Tag: Jim-BalsilliePage 3 of 13

Balsillie Confirms BlackBerry PlayBook to be Priced Under $500


jim balsillie with a tablet

Jim Balsillie made an interesting point recently when he compared the tablet market to the smartphone market, essentially saying there’s enough room for everyone and the market will explode in a similar fashion. It does seem to be the case that everyone is upgrading to a smartphone, and that everyone’s phone will eventually be “smart”, but does the same necessarily hold true for tablets?

“You have seen the smartphone market just explode… We are in the right sweet spot… This idea that there are two players and a small pie and they are divvying that between them – you are missing the point,” Balsillie told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of the G20 CEO Summit in Seoul.

At the same meeting, Jim Balsillie told reporters that the PlayBook will be priced under $500, but wouldn’t go into specifics about the exact price. Will it be $499? Or perhaps much cheaper at $300. Considering the device relies on a BlackBerry for connectivity, RIM is going to have to price the tablet lower than the competitors. Ideally, the PlayBook would come in at a pricepoint where every BlackBerry user will feel like they can afford one.

It looks like all of this will be confirmed in the next couple of months when we get close to a rumored February launch.

Jim Balsillie Shoots Back at Apple CEO Steve Jobs About PlayBook and Tablets


jim balsillie with a tablet

It’s great to see RIM firing back at Steve Jobs and not letting him get away with snide remarks about the PlayBook. As you may or may not know, Jobs had this to say about 7″ tablets: “The current crop of 7-inch tablets are going to be DOA, dead on arrival. Their manufacturers will learn the painful lesson that their tablets are too small.” In response, Jim Balsillie had this to say:

“For those of us who live outside of Apple’s distortion field, we know that 7″ tablets will actually be a big portion of the market and we know that Adobe Flash support actually matters to customers who want a real web experience. We also know that while Apple’s attempt to control the ecosystem and maintain a closed platform may be good for Apple, developers want more options and customers want to fully access the overwhelming majority of web sites that use Flash. We think many customers are getting tired of being told what to think by Apple. And by the way, RIM has achieved record shipments for five consecutive quarters and recently shared guidance of 13.8 – 14.4 million BlackBerry smartphones for the current quarter. Apple’s preference to compare its September-ending quarter with RIM’s August-ending quarter doesn’t tell the whole story because it doesn’t take into account that industry demand in September is typically stronger than summer months, nor does it explain why Apple only shipped 8.4 million devices in its prior quarter and whether Apple’s Q4 results were padded by unfulfilled Q3 customer demand and channel orders. As usual, whether the subject is antennas, Flash or shipments, there is more to the story and sooner or later, even people inside the distortion field will begin to resent being told half a story.”

The 7″ PlayBook looks like a size that makes a lot of sense. It looks like you could fit the PlayBook into a blazer pocket which would make the size very portable.

What do you think? Is 7″ a good size or do you think the PlayBook should be bigger?

Jim Balsille Demos the PlayBook and Announces Torch and App World 2.0


RIM CEO Jim Ballsille keynote at Gitex 2010

Jim Balsillie was at GITEX (Gulf IT Exhibition) in the UAE, showing off the PlayBook and announcing App World 2.0 and the Torch in the Middle East. The PlayBook is the hottest thing we’ve ever seen from RIM and regardless of what the analysts say, it’s going to kill it in the tablet market. Not only that, but the beginning of the QNX revolution has started in RIM and it’s going to give a new life to BlackBerrys. Overall, things are looking pretty good but considering the hassle that the UAE government gave RIM over access to information, they were fortunate to see a live demo and get so much love from RIM.

RIM Co-CEO Jim Balsillie Joining UN Global Sustainability Panel


Jim Balsillie has been appointed to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s 21 member panel on Global Sustainability. The Panel is challenged to “think big, to be bold and also practical” in order to tackle issues such as climate change, water scarcity, the loss of biodiversity and the destruction of ecosystems around the world. Balsillie will bring a lot of experience in international business and lessons learned in the private sector.

“I am pleased to help this esteemed group develop new ideas for prosperity in a low-carbon world,” Balsillie said on Monday. “This is a critically important initiative for all countries, and integrates perfectly with the work CIGI is undertaking to address the international governance challenges of climate change.”

More information available from the press release.

BlackBerryCool Roundup for the Week of July 19th



The big news this week is all about Antennagate. Apple took a jab at a few other smartphone manufacturers trying to claim that their antenna issue isn’t confined to the iPhone and that other smartphones, including the Bold 9700, also have antenna issues. RIM’s CEOs responded to this claim with a stern letter to Steve Jobs calling it a “self-made debacle”. RIM is normally a pretty tight-lipped company that sticks to their own and this was definitely out of character for the company. Regardless, the letter was very much needed as Jobs’ statements needed a response.

Be sure to check out this past week in BlackBerry as we have a ton of content you may have missed.
Continue reading ‘BlackBerryCool Roundup for the Week of July 19th’

RIM CEOs Officially Respond to Apple’s Antenna Propaganda


During the Apple iPhone 4 Antenna press conference, Steve Jobs claimed that Apple’s antenna issues were not specific to the iPhone, and other smartphones such as the BlackBerry Bold 9700 experience similar issues. It seems BlackBerryCool readers don’t experience these issues and RIM’s CEOs took aim at Steve Jobs and defended their antennas. Here is their official statement from Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis:

“Apple’s attempt to draw RIM into Apple’s self-made debacle is unacceptable. Apple’s claims about RIM products appear to be deliberate attempts to distort the public’s understanding of an antenna design issue and to deflect attention from Apple’s difficult situation. RIM is a global leader in antenna design and has been successfully designing industry-leading wireless data products with efficient and effective radio performance for over 20 years. During that time, RIM has avoided designs like the one Apple used in the iPhone 4 and instead has used innovative designs which reduce the risk for dropped calls, especially in areas of lower coverage. One thing is for certain, RIM’s customers don’t need to use a case for their BlackBerry smartphone to maintain proper connectivity. Apple clearly made certain design decisions and it should take responsibility for these decisions rather than trying to draw RIM and others into a situation that relates specifically to Apple.”

- Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie

RIM is a pretty quiet company and this is not the norm for their CEOs. Generally, RIM doesn’t talk about other smartphones or comment directly on another company but it’s great to see them respond to a blatant attack on the company.