Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) co-CEO Mike Lazaridis used his keynote session at the company's Capital Markets Day to offer a robust defense of the company's strategy. At the same time, he acknowledged that the company could have introduced its products, especially its PlayBook tablet, to market faster--but he said RIM is focused on delivering the best products possible.
The RIM chief said that one of the company's core strengths is making networking technology appear simple and seamless, and touted RIM's ability, for instance, to support peer-to-peer connections between BlackBerry devices on different carriers in different countries.
Lazaridis also defended the PlayBook. Critics have pointed out the device currently doesn't offer a native email client--Lazaridis countered that IT managers had demanded the BlackBerry Bridge feature, which pairs a BlackBerry smartphone with the tablet via Bluetooth, so that if the PlayBook were lost corporate email would not be compromised. "We're intercepting cloud services," he said. "We put all that stuff into the [Web] browser-cloud-based email capability and PIM capability." However, he noted that a native client will be added to the device in an upgrade.
In response to a question about whether RIM was caught off guard in the tablet market, the RIM co-chief said: "If you want an apology for being late on some of our products, I can give that to you, but it's not because we weren't working hard. It's because we wanted to bring the best possible product to market."
RIM also made several significant software announcements at the conference. The company opened up its BlackBerry Enterprise Server to Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS and Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android smartphones and tablets, a tacit acknowledgement that RIM needs to adapt to more people bringing those devices into the workplace. Additionally, the company said it will use Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Bing as the default search engine and mapping tool for Blackberry devices.
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