RIM CEO on what went wrong and the future of BlackBerry

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"In the U.S., we have a big, big challenge, and we missed on some innovation, but in the rest of the world, we still enjoy a healthy business."

What also happened, in the U.S., was the drive to 4G started, and it got accelerated. Carriers were actually leapfrogging from what they wanted to do with 3G, like HSPA+. They leapfrogged and put a lot of investment into 4G LTE. I think we weren't ready for it. We were busy building our global portfolio. We had a slightly different view on when the LTE rollout would happen. And we made a decision to focus on the rest of the world, which led to some very high numbers, but then, consequently, led to us not being focused on the new, innovative technologies in the U.S. The U.S. regained the lead in mobile technology by doing this. So it was not just that the company was not getting it, it was really that the whole market in the country regained a technology lead in the world. That's a big step.

The BlackBerry OS that we have today is a good and solid platform that allowed us to create everything that we did. But given our understanding that mobile computing would now be at the same level as laptops, with dual-cores, quad-cores, high resolution graphics, GPUs, we needed a new platform. That's why we decided to build the mobile computing platform which today we call BlackBerry 10.

In the U.S., we have a big, big challenge, and we missed on some innovation, but in the rest of the world, we still enjoy a healthy business, and I would say, a lot of number one positions in certain countries.

Something I hear very often is that RIM "failed to innovate" and that a "lack of innovation" led to the fix that RIM's now in. Is it that simple? Did RIM fail to innovate?

I would not say that we failed to innovate. RIM is still a very innovative company. BlackBerry 10 will absolutely prove this. I think that the reason is something else. We had a very, very successful recipe of what BlackBerry was all about. There were four main pillars: battery life; typing; security; and compression. Then there was a shift with LTE. With LTE it was important actually not to save network resources, it was important to load the networks, to sell data plans and sell data volume. We didn't miss on innovation. I think we missed on understanding, specifically in the U.S., that this trend was shifting, and that our positioning and our value proposition in the U.S. market was not following that trend shift.

In your opinion, how significant have product delays been to RIM's current situation in the market? Why have we seen so many product delays from RIM during the past few years?

Part of it actually goes back to your last question. We are a very innovative company, we were and we are. What sometimes happens is, you get so excited about innovations that you push them into existing development projects. And what I've learned in my discipline, in my 25 years in R&D and in telecom, once you have decided on a project, you must keep it stable. With our eagerness to be extremely innovative, we had the tendency to put new stuff into existing project programs, and that is not a recipe to deliver on time and on quality.

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