Research In Motion: Is There Hope for RIM in 2012?
Is RIM headed for tougher times than initially anticipated? Barclays just downgraded RIM’s stock. We typically don’t spend much time tracking stock upgrades and downgrades. But in RIM’s case, the Barclays downgrade arrives as RIM shares are already trading around a 52-week low. No doubt, 2011 was a bleak year for RIM. Can the BlackBerry maker turn its business around in 2012?
The early chatter is downbeat. Aside from the recent BlackBerry service failure, Barclays says RIM’s “demand looks unhealthy,” and predicts that QNX-based phone shipments will be pushed back due to PlayBook 2.0 delays. The QNX-based phones are expected sometime in 2012… …
Sadly, I agree with Barclays’ assessment. I’ve often said RIM needs to focus 100 percent of their resources on QNX (now dubbed BBX) phones and put the PlayBook on hold. The development of a brand new phone — essentially their bread and butter — is critical to maintaining the lifeblood of the company. But RIM has carried along with the same road map that seems awfully outdated amid the violent mobile marketplace — only recently releasing an upgraded handset with BlackBerry OS 7.
If RIM doesn’t take the world by storm with something very different, very soon, there’s precious little time before Android, iOS and Windows Phone 7 consume RIM’s remaining marketshare. Microsoft may not be directly saying it, but Windows Phone 7 targets both newcomers and disillusioned BlackBerry users. RIM needs to watch out, lest they be bought out and eviscerated for patent portfolios and software like Palm.