RIM, on account of their weakening position in the market and poor financial results, has announced around 5,000 job cuts. Adding to their woes is the delay in the release of their BlackBerry 10 software, something that could have helped better their situation. However, in spite of their state of crisis, the company has rejected the possibility of a collaboration with Microsoft.
With things getting tougher, RIM is finding it difficult to fight its way back. With fewer options left with them, RIM could either sell their handset business away or pair up with Microsoft. Reportedly, Microsoft’s CEO, Steve Ballmer, had even approached RIM, making an offer similar to the one they already have with Nokia. It would mean RIM would have to abandon their upcoming BlackBerry 10 OS and adopt a Windows based phone instead. Microsoft was willing to purchase a stake in RIM, providing the company some much needed cash. However, at a conference call yesterday, RIM’s CEO, Thorsten Heins, made it clear that the company will not be abandoning BB 10 in order to adopt another company’s OS, be it Android or Windows Phone and rubbished rumors of any possible collaboration.
Heins believes adopting another OS may not go well with RIM’s strategy and their customers. Irrespective of reports, Heins seems firm on wanting to stick with the original plan of introducing the BB 10 software, no matter how the delay impacts the company. RIM is looking to establish their own platform to be able to serve their customers with the best kind of user-experience, instead of relying on another company’s platform. They are aiming to be different and develop a feasible and successful platform for mobile computing in the future. RIM is clearly not looking forward to partnering with Google or Microsoft, atleast in the near future.
Meanwhile, Matias Duarte, head of user experience at Android is willing to work with RIM, helping them manufacture devices with a physical keyboard that run on Android. Duarte is of the opinion that RIM manufactures excellent quality physical keyboards. The fact that the smartphone market is fast losing out on phones with QWERTY keypads could be the reason why Duarte might have shown interest in working with RIM. The smartphone industry fails to realize that several users prefer typing on hardware buttons over using touch-screens. Infact, smartphone makers are now manufacturing devices with larger displays, contributing to the growth of the touch screen real estate.