In a hour-long meeting with some two dozen analysts on Thursday, Thorsten Heins, the new CEO of Research in Motion, outlined a plan to recruit a new marketing chief, release a software upgrade for the PlayBook tablet and focus on the next generation of BlackBerry 10 software for devices scheduled for release this year.
However, industry analysts were concerned that Heins may be moving away from earlier plans to look into the feasibility of licencing the BB10 software to mobile handset rivels, according to a report from the Globe and Mail.
Heins also said newer RIM products (which have been rescheduled for launch in late 2012) will focus on the high-end consumer market.
The analyst found Heins engaging, articulate and thoughtful and not “under the influence of the former management in any way.”
“RIM wants to prove to the world that BB 10 will be a success before approaching (original equipment manufacturer) partners,” the Globe quoted Kris Thompson of National Bank Financial.
“RIM does not appear to be conducting a dual-track program of investigating the licencing of its software to potential partners. This may be a mistake if BB10 is not successful,” said Thompson.
“We remain of the opinion the next 2-3 quarters could remain challenging for RIM with no new compelling product platform until BB10 and ongoing competitive threats,” said UBS Investment Research analyst Phillip Huang.
“We remain unconvinced that increasing marketing expenses will win consumer mind share and reverse the waning momentum in the U.S.A. While international momentum could sustain, that alone is unlikely to fortify the business model as evident by the challenges the past few quarters. Success with BB10 in the U.S. will be critical.”
The “near-term risks” of delaying licencing is too high, according to Peter Misek, analyst for Jeffries & Co. Inc.
“We believe decelerating efforts to offer enterprises the ability to get their fast, secure BlackBerry e-mail on an iPhone or an Android device is a mistake,” Misek to the Globe.
“We see no evidence that he is under the influence of the former management in any way. But we respectfully disagree with him,” the analyst said.