As you might have read last week (here and elsewhere), Research In Motion has a new CEO. Thorsten Heins has taken the reigns over at RIM, and this should mean that many changes will follow Heins’ appointment to Chief Executive Officer. However, this far, Heins hasn’t made any really huge announcements regarding future plans for the ailing company. In fact, many RIM investors have jumped shipped now that Heins is charting RIM’s course.
While Heins has told press that future plans for RIM will be announced within the following weeks, a few words about production and structuring have already been muttered. In addition, Heins has told press that he wants to make sure all current BlackBerry users have updated to the latest and greatest RIM OS. Even though making sure that all BlackBerry users have the new OS isn’t the drastic change that RIM needs, it’s a step in the right direction all the same.
All current BlackBerry users should be running BlackBerry 7, according to Heins. Yet, nearly 80-90 percent of BlackBerry owners haven’t upgraded yet (according to Mashable) – that’s a significant amount of users who are running the old OS. Why is it important that all BlackBerry owners upgrade? RIM wants to keep the few customers that the company still has, and this can’t be accomplished if people are still using the old, and somewhat inadequate, OS.
More importantly, how does Heins plan to get people to switch from an older BlackBerry OS to BlackBerry 7? Heins has told press that he plans to work very closely with US carriers in order to make BlackBerry 7 more accessible. There are some rumors circulating that Heins may put out app bundles as a sort of incentive for current BlackBerry users to run the newer OS. BlackBerry 7 will remain the newest operation system until the much anticipated BB10 devices show up later this year (date unknown).
Is It Enough?
RIM has been highly criticized for hiring Thorsten Heins as the company’s new CEO. Many investment strategists believe that what RIM really needed was a complete internal restructuring, and that can only happen if someone from the outside is hired to run things over at RIM. Hines was promoted from within (he has been with the company for some time now), and doesn’t bring a fresh or new perspective to RIM. Judging from stock prices, investors are worried that putting Heins in charge of the company will spell certain disaster.
There’s no doubt that attempting to get all current BlackBerry users to update to BlackBerry 7 isn’t enough to drag the Canadian-based company out from underneath murky waters. Yet, enticing users to upgrade might be a step in the right direction. What RIM really needs though is a complete revamp from start to finish. Heins would do well to instruct RIM developers to create new devices that compete with current tablet and smartphone offerings. Unless some real innovation happens over at RIM, this company may not be around much longer.