As you may already know thanks to RIM CEO Thorsten Heins' op-ed piece in The Globe and Mail, the company is on something of a PR blitz. Following its latest earnings disappointment, and the news that the BlackBerry 10 platform and devices have been delayed until 2013, it seems the Waterlooians are on a mission to change increasingly dour public opinions about their business.
We had a chance to speak with Richard Piasentin (RIM's Managing Director for the US) about where the company is headed in the near and long term. Though he was mum on any meaty details about the outlook for BlackBerry 10 or company strategy, there was no shortage of bullishness in the message he delivered. "I want to convey that fighting spirit that's in BlackBerry... RIM knows what it's doing," he said via phone. "This isn't just a new product; it's an entirely new way of interacting with the world around us." He added, "It's better that we get it done right than we get it done fast."
Piasentin wouldn't talk specifics on nearly any question asked — such as how RIM would battle Apple, Google, and Microsoft's ecosystems, its relationships with carriers in the US, or what features would bring users back to the platform — but he had no shortage of positivity to share on what the company is building. "People don't get it till it's totally done — that's why we're making some very difficult decisions right now," he told us, "We believe RIM is at the beginning of a transition that will change the way people communicate."
Lofty stuff, and stuff that's hard to take at face value as we've watched the company stumble through the last few years. Given its recent track record of missed goals, a shrinking marketshare, and rumors of a split or sale, RIM has its work cut out for it on battling back into the hearts and minds of the consumer. The message is consistent, but it also reflects a business clearly at a point of inflection. "BlackBerry 10 represents our future as a company, and the future of mobile computing," Piasentin stoically declared.
Hey, no pressure.