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RIM: faster BlackBerry in 2011, dangerous to compare iPhone

updated 06:40 pm EST, Thu December 16, 2010

RIM hints faster BlackBerry, gets quiet on Apple

RIM is planning faster BlackBerry phones for 2011, co-CEO Jim Balsillie said during a fall results call that also tried to downplay Apple. The executive promised that there would be "higher performance smartphones" next year, including different tiers. There were "leapfrog technologies" in the roadmap, and "very interesting pieces that people don't know yet," he added.

Performance has been one of the main criticisms of RIM's phones, particularly the Style and the Torch. The company is still using processors two years old despite the added demands of BlackBerry 6 and has mostly just doubled the memory to 512MB to offset the extra workload. RIM isn't expected to roll in the dual-core 1GHz chip from the PlayBook since it has already said it needs to tune its experience for the battery life and small sizes of smartphones.

When asked about the company's BlackBerry numbers, which at 14.2 million were just 100,000 units ahead of Apple's summer results, Balsillie also backed away from previous attempts to question the validity of iPhone numbers. He was happy that business was growing quickly but suddenly discouraged direct comparisons, arguing that there were "ebbs and tides." RIM would layer on the new technology, future proof architectures and its tablet strategy to get back out ahead. Proof would come in what RIM delivered.

"It's very dangerous to get the Excel spreadsheet out and extend certain trends perpetually," Balsillie contended.

The remarks followed just after Kaufman Bros. analyst Shaw Wu raised estimates for Apple to predict 16 million iPhones shipped by the end of its own fall quarter. If near Apple's real results, it would represent the first instance of the iPhone outselling the BlackBerry for two consecutive quarters.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Bunnyturd

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Channel Stuffing

    Remember, RIM actually only sold 12.3 million phones during the quarter. They inflated the revenue by stuffing the channel with 14.2 million phones.

  1. Salty

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Dangerous for their stock price maybe. The current crop of BlackBerries is just terrible! They've barely ugpraded them since my Curve 8300 four years ago! The only thing that RIM has going for it is that the Curve has a nice keyboard. There's a lot of people who feel they "don't need" a "really smart phone" and just want a glorified quick messaging device. The unfortunate thing is that those people don't realize that for the same price they could get an iPhone or Android device that they could grow into.

    RIM is a dying company. They used to make great phones but these days it's just the same thing release after release.

  1. Foe Hammer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Leapfrog Technologies? That People Don't Know Abou

    I bet the people at RIM don't know about it either.

    The only leapfrogging going on is the one where RIM's a balloon playing leapfrog in a cactus patch. And while SillyBalls periodically pumps enough hot air into the balloon to give it a little boost, their balloon cools down faster and faster each time.

  1. WaltFrench

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Very Dangerous, Indeed

    "It's very dangerous to get the Excel spreadsheet out and extend certain trends perpetually," Balsillie contended.

    ... as rumors come out of Taiwan of 20+ million iPhones ordered for the March quarter. You know, the quarter when Apple iPhone sales can stagnate based on people waiting for the new device just a couple of weeks later. That'd be a 25%/quarter, 144%/yr annualized rate (yes, very uncertain numbers).

    Meanwhile, BlackBerry continues to make ground in the very-low-priced markets. But we may be weeks away from seeing a sub-$100 (unsubsidized!) Android device, which could cut off BB at the knees.

    These disruptive technologies can just beat the c*** out of you.

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