Research in Motion - History

History

Prior to the manufacture of the BlackBerry, RIM worked with RAM Mobile Data and Ericsson to turn the Ericsson-developed Mobitex wireless data network into a two-way paging and wireless e-mail network. Pivotal in this development was the release of the Inter@ctive pager 950, which started shipping in August 1998. About the size of a bar of soap, this device competed against the SkyTel two-way paging network developed by Motorola.

RIM's early development was financed by Canadian institutional and venture capital investors in 1995 through a private placement in the privately held company. Working Ventures Canadian Fund Inc. led the first venture round with a C$5,000,000 investment with the proceeds being used to complete the development of RIM's two-way paging system hardware and software. A total of C$30,000,000 in pre-IPO financing was raised by the company prior to its initial public offering on the Toronto Stock Exchange in January 1998 under the symbol RIM. Since then, RIM has released a variety of devices running on GSM, CDMA, and iDEN networks.

In 2006 Research In Motion and Information Appliance Associates reached a licensing agreement whereby RIM would offer the complete version of PocketMac for BlackBerry to Macintosh users free of charge.

In October 2008, RIM was named one of "Canada's Top 100 Employers" by Mediacorp Canada Inc., and was featured in Maclean's newsmagazine.

RIM announced in February 2009 that they were expanding their global operations by opening an office and training facility in North Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Just across the Harbour Bridge, ten minutes from the Sydney CBD, the new RIM offices were formally unveiled by Mr Thomas A.MacDonald, Consul General of Canada, at a ceremony attended by dignitaries from the New South Wales Government and North Sydney Council, as well as RIM’s partners and customers. The new office features training facilities, a research and development centre, a strategic partner marketing centre and technical support services. Total workforce provides 12,000 jobs world wide.

In June 2009 RIM has announced they were acquiring Dash Navigation, makers of the Dash Express. In August 2009, RIM acquired Torch Mobile, enabling the inclusion of a Webkit-based browser on their BlackBerry devices.

On August 18, 2009, Fortune named RIM as the fastest growing company in the world with a growth of 84% in profits over three years despite the recession.

On March 26, 2010, the company announced acquisition of BlackBerry applications developer Viigo, a Toronto-based company. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

RIM reached an agreement with Harman International on April 12, 2010, for RIM to acquire QNX Software Systems. "RIM is excited about the planned acquisition of QNX Software Systems and we look forward to ongoing collaboration between Harman, QNX and RIM to further integrate and enhance the user experience between smartphones and in-vehicle audio and infotainment systems," said Mike Lazaridis, President and Co-CEO at RIM. "In addition to our interests in expanding the opportunities for QNX in the automotive sector and other markets, we believe the planned acquisition of QNX will also bring other value to RIM in terms of supporting certain unannounced product plans for intelligent peripherals, adding valuable intellectual property to RIM's portfolio and providing long-term synergies for the companies based on the significant and complementary OS expertise that exists within the RIM and QNX teams today."

On September 27, 2010, RIM announced the long rumoured BlackBerry PlayBook tablet computer. The BlackBerry PlayBook was officially released to US and Canadian consumers on April 19, 2011.

As of May 2010, RIM OS held 10.4% of the smartphone operating system market.

On Jun 30, 2011, an investor push for the company to split its dual-CEO structure was unexpectedly withdrawn after an agreement was made with RIM. RIM announced that after discussions between the two groups, Northwest & Ethical Investments will withdraw its shareholder proposal before RIM's annual meeting.

In September 2011, RIM decided to build assembly factory (hardware) in Malaysia rather in Indonesia, but Indonesia will become the BlackBerry's application and market research centre(software).

On October 10, 2011, RIM experienced one of the worst service outages in the company's history. Tens of millions of BlackBerry users in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and North America were unable to receive or send emails and BBM messages through their phones. The outage was caused as a result of a core switch failure, "A transition to a back-up switch did not function as tested, causing a large backlog of data, RIM said." Service was restored Thursday October 13, with RIM announcing a $100 package of free premium apps for users and enterprise support extensions.

On January 22, 2012 RIM announced that Co CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis have stepped down as CEOs and announced the new CEO to be Thorsten Heins.

In March 2012 it was announced that RIM was awarded a patent for placing fuel cells behind mobile phone keyboards. Through the system, for which RIM had applied for a patent in 2009, a mobile phone would be able to recharge itself.

On March 29, 2012, RIM announced a strategic review of its future business strategy – A plan to refocus on the enterprise business and leverage on its leading position in the enterprise space. The RIM Chief Executive, Thorsten Heins said, "We believe that BlackBerry cannot succeed if we tried to be everybody's darling and all things to all people. Therefore, we plan to build on our strength." As part of the management shake-up, it was also announced that the former co-chief Jim Balsillie has resigned from RIM's board along the departure of David Yach, CTO for software, and Jim Rowan, COO for global operations.

On May 24, 2012, RIM's global sales head Patrick Spence resigned.

RIM's chief legal officer is retiring from the company after 12 years, but would stay on until a replacement is hired. RIM after a four-year stand-off with the Indian Government, agreed to hand over encryption keys for its secure corporate emails and popular messenger services. It recently demonstrated a solution that can intercept messages and emails exchanged between BlackBerry handsets, and make these encrypted communications available to Indian security agencies.

On September 18, 2012, it was announced that the RIM service, Tungle.me would be shut down on December 3, 2012. RIM acquired Tungle.me in April 2011.

Read more about this topic:  Research In Motion

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