Since being appointed as the new CEO of the once booming BlackBerry company Research in Motion, Thorsten Heins stated that he has significant plans for BlackBerry of which his top priority seems to be working on marketing and promoting the BlackBerry brand to get more BlackBerrys in the hands of US citizens, which is the market that has seen the most drastic losses to other competitors such as IPhone and Android based smartphones.
Thorsten Heins remained tight lipped about any of the details regarding his “plans” to take the company from where it is now to being a top contender in the smartphone industry once more, however has stated that he will be speaking with the board about his new plans for the company in about 2 weeks time in hopes to bring new light to the company and revive it’s once leading brand in the smartphone market.
In the meantime Thorsten Heins is concentrating on getting BlackBerry’s running RIM’s latest 7.0 software into the hands of customer’s who already own BlackBerrys. The reason for this is due to the fact that only 20% of all BlackBerry customers in the US markets have BlackBerrys with 7.0 software. The rest have BlackBerrys that feature 4, 5, and 6 software which is out of date.
Thorsten Heins has stated that he has been working with US carriers to implement a new upgrade program to promote BlackBerrys running the new 7.0 software to encourage the 80% of older BlackBerry owners to upgrade to the latest BlackBerry devices, which are comparable to it’s competition. While no details of this “Upgrade Program” were released by the new CEO, Thorsten Heins has said that they could look at options such as bundling different devices together, or offering it’s smartphones with popular pre-loaded apps.
The new CEO also has high spirits for it’s new BlackBerry Playbook tablet to be a strong competitor in the tablet market, as he stated that early this spring RIM will release a new version of it’s Playbook which will offer a high speed internet connection based on LTE, which is a technology that the 3 biggest Carriers are currently building into their network. This of course is a late entry into the race as BlackBerrys competitors devices have already been in the races and have been promoted by the US carriers for some time now.
Thorsten Heins in my opinion is ambitious and has the potential to keep RIM afloat and even bring it back to the top of the smartphone/tablet industry, however; I also think that RIM right now continues to play “Catch Up” with it’s compettitors, and in order to succeed will need to need to come out with something new that has not really been seen before, or come up with something that has far improved on current technology.
At this point it is simply a waiting game to see what the BlackBerry 10 devices will bring to the table. It has been touted by many analysts that these devices that have been said to be coming later this year will be the last hope of RIM and its BlackBerry brand. Whether or not this is true only time will tell.