RIM CEO on what went wrong and the future of BlackBerry

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We're dramatically changing this with BlackBerry 10. We'll continue to innovate, but we have a clear understand of what BlackBerry 10 is all about. And we keep that program very, very focused.

[RIM has delayed the launch of BlackBerry 10 numerous times. Most recently it announced that the first BlackBerry 10 device won't arrive until early 2013. It had previously stated BlackBerry 10 would launch in 2012.]

On the most recent BlackBerry 10 delay: "I could actually have kept the schedule, if I had made a sacrifice on quality and on platform stability. I decided not to do that, because I need to make sure that when we deliver a BlackBerry, it is best quality...when we ship BlackBerry 10, we will do it at high quality."

The delay of BlackBerry 10 is not because we added stuff to it. The delay is because our software groups were actually so successful in coding the various feature components and building blocks that when we put them into the main "trunk line," as we call it, when we wanted to build the first main release, we got overwhelmed by integration efforts. I had to make a decision. I could actually have kept the schedule, if I had made a sacrifice on quality and on platform stability. And I decided not to do that, because I need to make sure that when we deliver a BlackBerry, it is best quality.

Am I disappointed that we had to shift it into the first quarter? Yes, I am. But the point is, it was a decision between: Rush it out again, and then fix the quality stuff later; or bring it out with high quality. What I commit to the public out there is that when we ship BlackBerry 10, we will do it at high quality. That was the decision I made.

I read your recent editorial in the Globe and Mail, and I thought it was well written.

Thank you.

But I do have some questions about a few statements you made. In the editorial, you noted that RIM is seeing increasing subscriber numbers in many different counties outside of North America. However, when you look at the big picture, the market share numbers are troubling. For example, recent global mobile OS market numbers from IDC suggest RIM's overall share of the OS market is steadily decreasing, with RIM holding just 6 or 7% of the market today. Meanwhile Android (59% of the market) and iOS (23%) continue to grow steadily.

Uh huh.

So while RIM may be growing in some geographic areas, it is losing ground overall, and that appears to be related to what's happening in North America. Can RIM succeed without capturing a larger part of the North American market? Would RIM be content with continued success in smaller markets?

We are North American, we're a Canadian company, and we want to win in our home market. That's why we are building BlackBerry 10, so we have a platform and product that actually can compete in the North American market and so we can win market share back. And we will do it.

Talking market share numbers, that was part of the value system I talked about. We are not heavily participating in the full-touch [screen] market yet. There were a few attempts for us to get out there. However, I would be the first one to admit that the success was rather limited. So, one of the big steps we're taking now to win market share back is to go into the full-touch device market. That is what our first BlackBerry 10 product is about. Then our second product is going to be a QWERTY device, following closely behind that full-touch device. So we need this product to actually enter into the full touch market and then also to go after the BYOD segment in the enterprise as that moves to full touch.

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