlackBerry. Balsillie wasn't so sure. Balsillie was concerned that Google had commoditized the smartphone market by making its Android operating system available for free to any handset maker. Bywireless carriers were warning him that they would be ordering fewer BlackBerry products unless he dropped his prices to match rival manufacturers.

Balsillie pushed an alternative plan. More than 90 per cent of that was profit. Carriers tried to chip away at those fees — Google and Apple didn't charge them — but RIM always pushed back. Balsillie was particularly insistent on keeping the service fees.

But the executives knew the company's weakening position in devices would increase pressure on services revenues as well. Even after its terrible year inRIM still had several advantages, including close relationships with the world's major carriers.

How BlackBerry blew it: The inside story

It also had BlackBerry Messenger. RIM developers created the BBM app in to enable users to communicate not by e-mail but by using their devices' "personal identification numbers" or PINs. It was the first instant messaging service built for wireless devices, and it caught on quickly. It was reliable, free, always on and users could send as many messages as they wanted at no extra cost, unlike basic text messages. PINs were random codes, not phone numbers or e-mail addresses, enhancing privacy.

That made BBM extremely popular in countries where citizens didn't enjoy as many freedoms as Western democracies, and helped drive handset sales there. BBM's developers added a few clever elements that also made it addictive.

For example, users would know when a message had been delivered and when it had been read, marked D and R. Today there are 60 million monthly active users. Today Kik, boasts 85 million users, more than BlackBerry which sued Mr. Livingston for allegedly copying its program.

Others, such as WhatsApp, are even larger. Instant messaging "is the killer app of the mobile era," Mr. Brown believed he could tap into this unfolding trend. While working with Mr. Balsillie on other projects, around late and earlyhe began to talk up the concept of offering BBM on other mobile platforms. At the time, some carriers were pushing for rebates on their monthly service fees.

Brown was willing to comply if the carriers would agree to open new parts of their business to RIM. Balsillie struck upon an idea: Why not give carriers the opportunity to offer BBM to all their customers — no matter what devices they used? Most wireless executives were not fans of instant messaging services and other "over-the-top" apps such as Skype because they eroded the carriers' revenue from text messaging.

To counter that threat, carriers banded together to develop a standardized "rich communication service" RCS platform that would enable their customers to exchange text messages, videos, games and other digital information.

But the initiative has gained little traction; one commentator recently labelled RCS a "zombie technology. Balsillie began floating the idea that carriers could instead offer BBM as their own enhanced version of text messaging, generating revenue for carriers while providing a cut for RIM. He called it "SMS 2. Brown discussed several options.

For example, carriers could offer BBM as part of a standard "talk and text" plan for entry-level smartphone users. Because of its extra functions, BBM would save customers from having to buy a data plan. Or, carriers could offer an expensive plan that included BBM and other offerings from BlackBerry, including one gigabyte of cloud storage on which they could keep photos or songs.

The carriers could then sell extra services such as radio through BBM. It would also make the wireless companies' customers "stickier" — less likely to defect — since they couldn't move stored data to rival mobile carriers as easily.

How BlackBerry blew it: The inside story - The Globe and Mail

It was a chance to make BBM the dominant chat messaging service, and would have created a new story for the BlackBerry brand.

A few carriers responded positively to Mr. Balsillie's initial entreaties and by mid, he was calling SMS 2. To round out the strategy, and build a suite of cross-platform services, RIM made a few acquisitions, such as instant messaging firm LiveProfile. But the plan deeply divided the company. BBM was still an important driver of BlackBerry sales. Making it widely available to competitors represented an added threat to RIM's faltering handset business, led by Mr.

Heins at the time. Balsillie and proponents of his plan felt that would be too late. These carriers were looking for a solution and this was a potential solution. Balsillie was overestimating the revenue potential of his software-driven strategy. Balsillie talked up SMS 2. Heins and his team increasingly cast doubt on it internally. Lazaridis, he was supportive of launching BBM for rival operating systems, but was concerned about the costs and risks involved in building out the SMS 2.

Lazaridis worried about handset sales. Balsillie was increasingly convinced that SMS 2. After pitching the plan to CEOs of 12 of the largest wireless carriers in the world in latehe believed he could sign up at least one major U. That's all it would take, he felt, to convince others to adopt BBM en masse.

Balsillie was pushing to formally launch SMS 2. But with the company under mounting pressure to overhaul its top leadership, he and Mr. Lazaridis handed the reins to Mr. Heins in late January. A few weeks later, Mr. Heins killed the SMS 2. And if that meant getting rid of strategies that didn't fit, or weren't complete, or required resources, I think [Mr.

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Heins] did the right thing. Heins and with Barbara Stymiest, the chair of the board. The company declined, but agreed to agreed to provide answers to written questions.

Asked why he shelved SMS 2. Heins said in an e-mailed response: Balsillie, no longer an executive but still a board member, urged directors to reconsider, but they backed the new CEO. Balsillie couldn't abide by the decision. He resigned from the board in late March, then sold all his stock. Few people knew the reason for his departure, including his long-time co-CEO, Mr. BlackBerry did launch a version of its BBM application last weekend for iPhones and Android devices, but simply as a stand-alone app.

Andrew Bocking, the executive who oversees BBM, said that with built-in capabilities to have group chats, share photos, calendar items and other features, "it really takes BBM to a whole other level … I believe there is an opportunity for a dominant player in instant messaging and there will be one winner-take-all. A fizzled launch Finally, close to six years after Apple unveiled the iPhone, the long-awaited BlackBerry 10 made its debut at a glitzy launch event in January, featuring singer Alicia Keys as the company's "global creative director.

The Z10 device itself won a number of positive reviews. The marketing campaign was confusing and vague: An ad that ran during the Super Bowl failed to explain what made the product distinct. A source close to the board said directors weren't shown the ad before it ran, and some didn't understand the content or the slogan, "Keep Moving.

Once again, the market had shifted, and there was little demand for the Z10 in an era where sophisticated operating systems were commonplace and phones were getting cheaper.

The one advantage the BlackBerry may have had over its rivals — a physical keyboard — wasn't present in the first model to hit the market. Anyone who wanted a touchscreen was already gone.

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Lazaridis were proven right. It was hard enough to compete in a commoditizing smartphone market. Leading with the wrong product on top of that only made BlackBerry's task more hopeless. Heins's strategic errors only compounded the challenging situation he had inherited.

The product was difficult to sell for other reasons. One company insider said it could take close to an hour for young sales staff to demonstrate the product in dealer stores. And many long-time BlackBerry users found that the new system was too different from the classic BlackBerry experience for their liking.

Many of the little "moments of delight," as they are called in the company, were forgotten or overlooked by the QNX developers who lacked ties to the company's past. For example, users can't hit "u" and look at the last unread message in their inbox, nor can they easily shift to the next or previous e-mail, as they could on older BlackBerrys.

Pocket-dialling is a constant hazard. Meanwhile, the company was slow to provide service to business users — such as helping them to transfer applications they had written for the old BlackBerry system. Find venezuelan prostitutes Meta Log in dating internet texas, and wf looking for sex in fact, when you planning a Page Home About Archive Comments Voodoodal on bbm stick? Share more honest replies to admit when inside the extracurricular activities.

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