Mike Lazaridis - RIM (Walt and Kara)
DEMO of the RIM tablet - Playbook - running Air apps. HD video, multitasking and easy app switching. QNX OS. Will be released in Q1. Will be really competitive in price.
Mike: acquired QNX a company that came out of the University of Waterloo and we have acquired a number of companies from my Alma Mater. This is our platform for multicore processing. Historical constraints of power consumption, network capacity, speed and we have always worked within our limitations. We have over 500 carriers and partners in the world.
Walt: growing consensus that your Blackberry platform is looking old compared to other platforms. So when will this different platform get into the blackberry. Mike: we are focusing on multicore as the OS for many devices. The tablet is what mobiles computing is all about. Globally a lot of the world is running on 2 and 2.5G and that is why the Blackberry is the #1 smartphone in those markets. The Tablet OS allows up to jump into the world of mobile computing with WiFi and 4g. Blackberry 6 and torch browser is a very powerful device. Bt rather than be all things to all people we can present the right OS for the right task.
Kara: Apple and Google are at the leading edge. You are saying that they are not doing the right thing? Mike: communications devices that become great, smart phones and tablets. As a global player you have to be able to provide all three. They will all be called Blackberry. When we have multicore capability across the board they will all have the Playbook OS. BBM is an explosion that has happened. Our competitors have taken a smartphone OS and are trying to upgrade it to a tablet computer.
Kara: when the stories come out that you are dead, how do you react? Mike: we have seen this before, have been there since the beginning. Kara: I churned from Blackberry because it didn't have. The features. Mike: we are running a business, we are providing value to customers, arguably we invented the communications smartphone. We decided to go global, so we had to work with the available network technology. I have been talking about how big the smartphone market is going to be for 5 years.
Kara: how many operating systems can there be? Mike: we continue to focus on our position of strength in enterprise and security. These are regulated industries. Walt: why the consumer ads? Mike: Blackberry has crossed over. QNX is an OS that is right for the enterprise. Walt: but iPhone has been penetrating into enterprise. Mike: we never had 100% of enterprise but we continue to develop for those customers.
Kara: what are your predictions for enterprise vs consumer. Mike: we are trying to build great product that consumers love. I would argue that the Playbook platform is the strongest platform available today. Why not run Flash? this is really early and it is a big market.
QNX runs many things that you don't see. High end routers, high speed trains, power generation, home automation, cars, hospital equipment. This is something that is the foundation of things you don't see and we have bought it out in the open. Working with Adobe and opening it up to their developers.