MAILBAG: The RIM Reconquista?

Research in Motion Ltd. is back in the news. Quelle surprise. But this time around, it looks like RIM is also back in business. Believe it or not, we’ve now had a week of mostly good news headlines, a welcome development seeing as at one point, we were almost out of bad ones.

Still, some of our readers seemed a little touchy about our coverage of BlackBerry World in Orlando. Before our reporter had even packed his bags, in fact, he was already facing criticism for his lead-up article, in which he reported concerns that RIM might be too late to capitalize on its new BB10 OS.

Reader ‘Notan ifanboy’ (who presumably is not an Apple fan), complained that we, a bunch of Americans, had once again taken a disrespectful swipe at a successful Canadian company.

“Very negative news, as usual, from this media outlet,” he wrote. “U.S. based-media company always bashing awesome Canadian company. Can anyone say ‘biased?’

Well, all right. Guilty on many counts of “very negative news.” But innocent of the charge of being an American media company (we’re proudly majority owned and controlled by Canadians).
Commenter ‘unlockworldwide,’ meanwhile, concured on our culpability, but thought our reporter was right to highlight the precarious situation that RIM is in:
“A pretty dim view. Downbeat, very negative — but realistic. I’ve been boring folk[s] for months, saying that if BB10 and its support do not overwhelm the public (and regrettably, the commentators) then RIM will follow Atari.
“While convergence suggests that a cellphone manufacturer adding a tablet begins to compete with a PC manufacturer who ventures into phones, reality suggests that Google will live to see the demise of not only the BlackBerry but probably [also] Apple or Microsoft.
“The recent rejection of the Balsillie strategy; offering services and productivity to the network providers, possibly indicates that Lazaridis still holds too much sway. Founder’s ego will not save RIM.”
But following our first gloomy article (not really our fault, you know: we just write what other people say), we started to get into some of the more promising news.
We wrote about how a demo of the long-awaited BB10 had electrified the crowd at BlackBerry World. And finally, we got some credit for objectivity.
‘Playbook guy’ wrote that it was “nice to see a non-biased and positive article about RIM.”
“So many of the other sites just hop on the RIM-bashing bandwagon and won’t give BB10 or anything else from RIM a real chance.”
Another reader, ‘SC,’ agreed and even gave us some editorial tips for future articles:
“The last article was very negative. It was about how poorly app developer[s] viewed RIM and then, at the very bottom of the article, it mentioned one other app developer who was impressed. So, instead of headlining the article about RIM’s woes, it would have been more objective to at least say they got mixed reviews. But I guess that’s not as grabbing [of] a headline.”
But other readers suspect that malevolent forces are getting between RIM and the happy headlines it deserves.
One of them, ’10 year BB user,’ made an appeal to the Bob Woodwards and Carl Bernsteins of the world (though unfortunately, he wasn’t asking for our help):
“Somewhere, somehow, there is a lobbying effort to bash RIM. Follow the money… Bloggers are getting paid to do this.”
However, Dave wasn’t sure that a simple money trail would lead to the bad guys:
“I’ve long held an anti-RIM conspiracy theory. I’m not sure I buy that bloggers are being paid to trash RIM, though. There does seem to be a concerted effort to keep the share price low, maybe to facilitate a buyout.”

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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