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Ahead of the Bell: Research in Motion CEO to speak

Associated Press Modified: May 1, 2012 at 2:45 am •  Published: May 1, 2012
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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The new CEO of struggling BlackBerry maker Research in Motion Ltd. will make his first major speech Tuesday amid the company's difficulties competing with flashier, consumer-oriented phones such as Apple's iPhone and models that run Google's Android software.

Thorsten Heins, who took the CEO job in January after longtime chiefs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis stepped aside, will deliver the morning keynote at BlackBerry World, an annual conference in Orlando, Fla., for corporate customers, software developers and other partners.

The speech comes as RIM is undergoing a comprehensive strategic review. In March, RIM said it plans to return its focus to its corporate customers, admitting that it couldn't succeed in trying to be all things to all customers. RIM has had limited success trying to enter consumer markets in recent years, particularly with high-end devices that sport touch screens popular with consumers.

Heins and other RIM executives will be speaking Tuesday on their vision for the future of mobile devices and the Internet. They also plan to discuss the upcoming BlackBerry 10 platform, an often-delayed system that RIM is banking its future on.

The audience is expected to include information-technology executives who have important roles in determining what products to support and buy within corporations. RIM plans to discuss its innovations for businesses as it faces threats from a "bring your own device" movement, in which employees bring their own iPhones or Android devices to work instead of relying on BlackBerrys issued by their employers.

Colin Gillis, an analyst with BGC Financial, noted that RIM is not holding a specific presentation for analysts this year. Gillis said that's a smart move. He said RIM's focus will be on rallying developers to keep making applications for the BlackBerry.

"They want to focus on developers and keep the community robust and not lose those guys," Gillis said. "It's about showing them love. By not having analysts there it keeps the depression out of the event."


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