RIM Going Down: The Beginning of the End


Today, Research in Motion (RIM), the creators of the iconic Blackberry line of mobile phones has suffered its lowest share price in the last 5 years. As if that wasn’t bad enough, one of RIM’s biggest shareholders, Jarislowsky Fraser Ltd., has sold off about half of its stake in the company, saying that they are on their way out. Add this to the fact that RIM’s first quarter earnings are way below expectation and that their third quarter expectations have been lowered, it seems that RIM is deep in that smelly stuff.

Blackberry sales are down, minute in comparison to iPhone sales and the Playbook has shipped only about 500 000 units since its launch.  These problems seem to mainly be due to the continuous lack of innovation on RIM’s part in their development of new phones and seeing as the new Blackberry Bold Touch will not be shipping until the summer, and Apple’s proposed fall release of iOS 5 along with a likely new iPhone to boot, RIM doesn’t look like it will be climbing out of its current situation anytime soon.

[OPINION] I cannot overstate how much I am not surprised about this because I have repeatedly complained about my friends’ insistence on using the backward devices that seem to be stuck in a past generation with regards to both hardware and software specifications. It seems that consumers are finally seeing the light and moving on to more powerful and more useful products.

Hopefully this will serve as a wake-up call for the Waterloo-based company. If not, I will be happy to continue my coverage of the inevitable decline and eventual demise of a former tech giant.

What do you think? Is this really the beginning of the end or will RIM make a comeback? Leave your thoughts in a comment.

[Source: Venturebeat.com]

Dunni Abiodun

Dunni is a tech enthusiast who has great interest in all fields of tech but places his primary interests in the development of mobile platforms and in tech innovation in emerging markets. He has been a blogger for over 3 years now and covers a variety of topics.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook

  • JCphoenixx

    Leave our shitboxes alone… We lovee them :(

  • http://twitter.com/Faaridah @Faaridah

    loool! nooooo!!

  • Chiocat

    It’s easy to focus on what’s bad about RIM w/o noticing what they have going for them – a loyal fanbase, exponential increase in users from developing countries, bbm.

    Possible scenarios include google or apple buying rim bcos of rim’s keypad or bbm.

    They are on a decline but all is far from lost.

    • Secondus Alaigbesan

      a) LOL
      b) a loyal fan base? only if you are talking about the companies that invested so much to build-in RIM infrastructure
      c) Exponential growth? That's where Nokia was a few years back and now, if not for microsoft, they would probably be filing for a finnish equivalent of chapter 11 (bankruptcy)
      d) Neither Apple nor Google has anything to gain from buying RIM so that is not happening anytime soon and definitely not because of BBM or Keypads
      e) BBM doesn't matter because there are so many apps that serve the same purpose (LiveProfile WhatsApp PingChat Kik to name a few) and besides, when iMessage comes out, this whole point will be moot because way more people use iOS devices (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad) than they use Blackberries. BBM will likely become ancient history. In the same way that Skype and BBM replaced MSN, iMessages will replace BBM. As for the keypad thing, what a joke. There are so many Android phones with keypads (HTC desire Z, Samsung Galaxy 551 and the upcoming T-mobile myTouch 4G to name a few) that are exponentially better than any Blackberry phone on the market.
      They are on a decline and all isn't lost, but it definitely isn't far from it.
      In a nutshell, RIM SUCKS.

      • Chiocat

        a) Lol right back at you :)

        They don't suck. You're right, that's where Nokia was years ago but imagine if they made this WP7 or Android deal way back when they started the decline?

        b&c) Yes, a loyal fan base: As much as RIM keeps losing share in the US, it's gaining traction in developing countries and is surpassed only by Android in UK market share. There is a steady decline but the sky isn't falling…yet

        d) All there is to gain is annihilating the competition, product integration. Why else do companies buy up their rivals? In truth, apple or google probably won't, but prob cos of antitrust and not cos RIM isn't valuable.

        e) *nods* yea. BBm doesn't matter, righhhttt. It does. Millions of people use it. Skype and BBM too. Millions of people still use msn. There's two ways to start this messaging thing up – build ur own network from scratch (iMessages), or integrate/buy (microsoft/skype). The combined userbase of these alternatives is still not enough to be a threat… yet.

        'Better' is relative. What if i don't need all that 'flash'? People have different needs and there's no one size fits all solution. You think it's better, fine, but u can only buy one, maybe two devices.

        That said, if i had any money in the stock market, i would bet against RIM stock. I'm not convinced this current management can cause a turnaround. However, all it takes is one device. The profits forecast could change drastically if the upcoming os7 is a big success, if.

        Therefore, beginning of the end is a bit dramatic, and premature.

        Have a great day :)

        • Secondus Alaigbesan

          Lol! I forgot about this…
          um lets see…
          a) Yeah they do. The nokia decline didnt start that long ago and besides, Nokia still has a majority worldwide market share of mobile phones but they still suck (though the n9 looks pretty nice :-) )
          b&c) They don't have a loyal fan base, they have a large user base which is declining every day. all around me, i see people saying that their blackberries suck and that they are changging to a better smartphone as soon as possible. Maybe the shit hasnt hit the fan yet but its pretty close.
          d) Annhilatig the competition? please… Apple and Google barely consider RIM as competition. besides, like I said Apple has no real use for RIM and Google is buying motorola mobility so yeah. Besides, Google's primary market is not even in phones so they really do not have much if anything to gain from the purchase of RIM, To be honest, RIM has nothing of note to offer either company. And right now, I hear investors are looking to sell RIm or at least suggesting that the board consider it. They don't want RIM to become the new nortel and as you said, their management iss not really helping issues.
          e) There are millions of people on myspace. doesn't mean it isn't dead. and I still maintain that there are more iOS users than Blackberry users. even those with bloackberries have iPod touches. how many people carry around a blackberry and an iPhone.
          Better is relative yes. but it is also quite objective. Flash has nothing to do with it. Functionality is the name of the game. why buy a $600 blackberry when I can get a $500 droid that is exponentially more functional. It makes little to no economic sense.
          I agree with you about OS 7.
          And as long as the headline doesn't say "end of an era" or something similar, I think it is neither dramatic nor premature. If anything, it is actually understating the situation.
          Have a wonderful week :-D

        • Secondus
      • Jeff


  • odzk

    i kinda agree with this. im currently using a blacberry curve 9300 but planning on switching to a galaxy w, even with the update of os6 and a webkit browser, it still suck.. and you would probably suggest that I will get a bold 9900, I should say no way.. with a price tag so high I rather get an s2 or iphone 4s with a better screen and better user experience.