"Don't count BlackBerry out," Research In Motion Ltd. CEO Thorsten Heins wrote in a column for The Globe and Mail on Tuesday, days after the company announced disastrous financial results, 5,000 layoffs and another delay for its BlackBerry 10 software platform.
The Globe asked readers to share questions they'd like to ask Mr. Heins.
We received nearly 100 responses within a few hours on Tuesday afternoon. Here are the top 10 questions chosen by Globe staff.
UPDATE: On Friday, Thorsten Heins sent his answers to the questions. Read the answers here.
1. I am a dedicated BlackBerry user (and PlayBook too), but I'm worried that between now and the BB10 release next year, Android and Apple products will advance yet another generation. As mobile technology rockets forward at its fastest pace ever, will BB10 be competitive when it is finally released?
-Stephen, 42, small-business owner in Toronto
2. Why is BlackBerry 10 being delayed? What are the literal three to four reasons for the delay in consumer terms?
-Pam, 54, marketing consultant in Chicago
3. One of the biggest challenges for BlackBerry is having a good number of high quality applications. Have you considering dropping the Blackberry operating system and moving to either Android or Windows Phone 8? This would allow you to focus on building great devices and taking advantage or already established app markets.
-David, 30, software developer in Calgary
4. I am proud to support Canadian businesses like RIM and I have been a BlackBerry customer for years. My needs and interests have been met in the past, but emerging products from Apple and Android-phones are quickly making BlackBerrys obsolete. I am currently in the market for a new phone... Why should I wait for the new device line and operating system in the new year?
-Jeff, 23, research assistant/student in London, Ont.
5. I recently bought a BlackBerry Torch 9810 on a three -year term. With the coming of BB10 , how much support will OS7 users receive in the future?
-Ajay in Mississauga
6. RIM can expect that even a modestly successful BB10 product will deliver results from the enterprise and business crowd, but a plan to make RIM products familiar among young consumers is a must for long term viability in this industry.
My question is:
Given that Apple already had a toe in the game with iTunes and the iPod to build a foundation for the iPhone, how does Research In Motion plan to build brand familiarity with younger people and students?
-Anthony, 25, law student in Halifax
7. I was a very happy user of a BB Bold when it was first released. I had this device for almost two years after which time I switched to an iPhone because of simple little bugs in the BB Bold software, such as the inability to click on the button of a web page, the need to remove and replace the battery because the phone locked up, the unreliable wifi and a bunch of other little annoyances. These little details actually matter to the end user. Will RIM under the new direction of Mr. Heins focus on just getting products out in the market, one after the other while ignoring the little details that can be annoying to customers or will they actually make an effort to deal with the quality of their products up front and also correct problems after a product is released as they are identified?
-Marc, 45, engineer in Calgary
8. With constant delays on RIM products (PlayBook, OS7, OS7.1) what confidence can you give us that RIM will actually now (after yet another delay) deliver BB10 devices on time in 2013 Q1?
-Joe, 51, small-business owner in Alabama
9. Why not put out new handsets with the old OS7 and allow them to be upgraded with the new OS when it comes out. That way people will be able to stick with RIM in the fall and get the new OS when it comes out. Otherwise, I don't see people in Canada buying Blackberries until the new OS comes out.
-Tim, 50+, computer system consultant in Toronto
10. How do you plan on winning back corporate customers who have already adopted BYOD (bring-your-own-device) policies and have no desire to run a BES (BlackBerry Enterprise Server) alongside their other mobile device management system?
-Isaac, 32, IT manager in Vancouver