Blackberry chiefs resign casting doubts over company future

Co-founders of Canada's mobile giant Research In Motion (RIM) known for nurturing BlackBerry products resigned earlier this week after a year of many lows for the company.

Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie saw 2012 deal many blows to BlackBerry's once untarnished reputation. With their prized product range being linked to the London riots and suffering a major system failure in October limiting access to e-mail and instant messaging services, customers were left questioning their loyalty to the brand. Other setbacks included its uncompetitive tablet computer, PlayBook, and a delay in launching the BlackBerry OS 10.

Replacement CEO, Thorsten Heins, promises change and to restore RIM to its former glory. Plans for 2012 include the release of PlayBook OS 2.0 and phones running the BlackBerry 10 operating system towards the second half of the year. The first few months will not see any major product launches as RIM extends its efforts to market the existing BlackBerry 7 product line. Critics, however, are not convinced this is enough. Mr Heins has been with the company for four years and some believe a fresh perspective is needed to lift the company out of trouble, as well as more news and updates in the first half of 2012.

In its early days, the BlackBerry gained unprecedented popularity among business users for its e-mail applications. Through innovation and its strong competitive edge the device earned itself a stable market position and the nickname CrackBerry. In recent years its makers have struggled to compete with current market leaders Apple and Google with their operating systems iOS and Android, respectively.

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