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“We’re looking at optimisation in terms of the right structures”
Carlo Chiarello, Executive Vice President – Smartphone division, Research In Motion talks to B&E about the future strategic direction of the company
Issue Date - 30/05/2012
B&E: After the appointment of Thorsten Heins as CEO in January 2012 how are things shaping up at Research In Motion?
Carlo Chiarello (CC)): It’s business as usual, specifically in terms of what Thorsten has announced. We’re looking at optimisation in terms of having the right structures at the right places. As we have something important to announce, the media will be involved.

B&E: You have recently launched the BlackBerry Mobile Fusion software which will also support competing smartphones. Don’t you think the move undermines your ability to promote BlackBerry smartphones in the enterprise segment?
CC: Not at all. We feel very strongly that we are absolutely open to making sure our enterprise customers have the best management solutions possible for all their devices. And BlackBerry Fusion is a result of a lot of our enterprise customers saying that they need solutions for other products that couldn’t really use our network infrastructure. We don’t think it’s bad at all. We think that we are helping a lot of enterprises do the job that we started doing for BlackBerry by allowing other devices to use it as well.

B&E: So the BlackBerry 10 devices would be based on the QNX Operating System...
CC: At its core, yes. QNX has been a great company that we acquired a while back. So the BlackBerry 10 infrastructure would be based on technology developed by QNX.

B&E: The PlayBook was the first device to use a version of the QNX OS and had some compatibility issues with your network. Do you think devices with the new OS will manage to utilise RIM’s entire network infrastructure?
CC: I’m not sure how severe this issue was, but the BlackBerry Mobile Fusion will not just help secure other platforms such as iOS and Android but will also take care of issues that customers might have encountered with the PlayBook, additionally supporting BlackBerry 10 devices.

B&E: The BlackBerry Messenger is one of those features which make BlackBerry devices extremely lucrative for customers. Are you planning to introduce BBM on the PlayBook anytime soon?
CC: That is something that our development teams are looking at. I can’t make a commitment in terms of when it’s going to happen. But what we’ve found so far, from people using the PlayBook, is that they use it with their BlackBerry device. The BlackBerry Bridge app makes BBM work on the tablet. So we’re still exploring. If it’s feasible, then we’ll definitely have a BBM app for the PlayBook.

B&E: What are your forecasts with respect to development of applications on the new platform?
CC: I can’t give you specific details, but what I can say is that our engagement with developers is being very well received. As a testament to the start of all that, the PlayBook applications have been growing considerably. Downloads are increasing and we have been seeing very positive trends on that front, Thus, we’ll have a lot of great apps by the time the new platform is launched.


Amir Moin           

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