RIM has eroded 80% of its m-cap in the last 3 years and its product line has wilted under relentless attacks from Apple and Android.
So what then are the choices that RIM has?
Blackberry has to do a fundamental re-think of its device portfolio. In an age where push email takes a back seat to navigating by swiping on the screen, streaming rich video on a phone, and perusing application stores with tens of thousands, and even hundreds of thousands, of apps, RIM finds its device has been knocked clear of the limelight. The Bold didn’t work and the Torch didn’t light up sales either. the Blackberry Playbook also isn’t as refreshing. In an age where Apple and Android have been leading by innovation, BB is increasingly seen as a One trick pony.
Interestingly, quite a lot of other factors paint a completely different picture of BB. Revenue is nearly triple where it was in early 2008 and profits are up 250% from the same time period. They are gaining distribution as they move into new markets as well. This looks like a company on the rise with a bright future. On the other hand, Market share is down, the Playbook launch hasn’t been noteworthy, and the company is planning layoffs. RIM has to see thru the dichotomy clearly.
QNX platform, the BB equivalent of iOS and Android is due release in 2012, but getting delayed due to lay-offs and other issues. It will not be a bad idea for BB to consider an Android fling if QNX doesnot work out. That could be the plan B
While RIM still has good sales today, it finds itself more closely identified with HP’s webOS, Windows Phone 7, and Nokia, in that the world passed it by and now it’s trying to catch up. It may have stuck with the current platform too long though, thinking that rising revenues and profits meant it was on right path. Recently announced measures may be too little, too late.