[kwlug-disc] RIM VP on apps and open source

unsolicited unsolicited at swiz.ca
Wed Jan 18 22:30:52 EST 2012

Chris Frey wrote, On 01/18/2012 7:29 PM:
> On Wed, Jan 18, 2012 at 06:24:42PM -0500, L.D. Paniak wrote:
>> There is no panic on my part.  I have no interest in such a closed
>> device.
> Ok, maybe not panic, but it was negative.

And deservedly so. When you enter a market, such as tablets, consumers 
reasonably expect your entry to be better (by their criteria), than 
what's already out there. When it isn't, and by all accounts it isn't, 
of course things are negative, and not unreasonably so. "You're 
considering a <what>? Why, when you can do <y> as well on <z>!"

This is actually probably true of the handsets too - with RIM's entry 
or attempt to expand their handset market beyond the enterprise, there 
is a comparison against what is already there (or was soon after). 
Since iPhone and Android continue to evolve, leaving RIM further and 
further behind, this appears to continue. There is an inevitable 
conclusion here. [By definition, allowing wide open access via wifi to 
everything breaks the very security premise upon which their market is 
built.] (Somehow, a virus infecting a Windows user's computer is the 
users fault, rather than the OS's for letting it land in the first 
place. RIM is burdened by being responsible. <sigh>)

I speculate what has happened is the RIM handsets were so successful 
in the enterprise, they created a market in the non-enterprise area, 
and didn't satisfy that market in a consumer accepted manner.

	Enter the competition. So, when those consumers got back to the 
office and said "Why can't this organization provided device not do 
what my personal device can?" things started to unravel. Personnel 
pressured their organizations to permit the use of these non-RIM 
devices, and the monopoly started cracking. Let alone, when you're an 
enterprise of 4 or 5 people, where RIM wasn't as viable, RIM is taking 
it on the chin from both sides. (Never mind why employees accept that 
they should be taking their organization provided devices home with 
them to be monitored 24x7 ...)

One of the things I repeatedly seem to keep forgetting - RIM doesn't 
need a data plan. (As I understand it.) Thus it is attractive to the 
enterprise (cost wise), particularly foreign markets. Evidently, 
retail consumers are willing to pay for a data plan, given the 
functionality they get for it. Who knew! I only hope all this forces 
data plan pricing to disappear. (It's wireless service, period. Data / 
non-data I don't care, it's service. And beat my current $8.88 a month 
or I'm not going there.)

 >  I was comparing it to some of
> the comments I've seen online, where people can't seem to wait a little
> while (as in a year or two) for a newcomer to properly compete in the
> tablet arena, and it sounded familiar.  The customers seem panicked,
> while the onlookers seem like vultures.

I believe you are confusing consumers and investors here, let alone 
media pundits. The customers aren't panicked - like Lori said, he has 
no interest. But FUD abounds.

Given the hoopla over RIM for so long, a lot of people, particularly 
local, have invested with them. Even if only emotionally, for the 
standard of living and economic outlook, particularly in the 'local' 
area. Particularly as manufacturing declines in the province. (Somehow 
all of Canada has now adopted RIM as being their darling, instead of 
their proper place - they are Waterloo's, so back off people!) [If 
long term successful, if not, we'll let all of Canada can wear it 
instead. (-: ]

> If we're talking about open source vs. closed source, then yes, the
> PlayBook is of little interest, with a closed OS.

This has been true of RIM since day 1. Nothing new here.

Listening to the pundits, et al, over the last year or so, whereas 
before people would say the iPhone isn't open source, and get a 
response of so what, today, with Android, moving so fast and taking 
market share away from everyone, today when the question is asked, the 
response is to point to the viable alternative of Android. They do not 
point to RIM. It doesn't even enter the conversation.

>  That goes for me too.
> I don't own any tablets or smart phones yet.  OpenMoko was as close as
> I came to spending money on something.  But in comparison to
> the other closed devices in the tablet arena, the PlayBook is a solid
> offering, at least in the fundamentals that I've seen, and should not
> be dismissed so quickly.

Personally, I believe a paradigm change has occurred. Particularly 
since the ebook readers. If the vast majority of users are not content 
creators, including e-mail, then rather than sit at a desk, they can 
use a tablet anywhere to read the news, get TV listings, read a book, 
query wikipedia, social network, whatever. The role of the traditional 
computer is no longer expanding, it's diminishing. If laptops were 
being adopted more and more for the lack of wires, disparate 
equipment, and connecting them (e.g. Bob Day), how much more true of 
tablets. To the carrier's delight and marketing efforts, of course.

Computers and e-mail bounced down to the PDA form factor, and the 
small screen has made things bounce back - but to tablets, not 
traditional computers, or even laptops.

> People seem to be unconsciously expecting an HP-style crash and burn
> out of RIM, but to their credit,

For lack of demonstrable evidence to the contrary out of RIM.

> they are not rolling over and dying, no
> matter how many people are jumping up and down on the negative bandwagon.

There's no way to actually know that. Any effort to reestablish 
preeminence, or change direction, taking longer than RIM has been 
given by the pundits, to date. Conversations and speculation 
inevitably continuing throughout.

>> If I was a Playbook owner waiting for Netflicks to arrive via port from
>> Android, I would be a little skeptical.  Android media apps generally
>> don't work on rooted Android devices (without even more hacking).

If netflix was that important to you, you wouldn't have bought a 
device that can't do it in the first place. (Self-inflicted?) victims 
of over-marketing and salesmen misrepresenting devices?

> I'd prefer to know the real reason why Netflix hasn't released a player
> for the PlayBook yet, but I don't know what goes on in their conference
> rooms.  I could guess and speculate, but that wouldn't answer my questions.

Netflix probably has more to do with them re-sorting themselves out, 
than any particular piece of hardware. e.g. Sorting out / acquiring 
licenses from content owners.

> After using the PlayBook, and seeing some of the changes RIM has made
> recently, in both software and behaviour, there's hope there.  RIM is
> waking up, as evidenced by real changes, and I hope that continues.
> I suspect Netflix will wake up eventually too.  Maybe someday I'll even
> become a Netflix customer.

If Android is succeeding due to being open source, RIM was beat long 
ago, it being too big to survive an effort to completely change their 
paradigm. They will not capture the iPhone market, Apple isn't 
standing still, and they are too far behind with the wrong business 
model, for that market. And all of this being said about the North 
American retail customer.

Doesn't mean they won't continue to be sufficiently successful 
elsewhere, particularly where data plans aren't a viable option for an 

Yet people hold these things in their hands every day, see everyone 
else doing the same, and buzz abounds.

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