Research In Motion Limited (RIM) is a Canadian multinational telecommunications company that has its headquarters in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. The company designs, manufactures and markets wireless solutions for the worldwide cell / mobile and tele-communications market.
RIM provides platforms and solutions for access to information, including e-mail, voice, instant messaging, short message service (SMS), Internet and intranet-based applications and browsing. RIM's portfolio includes the BlackBerry wireless solution, the RIM Wireless Handheld product line, software development tools and other software and hardware. It was founded by Mike Lazaridis, who currently serves as its co-CEO along with Jim Balsillie.
Before manufacturing 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 (in 1995) was financed by Canadian institutional and venture capital investors 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. The proceeds were 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. The ubiquity of these BlackBerry devices in the corporate environment and the compulsive use of its ability to quickly send and receive e-mail has earned it the nickname "Crackberry" in a reference to crack cocaine as users feel they cannot live without it.
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.
In February 2009, RIM announced 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. RIM has a world-wide work force of 12,000 people.
In June 2009, RIM 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 Magazine 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 the 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.
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 an assembly factory (hardware) in Malaysia rather than in Indonesia. Never-the-less, Indonesia will become the Blackberry's application and market research center (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 using 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 13 October, with RIM announcing a $100 package of free premium apps for users and enterprise support extensions.
May 2012: RIM Offers Blackberry 10 Prototypes to Developers
In May 2012 RIM handed out thousands of prototypes for its next line of smartphones, hoping that by doing so it would encourage developers to create apps for the phones. Both the OS and the new range of handsets are seen as hugely important as RIM struggles to compete with Google's Android and Apple's iOS.
May 2012: RIM's Chief Legal Officer Quits
In May 2012, RIM announced that chief legal officer Karima Bawa had resigned. This was the latest in a series of departures from the struggling Canadian smartphone maker. Earlier in May, the head of global sales, Patrick Spence, stepped down. In January 2012, co-chief executives Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie resigned. Their role was taken over by Thorsten Heins.
30 May 2012: RIM Warns of Losses and Job Cuts
Shares in RIM fell 10% on the news that the company warned it would make a loss in the second quarter of 2012, resulting in "significant" job cuts.
RIM has struggled in recent years as many of its customers have switched to iPhones or Android phones.
June 2012: RIM Warns of Losses and Job Cuts
RIM's troubles continued as the company announced it would delay the release of its latest operating system - Blackberry 10 - and would also cut 5000 jobs. In the three months leading up to June 2, the company made a loss of $518m (£334m). This compared with a profit of $695m for the same period in 2011.
You can find out more about Research In Motion (RIM) and its history here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Research_In_Motion.