Morgan Keegan axes RIM rating, price target over Apple iMessage threat

“Seeing a threat from Apple‘s iMessage instant messaging service, Morgan Keegan analyst Tavis McCourt this morning cut his rating on Research in Motion shares to Market Perform from Outperform, while chopping his price target on the stock to $49, from $71,” Eric Savitz blogs for Forbes.

“‘Although mobile IM applications have existed for many years, none really gained traction as an ecosystem besides BBM due to the substantial investment needed to support the platform,’ he writes, noting that BBM has over 40 million users globally ‘and is one of the key’s to RIMM’s success outside the U.S.’ McCourt cut his FY 20120 EPS estimate to $6.14 from $6.23 in an effort to ‘take a stab at the competitive impact’ of iMessage, which includes features like encryption, read/delivery receipts, typing notifications, group messaging, and support for multimedia files,” Savitz reports.

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Surprise, surprise, surprise! Carriers reportedly didn’t know about Apple’s iMessage – June 7, 2011
RIM half-CEO’s biggest fear comes to fruition: Apple unveils iMessage app and service – June 6, 2011
New iOS 5 includes over 200 new features, including Notification Center, iMessage, Newsstand, Twitter integration – June 6, 2011


  1. While the RIM co-tards took their eye off their phone platform by developing a tablet that was supposed to be an iPad killer, Apple got busy in its research labs developing iMessage to be a Blackberry killer.

    I guess RIM learned to its cost that you shouldn’t bring a knife to a gunfight at the OK Corral.

  2. Say what you will now, RIM may have been found asleep at the wheel on the innovation highway, but didn’t follow the paths of the cheats like MS, backstabbers like Rubenstein’s PALM, nor hypocrites like Google.

    Their CEOs have made blunders, of late been talking nonsensical hyperbole, and so the company is now struggling sans a clear direction. But it doesn’t take away the respect the company once wielded and their innovative past. When all is said and done, I think internally Apple may also be more respectful of RIM than they are of, say, Samsung, HTC or Android.

    I wish RIM well, and hope they find a way to be back on their feet in a different market (much like how Apple had to reinvent itself, transitioning from being Apple Computer Inc. to Apple Inc.). It certainly seems like a better proposition to me than, say, embracing the fate of Nokia.

    1. Not sure if RIM shareholders are ever going to recover from this rough patch. Android is squeezing RIM from the bottom and Apple is squeezing RIM from the top. In RIM’s giddy share price days, it had almost no competition at all in the enterprise except from Windows Mobile. Right now, RIM is looking less and less needed from an enterprise standpoint so it’s value has to be dropping. You know from Wall Street’s perspective, once you start losing any market share it’s just about over. It doesn’t mean the company can’t continue to thrive, but it’s still going to be murder for shareholders.

      I’m no expert on security but with the iDevices being able to have encrypted messaging for free, at a glance it’s making RIM’s costly (and money-making) BES seem sort of redundant for companies. I wish RIM well, too. I certainly don’t want RIM to end up like Nokia with huge job losses and such.

  3. iMessage is only iOS to iOS, right? So what happens if I want to send to a non-iOS cell phone? How do iKnow if it’s iOS or not? Does it smartly SMS if it’s not and iMessage if it is? What then of the read/write notifications and all the other pizzazz?

  4. Really, the iMessage thing isn’t that big of a deal. Instead, take a look at how far behind RIM is as a whole. RIM is looking for a crash big time, and needs an exit strategy at this point.

    iMessage isn’t a BBM killer. People used BBM because their entire work team had Blackberries. BBM came with the platform, and there weren’t IM clients good enough to become standardized over the default client. With no need to go cross-platform, BBM became a standard for teams that standardized around Blackberry.

    Now however, if you standardize a company or team around iPhone, Android, WP’07, or whatever, there are tons of IM apps to choose from. Even if you don’t standardize around one platform, there are tons of IM apps that are cross platform.

    iMessage may become attractive to some teams that are standardized on iPhone because it’s a default app, but there have long been numerous solutions for this.

    On the other hand, maybe these cavemen with their mechanical phones need to be hit on the head with something as obvious as iMessage to be dragged into the modern era of mobile.

  5. Have my developer account and I am running ios 5. Never develop anything, I just love playing with the OS prior to its public release. imessaging is smart enough to know to SMS if the user doesn’t have imessage.

    I thought I read that one of the new API’s available was imessaging. Wouldn’t that mean it could quickly become cross platform? And, based on where things are going for RIM they would be smart to develop for iOS fast.

    In the corporate world if the security is there Apple just slapped IT CEO’s awake to stop paying for BES.

  6. And suddenly, over about the last week or so I have not seen anymore commercials for the Playbook. For awhile they were using that song, “I’m Special”, (aptly enough, by “The Pretenders”), and then they started using one of Queen’s lesser known hits from 30 years ago, with the mistaken belief that potential tablet buyers know what Flash is or give a damn. But now, those ads are gone, gone, gone!

    Also, no more Xoom ads with a male model inside a cheap CG animated spaceship in an amusement park.

    I love to watch these products all go the way of the Zune, after years of snarky, snide comments about Apple from all quarters.

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