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Research in Motion CEO Admits to Being Clueless

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Research in Motion co-CEO Mike Lazaridis can't understand. He just doesn't get it.

"Why is it that people don't appreciate our profits?" he asked in an interview with the New York Times.

With steady declines against Android and dismal projections from top analysts, RIM and its BlackBerry line desperately need a monumental shift in order to maintain ground against Google and Apple. Developers are flocking to Android and iOS platforms -- even Windows Phone 7 -- but BlackBerry remains wholly barren in third party development.

With all due respect to Lazaridis, it's hard to ignore those aspects and cherry pick the highlights.

"Why is it that people don't appreciate our growth?" he continued. "Why is it that people don't appreciate the fact that we spent the last four years going global? Why is it that people don't appreciate that we have 500 carriers in 170 countries with products in almost 30 languages?"

Lazaridis' fellow CEO Jim Balsillie echoed his sentiments -- specifically underscoring how difficult it's been for RIM to adjust its mobile platform. "No other technology company other than Apple has successfully transitioned their platform. It's almost never done, and it's way harder than you realize. This transition is where tech companies go to die."

But in RIM's case, it's absolutely necessary.

The BlackBerry Storm bombed, as did the BlackBerry Torch. Lazaridis is pinning his and the company's hopes on the BlackBerry PlayBook Tablet -- launching this month with a new BlackBerry tablet OS, powered by QNX and able to play select Android apps. Of course, going toe-to-toe with the iPad got the best of the Motorola Xoom, and that had a significantly larger marketing push than the PlayBook. Here's hoping the BlackBerry Touch smartphone garners better coverage.

But amidst all the flak and negativity RIM's been receiving the last few years, it seems Lazaridis had a moment of clarity during the Times interview.

"To be pretty blunt about this: how many people in the world have computing devices in phones, and how many do we have to sell to ensure that we're a rip-roaring success over the next five years?" Concluding, "You'll find that you don't have to be all things to all people."

Unfortunately for RIM, both Google and Apple are coming close to achieving that level of success with their respective user bases.

(See also: Will Apple Fall to Windows Phone 7 in Four Years? and Things Aren't Looking Good for Research in Motion)

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POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.

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