Through TheFLY's Eyes: Research in Motion
Notes from the C3 Expo
Jim Balsillie, the Co-CEO and chairman of Research in Motion (RIMM), gave the keynote speech to open the second day of the C3 Expo at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City today.
Using the aid of a slide show, he gave a presentation titled "The State of Wireless and The Opportunities Ahead." The focus of which was mainly on going "beyong push e-mail." He showed a slide to detail the idea, reading:
Apps Beyond Email
Balsillie said, "The hottest emerging thing [is] enterprise instant messaging," adding that instant messaging "complements email, [which] wasn't meant to be a chat software." He believes instant messaging is being underestimated by "one order of magnitude."
The company is not focusing solely on instant messaging, though, as "any enterprise application can be extended to mobile users," as another slide read. Balsillie made sure to clarify that the mobilization of enterprise software was not about new applications.
He then discussed the expansion of the Blackberry due to wireless technology. A slide during this part of the presentation read:
Bluetooth connectivity provides opportunities to expand uses of Blackberry
* Barcode Scanners
* GPS Pucks
* Digital Pen and Paper
* Blackberry Smartcard Reader
Balsillie then discussed working with other companies, such as Motorola (MOT), Sony Ericcson (SNE/ERICY), Siemens (SI) and Nokia (NOK), saying there is "a tremendous amount going on with third party devices." He said there are about 20 devices out there, and 20 more coming, that are using Blackberry applications such as Blackberry Connect.
During the Q&A period of the keynote, I asked him about the market rumors that RIMM would buy Palm (PALM), he said he couldn't comment, but said "we don't have grand ambitions to consolidate the handheld business."
After the keynote, he was questioned further. When asked about acquisition strategy, he said, "We buy lots of enablers that strengthen our middleware, but not for applications... You can't suck and blow... the moment we cross over into applications, the middleware is lost."
Then, when asked what Blackberry device he uses personally, he answered, "It is a very personal decision... I use a global device, the 8700."
Before I left, I asked him, purely out of curiosity, what he thought of the "Crackberry" moniker, to which he replied, "It's all in good fun."