A day before RIM's big BlackBerry Developer Conference and less than a week after a massive service outage, RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie expressed typical confidence in describing RIM's next platform, BBX. "We've leapfrogged everybody with what we're announcing [on Tuesday] and you're going to see it on display." That bit of swagger comes after a very tough year for BlackBerry, which has seen declining US smartphone sales and anemic sales of its PlayBook tablet. The new OS that Balsillie is so eager to show will be based on the same QNX platform that powers the PlayBook, which he describes as part of RIM's attempt to "completely re-engineer" itself.
In his interview with the Financial Post, Balsillie was apologetic about the BlackBerry outage but was decidedly unapologetic about RIM's history and ability to execute, once again citing the company's previous success and the complexity of modern smartphone platform:
We took [this company] from an idea to $20-billion sales and we listen to all ideas and we navigate this stuff — which is very competitive and very complex — on a global basis. If somebody’s got a better idea, I’m definitely all ears.
Both of RIM's CEOs have exhibited plenty of this sort of defensiveness lately. Hopefully BBX will give RIM a chance to go on the offensive again — because right now Apple and Google certainly seem to be running on the score on BlackBerry.