BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion fails to dispel doubts

Apple Online Store“BlackBerry maker Research In Motion may have zipped past expectations for its quarterly results and forecast, but it hasn’t dispelled all doubts about its staying power to lead the race,” Susan Taylor and Ritsuko Ando report for Reuters. “Even as RIM’s stock jumped 10 percent on Friday, analysts were questioning the company’s ability to maintain profit margins as it battles for market share with rival products, such as Apple’s iPhone.”

MacDailyNews Take: “Buy One, Get One Free” RIM currently leads in nothing but units shipped and that’s only because Apple has yet to report their holiday quarter results.

Taylor and Ando continue, “RIM shipped a record-breaking 10.1 million phones in the third quarter and expects to ship 10.6-11.2 million phones in the current quarter at an average selling price of $320. But strong international sales masked a string of structural weaknesses, said Sanford C. Bernstein analyst Pierre Ferragu.”

“Charter Equity Research analyst Ed Snyder thinks Waterloo, Ontario-based RIM is still behind the curve. He said the BlackBerry maker will face ‘a difficult period ahead as it reaches further down the value chain to fuel its growth,'” Taylor and Ando report. “RIM has cornered the corporate market, but it has not yet launched a touchscreen, media-centric phone that captures consumer imagination, he said.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As more and more people get iPhones and show their family and friends, even CrackBerry addicts will be able to glance up for long enough to see that RIM’s devices and, especially, its BlackBerry OS are painfully antiquated. Case in point: The reason the Storm’s screen “clicks” is not to provide some magical new feedback for the user, but because the ancient OS requires the user to provide such input. RIM’s Storm devices are not designed to serve the user, but rather to put the user to work in service of limitations inherent in the BlackBerry OS. Unless RIM rewrites their OS from the ground up, and likely even if they do (Android is already in place, after all) RIM’s long-term prognosis is, at best, a slow decline into irrelevance.

22 Comments

  1. true story:
    4 folks talking around office Xmas party
    3 have iphones/ 1 blackberry

    talking about apps…..BB person says “blackberry has apps too”

    response: “Cool, what apps have you got on your BB?”

    BB person: “I downloaded this cool flashlight app”

    so 2007….

  2. RIM has an important function in the world and it beats having insider trader knowledge. When you see someone using a Crackberry, find out what company they work for. You now know another company that is going to be going the way of General Motors. Use that knowledge and benefit.

  3. I never owned a BlackBerry myself (they are not that popular in Europe) or an Android-based phone. I had mostly SE phones until I got the phone that I will not switch from, the iPhone. But even Apple needs competition to stay on their development path, and (from what I understand, i.e. read) I hope Google and RIM will be the best chosen competitors. Hey, come on, who else can come even one magnitude (or a few magnitudes) close to Apple?

    MS (Hehe…..)? Palm? Symbian? Don’t think so. What else is there?

  4. @ R2: CDMA iphone would be a waste of money.GSM is what the rest of the world uses. I believe the next gen cell network (LTE) is what Apple is waiting for-that and the 5 year exclusivity with AT&T;to be up.

    Why does everyone seem to forget about the 5 year deal Apple cut with AT&T;and the stupidity of Verizon in passing on the phone?

  5. I whole heartily agree with this article. RIM is doing a wonderful job at selling yesterday’s technology to people who don’t know any better or have one reason or another for not making a choice that better positions them for the future of mobile computing.

    It goes to show for at least this moment, two markets can co-exist.

    PS: The company I work for a crackberry addicts- better look for another job.

  6. “The reason the Storm’s screen “clicks” is not to provide some magical new feedback for the user, but because the ancient OS requires the user to provide such input.”

    Actually, from what I’ve read, the Storm’s “SurePress” clicking was developed as a way to make a touchscreen phone feel more familiar to people accustomed to Blackberry’s physical keyboards.

  7. FromSweden,

    Apple invented the iPhone sans “competition,” therefore your claim that “Apple needs competition to stay on their development path,” is complete and utter bullshit.

    Apple competes with themselves. They certainly don’t need a bunch of years-late bad imitators like Palm, Motorola, HTC, Microsoft, and Google to spur them on.

    Stop parroting what the idiots in the media tell you and think for yourself.

  8. RIM has no chance until they get rid of the Keyboard Clitball.

    @Superior Being,
    Quite appropriate handle. “FromSweden” was being very diplomatic in his comments and very pro-Apple at the end.

    Lighten up.

  9. I’ve never thought about the clicking thing being required for the OS. The trackball was what they used which was required for highlighting and then selecting an item. The clicky screen does the same thing–highlighting the item does not actually select it.

    I will always root for just because it’s Canadian, but seriously, they have not innovated for years. Every model is the same; maybe one model doesn’t have WiFi or another mixes a keyboard from this model with the screen of another, but essentially, it’s the same phone with the same tired OS.

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