BlackBerry TargetingReading

BlackBerry TargetingReading - BlackBerry Maker's Issue...

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BlackBerry Maker's Issue: Gadgets for Work or Play? Phred Dvorak , Suzanne Vranica , Spencer E. Ante . Wall Street Journal . (Eastern edition). New York, N.Y.: Sep 30, 2011 . pg. A.1 As Research In Motion Ltd. executives prepared early this year for the launch of their first tablet, the PlayBook, one big question loomed: Who was the device for? Some executives, like RIM's technical visionary and co-chief executive Mike Lazaridis, saw the gadget as an extension of the BlackBerry, long favored by corporations and business people. Others were pushing for more focus on ordinary consumers, people eager for games, music and movies, according to executives close to the company. "There's an internal war going on around the marketing message. Even the guys at the top don't agree," one executive close to the company said at the time. The split showed through in a campaign RIM planned with its ad agency. It envisioned using humor and celebrities like New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady -- but also the tagline "Go Pro" -- said two people familiar with the situation. By the time the PlayBook went on sale in April, both the campaign and the agency had been canned, and RIM's marketing chief had left. The tablet, which got fresh competition this week when Amazon Inc. announced its low-cost Kindle Fire, is threatening to be one of RIM's biggest flops at a time when the company is reeling from a series of profit warnings, product delays, declining BlackBerry shipments and a tumbling stock. The marketing muddle shows one of the biggest problems facing RIM: In a market increasingly driven by the wishes of the retail consumer, its executives have struggled to wean the company from its heavy corporate focus.
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For years, Mr. Lazaridis resisted the consumer trend taking hold in the smartphone market, which the company's BlackBerry long dominated, according to people close to the company. He and his co-chief executive, Jim Balsillie, then fumbled attempts to catch up. RIM's foray into a new market, tablet computers, has been disappointing. It shipped just 200,000 PlayBooks in the three months ended in August. That was less than half the number in the preceding quarter and a small fraction of the 9.3 million iPads Apple Inc. shipped in the three months ended in June. Retailers have begun cutting the price of the PlayBook. Office Depot and Staples cut the price of the tablet to $399 and threw in $100 gift cards on top of that discount, while Best Buy was selling the tablet for $299.
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BlackBerry TargetingReading - BlackBerry Maker's Issue...

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