Hard times in BlackBerry town

Via CTV News:

Of RIM’s 16,500 remaining employees, 7,500 live in Waterloo, a university town 90 minutes’ drive from Toronto, where everyone seems to know someone who works for RIM.

John Lind says RIM’s impact on his field, commercial real estate, is enormous. “We talk about RIM in hushed tones in this region because no one wants to be negative about it, no one wants to be seen as not on their side,” he said. “But people are saying, ‘What would this region look like without RIM?’”

The decline of the BlackBerry has come shockingly fast. Just five years ago, when the first iPhone came out, few thought it could threaten the BlackBerry. Now Chief Executive Thorsten Heins says his employees “are getting asked all the time, ‘What’s going on with you guys? What happened? I mean RIM is the star of Canada and what happened to you guys? And how bad is it going to go?’”

Should have taken that threat five years ago a lot more seriously. Tragic.

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