Whether you love BlackBerry or hate it, there’s no escaping the fact that consumer demand for RIM’s devices has dramatically decreased over the past few years. Even worse, it doesn’t seem like RIM has even the slightest clue as to how to fix the mess. However Jim Balsillie, the company’s former co-CEO who stepped down at the end of March, was indeed working on a radically new approach for RIM that would hopefully turn it around.
Instead of focusing so much on bundling the hardware and software for BlackBerrys like Apple does (and does successfully,) his idea was to start expanding the BlackBerry network to allow users on other platforms such as iOS and Android to use its services, namely BlackBerry Messenger. He wanted to entice carriers to use RIM’s network to lure in people stuck in the feature phone world with cheap smartphone data plans limited to social media and instant messaging. Carriers would have been able to keep the prices low because RIM’s backend would handle the load.
When Balsillie proposed the plan, it was shot down by new CEO Thorsten Heins, former co-CEO Mike Lazaridis and other executives. They chose to put all their time and energy into upcoming BlackBerry 10 devices. The veto was undoubtedly one of the main reasons for his resignation.
At least someone had an idea to fix this sinking ship, but according to this report, which originated from Reuters, Balsillie may have taken too long to start executing his grand scheme. With consumer interest in BlackBerry still fading and RIM’s latest quarterly results in the shitter, it’s now time for one of the current execs to step up to the plate and take a swing.