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Yet more drama at RIM

Are things going from bad to worse for Research in Motion? The BlackBerry maker is starting to look like it's in full-on crisis. Just a few days ago we told you they'd executed a u-turn on their strategy, binning plans for a new seven-inch tablet to focus on the next generation of BlackBerry phones. It's the right decision, but such a sudden switcheroo indicates a company scrabbling around.

And here's more evidence: an open letter from one senior RIM employee, to the company's co-CEOs, essentially describing a company in crisis. 'Almost every project is falling further and further behind schedule at a time when we absolutely must deliver great, solid products on time,' it points out. 'When was the last time we pushed out a significant new experience or feature that wasn’t already on other platforms?'

The letter also criticises RIM's recent products, saying 'we simply must stop shipping incomplete products that aren’t ready for the end user. It is hurting our brand tremendously. It takes guts to not allow a product to launch that may be 90% ready with a quarter end in sight, but it will pay off in the long term.' It even calls the Playbook, the company's much-ballyhooed new tablet, inadequate: 'PlayBook, with all its glorious power, looks like a Fisher Price toy with its Adobe AIR/Flash apps.'

We'd love to say that RIM have responded to the letter with a heartfelt, detailed response, but.... not so much. They did respond, but without really answering. 'It is particularly difficult to believe that a 'high level employee' in good standing with the company would choose to anonymously publish a letter on the web rather than engage their fellow executives in a constructive manner,' they say, 'but regardless of whether the letter is real, fake, exaggerated or written with ulterior motivations, it is fair to say that the senior management team at RIM is nonetheless fully aware of and aggressively addressing both the company’s challenges and its opportunities.' The letter then goes on to list the company's finances without any real detail as to how the challenges are being addressed.

All in all, though it's too soon to declare RIM officially in crisis, this is all pretty worrying stuff. Let's hope that BlackBerry 'superphone' they're working on is good.

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