Lazaridis Fails at D:Dive into Mobile Conference

Mike Lazaridis was a scheduled speaker at the D:Dive into Mobile Conference held on December 6th and 7th in San Francisco, CA.  He was in a roundtable discussion moderated by Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher, who are both technology columnists for the Wall Street Journal where the topic was RIM’s survival plans.

Mossberg came out and placed the conversation into one of reality – Blackberry is losing significant market share and is now fighting to be in third place for the smartphone market place.  They pressed Lazaridis into providing some basis of a strategy, a plan that would show RIM acknowledged this issue and was taking the steps to recover and improve.  Instead of being transparent and giving anyone any sense of confidence, Lazaridis instead chose to provide vague, if not completely irrelevant answers rather sticking to ‘buzzwords’ and general marketing blabber of how RIM owns the space and is becoming a global company.  When pressed for how RIM was going to address the technology gap between its’ latest device, the Blackberry Torch against recent Apple iPhone and Android devices, Lazaridis refused to acknowledge any issue.  Swisher, who claimed to have been a loyal Blackberry user confessed that she has switched away from the RIM device.

The topic moved to the Blackberry Playbook and RIM’s plans to bring the new OS to the Blackberry device platform – again, no plans or answer was provided.  Just vague references to multicore technologies and being a ten year plan.

Post conference, the analyst community has pretty much come to consensus that RIM is in for the fight for its’ life.  It is heading down the same paths as Palm, Nokia and others – refusing to recognize the realities of the situation and responding to that in kind.  It is yet to deliver any of its’ Playbook devices to developers, has not provided the developers toolkit or emulator for developers to simulate applications and has yet to provide a fully working browser for the device.  Further news today that the Playbook will not undercut the iPad in pricing has also been met with a very cool reception.

RIM… what are you doing?  Have you not learned any lessons from your technology neighbour Nortel Networks?  Seems you will rather have your epitaph simply to state, the little Canadian company that should have… that could have… but didn’t.

About Grant Fengstad

I’m a technology professional in the travel and transportation sector and have been very involved with the Internet for over 20 years.