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Delayed again, RIM's BlackBerry 10 OS viewed as too little, too late

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
Following Research in Motion's announcement that its forthcoming BlackBerry 10 mobile operating system has been delayed yet again, Wall Street watchers have begun to wonder if the company will be too late to the high-end smartphone market to recover.

Now that BlackBerry 10 won't launch until the second half of calendar 2012, analyst Mike Abramsky with RBC Capital Markets sees little in the way of potential catalysts for RIM over the next six months. In the meantime, RIM faces further market share losses, as well as a continued lack of interest from mobile application developers.

Facing lower smartphone shipments and higher operating expenses, Abramsky has reduced his fiscal year 2013 estimate to $18.1 billion in revenue, down 4 percent year over year, and reduced from a previous forecast of $20 billion in revenue.

Charlie Wolf with Needham & Company said BlackBerry Shipments in the September quarter were "surprisingly strong," especially given the negative attention surrounding RIM. He attributed the growth of BlackBerry in international markets to its instant messaging service, BlackBerry Messenger, even as RIM has seen an "implosion" of handset sales in the U.S.

"RIM's plan was to port the QNX operating system to the BlackBerry platform by early 2012. But that schedule appears to have fallen by the wayside," Wolf wrote. "What's more disturbing is the possibility that even if RIM is able to build and launch QNX BlackBerries sometime in early 2012, it may not be enough. While QNX has some nice multitasking features, the operating system does not appear to be in the same league as iOS or Android."

RIM announced this week that BlackBerry 10 devices running the new QNX operating system won't arrive until later next year because of a new chipset set to arrive in mid-2012. RIM executives believe the new chipset will increase the performance and battery life of their devices.

"RIM is an absurdly cheap stock if management's assessments are anywhere close to reality," Wolf said. "The risk is they're not."



Shaw Wu with Sterne Agee noted that RIM's reduced guidance going forward is worse than what were already low expectations on Wall Street. He said it appears the company must now work off excessive inventory stemming from greater-than-anticipated competitive pressures from Apple, Google and Amazon.

Wu said those competitive issues are unlikely to go away in the near-term for RIM, which puts the company in a difficult position as it buys time before the launch of BlackBerry 10 late next year.

Last month, a photo claimed to show RIM's first BlackBerry 10 device, code-named "London." It showed a radical departure from previous RIM devices, and featured a touchscreen with no buttons with a design thinner than Apple's iPhone 4S. The device was rumored to launch in June 2012, but that date has been pushed back with the delay of BlackBerry 10.
post #2 of 29
When is the funeral?
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post #3 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

When is the funeral?

This is like Weekend At Bernies, turning into Decade At Bernies.

How is this company still afloat? Why would a RIM employee even turn up at work, other than that they have (understandably) no other options for job security and adequate salary?
post #4 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

This is like Weekend At Bernies, turning into Decade At Bernies.

How is this company still afloat? Why would a RIM employee even turn up at work, other than that they have (understandably) no other options for job security and adequate salary?

In their defense, they are still profitable and just beat expectations for the quarter. The future obviously doesn't look bright. Gizmodo made the case that the Playbook might end up taking down the whole company.
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post #5 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008
This is like Weekend At Bernies, turning into Decade At Bernies.

How is this company still afloat? Why would a RIM employee even turn up at work, other than that they have (understandably) no other options for job security and adequate salary?



I'm guessing the only reason people show up to work there is they're being paid to look for work.

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post #6 of 29
they were a one hit wonder now they are on the brink of destruction.
If they were a software and hardware outfit like Apple they would be bad a** but they ain't.
post #7 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

In their defense, they are still profitable and just beat expectations for the quarter. The future obviously doesn't look bright. Gizmodo made the case that the Playbook might end up taking down the whole company.

They beat recently lowered expectations. That they lowered... a few weeks ago.

Not a big win.
post #8 of 29
Don't know about the "little" part. But I can confirm the "late" part: Have been a BB user for the last 2 years, but come Monday, my company will give me a little box with a fruity logo as a replacement.
post #9 of 29
Blackberries, like the Palm Pilots that came before them, at one time served a purpose. Being able to get your email on your phone was awesome, except RIM didn't think that people would want anything more. Apple comes along, Google sniffing closely behind, and changes the entire game. RIM refuses to accept that fact, and literally does not change anything about their phones. I'd say it's sad to see a company slowly die like this, but they did it to themselves with their own incompetence.
post #10 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by hittrj01 View Post

Blackberries, like the Palm Pilots that came before them, at one time served a purpose. Being able to get your email on your phone was awesome, except RIM didn't think that people would want anything more. Apple comes along, Google sniffing closely behind, and changes the entire game. RIM refuses to accept that fact, and literally does not change anything about their phones. I'd say it's sad to see a company slowly die like this, but they did it to themselves with their own incompetence.

A Finnish company comes to mind.
post #11 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

When is the funeral?

you missed it ...
post #12 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

In their defense, they are still profitable and just beat expectations for the quarter. The future obviously doesn't look bright. Gizmodo made the case that the Playbook might end up taking down the whole company.

No article that I've seen has been more prophetic or given a better analysis of RIM's predicament than this one. It really is a must read if this interests you at all.

Bottom line: Don't let RIM's current profits fool you. They have serious problems.
post #13 of 29
Better late than too early like the PlayBook.

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post #14 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapporobabyrtrns View Post

A Finnish company comes to mind.

Which is still the largest mobile producer in the world.
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post #15 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hauerg View Post

Don't know about the "little" part. But I can confirm the "late" part: Have been a BB user for the last 2 years, but come Monday, my company will give me a little box with a fruity logo as a replacement.

Remember you can use two thumbs to type if you really want to

Enjoy!
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post #16 of 29
Thoughts:

We're a month short of 5 years since the iPhone was first shown: Jan 10, 2007.

Android was announced 10 months later: Nov 5, 2007.

Windows Phone was announced on Feb 15, 2010.

Today, RIMM market cap is $7 Billion.

Google is paying $12.5 Billion to buy MMI.


Does anyone see any hubris, irony or missed opportunities here?
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post #17 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

When is the funeral?

Microsoft already had one for the iPhone, but that coffin was empty
Maybe they can fill it with Blackberry's carcass.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

Thoughts:

We're a month short of 5 years since the iPhone was first shown: Jan 10, 2007.

Android was announced 10 months later: Nov 5, 2007.

Windows Phone was announced on Feb 15, 2010.

Today, RIMM market cap is $7 Billion.

Google is paying $12.5 Billion to buy MMI.


Does anyone see any hubris, irony or missed opportunities here?

Google was originally targeting RIM but someone at Google had the good sense to change direction and target Apple after the iPhone was introduced. RIM had the same opportunity but decided to sit back and rest on its laurels. Shame. I don't like to see any company go down in flames... not when I think of the employees involved.
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post #19 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Garamond View Post

Which is still the largest mobile producer in the world.

GM was the largest car manufacturer in the world in 2007. So what's your point?
post #20 of 29
I doubt RIM will get a bailout in Canada like GM got from the US.

Their tablet did not come with e-mail built in, that is pitiful on their part thinking people would buy the thing and have to get a blackberry also. If you had a black berry you would have to use it to get e-mail to work on the tablet, no common sense on their part.
post #21 of 29
RIM is in the same situation as Apple in the 90's: Aging platform and can't get the new OS finished.

Apple had Steve Jobs who famously killed Newton, Mac clones and a series of smaller unprofitable initiatives and concentrated on a handful of products while working on transitioning to OS X.

RIM needs to do the same. But it may not have the right leadership to do it.
post #22 of 29
It's the old saying about all your eggs in one basket.
post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

Thoughts:

We're a month short of 5 years since the iPhone was first shown: Jan 10, 2007.

Android was announced 10 months later: Nov 5, 2007.

Windows Phone was announced on Feb 15, 2010.

Today, RIMM market cap is $7 Billion.

Google is paying $12.5 Billion to buy MMI.


Does anyone see any hubris, irony or missed opportunities here?

It's interesting how trends work. RiM was only worth about $25 billion when the iPhone was introduced but then jumped to about $80 billion a year-and-a-half later about the time when Apple became the most profitable handset vendor in the world.

Their increase in business is because the iPhone brought attention to the smartphone market in ways that helped RiM but that was a short lived victory as their inability to grow with the industry has now made them obvious dinosaurs with no clear avenue for success.


PS: Looking forward to these Galaxy Nexus and ICS reviews from AnandTech.

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post #24 of 29
Rim = Dead Men Walking
post #25 of 29
Wish they would just admit to reality and close up shop already. RIM is a national embarrassment, and after having provided the world with Céline Dion, Alanis Morrisette, Nickelback, Avril Lavigne and Justin Bieber, we do not f*cking need more of this. By any reasonable measure, Canada should already be a bomb crater.
post #26 of 29
I watched the streaming version of RIM's Developer's conference a few months ago. I was hoping to see some shred of positive news, regarding their phones. Nothing. All I saw was playbook, and (then it was called) BBX. Nothing about their phones.

I really liked my blackberries, loved the keyboard, texting, and email. Hated doing the web on it. Shortly after that conference, the corporation I worked for made our secure email available on iOS and Android. I already had an iPhone 4 as my personal "weekend" phone. I cancelled my Sprint/BB account, and moved 100% to my iPhone.

Seriously, I think its a stretch to see the new Phones in 2012 at all. This reminds me so much of the Palm situation, took them years to come out with anything, and by that time, the company was dead.

Of course, RIM does have some cash, and foreign market share.
post #27 of 29
While it doesn't look good, RIM has the potential to offer innovations. iOS is mechanically very nice but interface wise, it hasn't changed since iOS1. That's going on 5 years ago. Text centrism is still valid today. Would you type a paper on an iPhone, NO a thousand times no. RIM can still be arguably a more enterprise friendly animal than iOS. I used iOS for years and frankly it had nothing more to offer me. I am back to XP and OS 10.6, where I get things done.

I'm much more impressed by Macbook Air than by iPad or whatever. Not work compatible, IMO. And my company does offer it.
post #28 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by bwik View Post

While it doesn't look good, RIM has the potential to offer innovations. iOS is mechanically very nice but interface wise, it hasn't changed since iOS1. That's going on 5 years ago. Text centrism is still valid today. Would you type a paper on an iPhone, NO a thousand times no. RIM can still be arguably a more enterprise friendly animal than iOS. I used iOS for years and frankly it had nothing more to offer me. I am back to XP and OS 10.6, where I get things done.

I'm much more impressed by Macbook Air than by iPad or whatever. Not work compatible, IMO. And my company does offer it.

Blackberries got their start in the enterprise. Businessmen and women were carrying Blackberries long before they were popular with consumers.

Then, they actually did get popular with regular consumers... with the addition of the Curve and Pearl. They were great for texting, they had Facebook, etc. I knew tons of people with Blackberries. BBM was huge.

Nowadays though... people are expecting more from their phone. I never hear anyone say "I'm getting a new Blackberry!"

RIM won't go out of business... but I think most of their business will go back to enterprise.
post #29 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Scrip View Post

RIM won't go out of business... but I think most of their business will go back to enterprise.

But most enterprises are enabling open choice for handsets (cheaper than BES and you don't have to buy the handsets). There will be nothing to go back to soon enough. Most of my BB toting colleagues are moving to iPhone (a few nerds to Android).
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