Tag: walt mossberg

Highlights from Mike Lazaridis at the Dive Into Mobile Conference


The above video shows you some interesting highlights from Mike Lazaridis at the Dive Into Mobile conference. Generally, the interview was pretty tough as Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher inundated Lazaridis with questions about where the platform is going and how RIM is going to keep up with the competition. Mike L didn’t do the best job of answering their questions, but it must be hard when every question starts with “so, your brand and phone is terrible…”.

While Mike L wanted to focus on the PlayBook and discuss how powerful it is, Walt, Kara and the audience, wanted to know about the smartphone. Sure, the PlayBook is cool, but what about the actual smartphone? The answer seems to be that RIM is moving in the direction of multicore, QNX OS smartphones, but it won’t be overnight. RIM is definitely working on multicore products, but consider this: the average BlackBerry has a 2 year development cycle, and RIM only acquired QNX this year. It could be that we won’t see a QNX multicore device until be 2013.
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Google’s Andy Rubin Admits RIM is on the Right Track with Acquisitions


Andy Rubin, VP of Engineering at Google, was on Dive Into Mobile talking about Android as well as the competition. During the interview, Walt Mossberg began explaining how RIM has done a great job of building an “iconic” product but goes on to say that they’re fading in light of the competition, mostly due to the fact that they’re working with a legacy product.

Rubin’s response to Mossberg was to point out the similarities in the story of the RAZR. The Motorola RAZR was an iconic product but it eventually faded away. Motorola’s response was to switch to Android, but Rubin isn’t suggesting that’s the solution for RIM. The solution is to go through design cycles because a legacy product doesn’t allow you to keep up with the fast pace of the competition. Rubin then points to the acquisitions RIM has made with QNX, TAT and DataViz, and says they’re doing all the right things to fill in the pieces and keep up with the hyper competitive market.

Good form, Rubin. You’re a gentleman and a scholar. Stay tuned for Mike Lazaridis at Dive Into Mobile.

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Walt Mossberg reviews the BlackBerry Storm2 aka Odin



Walt Mossberg of the WSJ is jumping on a trend of reviewing the Storm2 before it launches. While BlackBerry Cool has also reviewed this device before launch, it’s always best to wait for the launch date, and give both RIM and the carriers the benefit of the doubt that they may change something.

As you may remember from Walt’s conversation with Mike Lazaridis, he was not a fan of the first BlackBerry Storm. One of his questions to Lazaridis was “why wasn’t the Storm a better device?” Sort of a harsh dig considering it had one of the lowest return rates at Verizon. Yes, the device lacked WiFi, and the typing experience wasn’t stellar, but a touchscreen BlackBerry was much needed in the product line.

Well it seems Walt is convinced that the second time out the gate is a success:
Click through for more about this Verizon BlackBerry Storm 2 9550 review

Mike Lazaridis on RIM strategy and BlackBerry technology


Walt Mossberg sat down with RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis to talk BlackBerry. The interview was presented on D7 by All Thing Digital.

The interview started off with a fundamental question about RIM’s shift to the consumer space. According to Mike, RIM was pushed into the space from demand. Consumers were asking for the functionality of BlackBerry and it just made sense for them to enter the consumer market.

One of the issues Mike Lazaridis touches on, the “big white elephant in the room,” is network capacity. Mike believes we need to overcome some issues of network capacity in order for the full potential of these devices to be reached. “Voice usage doesn’t scale exponentially,” Lazaridis says. “But data usage does….If we don’t get ahead of this problem and make things scalable and ensure that applications aren’t so data intensive,” we’re in trouble apparently. The industry needs to come together to resolve these issues before we’ve gone too far. Remember, voice and data often share the same bandwidth, and they’ll both suffer as data usage increases. He says RIM works very closely with AT&T (T) to optimize its radio code and its network so that everyone benefits. That said, “it may be a mistake to assume that you’re going to get the wired broadband experience in a wireless environment.

Something I’ve been discussing with companies in the BlackBerry space that Walt touched on is security from a developers standpoint. The fact that RIM started as a company for enterprise and is shifting to consumer, provides them with a competitive advantage. The robust security features of BlackBerry came from an enterprise need and they’re only beneficial to the consumer. “We believe that over time, consumers will start to value the BlackBerry’s security accreditations.” RIM’s devices apparently have the largest number of these in the industry. And that should make consumers confident in the company’s devices. RIM has done its best to make it platform secure and scalable and that has served the company well as it caters to its core base in enterprise. Lazaridis seems to be saying that RIM’s position in the enterprise is so strong that he’s not worried about Apple (AAPL) or Microsoft (MSFT).

Walt uses the interview with Mike as an opportunity to take a jab at the BlackBerry Storm. Yes, the Storm could have been better in that it was a first build and there are several improvements that could have been made. On the other hand, RIM knows the smartphone space better than Apple and you can be assured that the Storm 2 will be a better typing and user experience. When Walt asks if the Storm’s SurePress screen is here to stay, Lazaridis says it is. He didn’t comment on rumors that it will figure prominently in RIM’s next device