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RIM rollercoaster continues to unravel as it plummets downhill

Waterloo, Ontario-based smartphone maker Research in Motion, Ltd. (TSE:RIM) is facing a potential end-of-life scenario as it scrambles to deploy its next generation BlackBerry 10 (BB10) operating system to market.  BB10 was supposed to arrive early this year, but instead was pushed back to a late 2012 launch.  Customers were left waiting... and waiting.  

Except most didn't wait.  Most moved on to other platforms like Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Android or Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL) iPhone.  RIM has seen market share of its defunct BlackBerry 7 operating system plunge into free fall.

The latest sign of the company's sales woes comes as Canadian manufacturing partner Celestica Inc. (TSE:CLS) announced it would "wind down" production of BlackBerries and commit to "restructuring" to produce more popular devices -- like Android smartphones.

RIM is accumulating a soaring inventory of unsold handsets and its CEO Thorsten Heins talked about "streamlining" his company's workforce and supply chain.  Apparently part of that process is to bid farewell to one of the company's longest term domestic manufacturing partners.

It's no big loss to Celestica, though.  Celestica expects revenue of between $1.65B and $1.75B USD -- and it only expects a $35M USD hit from the RIM phaseout.

The exodus from RIM is not limited to customers and suppliers.  RIM has also seen many of its most promising executive talents jump ship to more successful firms, as it's been left to make due to with castoffs from other bankrupt or struggling firms.

It seems that RIM will likely survive long enough to deliver BB10 out of sheer stubborn will, if nothing else.  But amid mounting financial losses and a complete dissolution of the company's assets from head to tail, the question will be what will be left of it when it gets there.

Source: Celestica

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Android phone?
By drycrust3 on 6/18/2012 4:23:39 PM , Rating: 3
Celestica Inc. (TSE:CLS) announced it would "wind down" production of BlackBerries and commit to "restructuring" to produce more popular devices -- like Android smartphones.

So why doesn't RIM trial an Android phone?

RE: Android phone?
By Argon18 on 6/18/2012 4:32:27 PM , Rating: 2
RIMM selling an Android phone? That's like asking why Microsoft doesn't sell Android phones.

RE: Android phone?
By Pirks on 6/18/12, Rating: -1
RE: Android phone?
By retrospooty on 6/18/2012 5:29:12 PM , Rating: 2
LOL, yes, why would the maker of the worst selling smartphones on the market want to make phones with the best selling smartphones on the market... They might actually sell phones LOL ;)

But seriously, RIM would be better served by allowing BES on IOS, Android and Windows. They could rake in some dough with that. They almost did it with Palm 4 years ago, but RIM wanted too much $$$. LOL, another fail move.

RE: Android phone?
By insurgent on 6/18/12, Rating: -1
RE: Android phone?
By adl on 6/20/2012 4:43:09 AM , Rating: 1
are you crazy? i live in india, and blackberries sell for a massive premium here. the top of the line (lol ... top of the line BB. apologies for the oxymoron.) phones like the bold and torch lines are among the most expensive phones in the market, costing close to or even over US$700 (at the current exchange rate, maybe a little less:).

the cheapest curve model sells for over US$200 a pop, and the high end curves sell for US$400.

blackberry's marketing campaign actually revolves around BBM. the cheap models come with 2 yrs free bbm. because hey, it's not enough to stick one up you while coming when people will take one more for the road. edge (2G) blackberry plans cost as much as standard 3G plans.

india is one of blackberry's largest markets almost entirely thanks to BBM. so yeah, it's a pretty precarious position.

rant over.

RE: Android phone?
By ilkhan on 6/19/2012 3:04:51 AM , Rating: 2
bust it is!

RE: Android phone?
By drycrust3 on 6/18/2012 5:55:26 PM , Rating: 2
RIMM selling an Android phone?

The fact is application libraries are starting to govern the choices purchasers make. There are applications that people feel they have to have, meaning that a smartphone user will only consider an operating system with those "essential apps" in the application library.
I don't know if RIM charges users for after sales services like secure email, but sales are at least part of their business model ... which is their problem at the moment: people aren't buying their phones.
The easy way to fix that is to make a phone people will buy i.e. an Android phone. They could easily add a few of their premier "Blackberry apps" to it (e.g. the secure email) as a "sweetener". This way they gain the benefit of Android's large application library (i.e. they aren't overlooked by previous Android users wanting to purchase a new phone) without having to pay the full cost of maintaining it. The sales of the Android phones will then help them support their premier products.

RE: Android phone?
By CZroe on 6/19/2012 4:42:59 AM , Rating: 2
Not really. I actually suggested that they might open up the PlayBook to Android before letting it go completely under and the same logic can apply to their phones. Just like WebOS being quite popular on TouchPads with Android installed, Android would increase the sales and the BB10 install base would grow as a consequence, which would court more developers. the only real problem would be sandboxing it so that they can still maintain their security certifications.

RE: Android phone?
By retrospooty on 6/18/2012 4:38:49 PM , Rating: 2
"So why doesn't RIM trial an Android phone?"

The question is "who will buy RIM"

RIM is over as a company. They are basically trying to find a buyer at this point. Any moves they make are just to try and hold as much value as possible given the situation.

RE: Android phone?
By Pirks on 6/18/12, Rating: -1
RE: Android phone?
By retrospooty on 6/18/2012 5:06:43 PM , Rating: 2
In spite of your fail at sarcastic wit, it really doesn't take a psychic to see what is happening at RIM. It does however take a heavy dose of thick-headedness to not see it.

RE: Android phone?
By Pirks on 6/18/12, Rating: -1
RE: Android phone?
By retrospooty on 6/18/2012 5:49:57 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, they do have some $$$. More than enough to survive until the sale. As soon as tehy find abuyer and agree on a price its done. You can post whatever you want to Pirks, it wont change anything.

Over the past year, I have been telling you RIM is headed for a major tailspin and you say its not. I even wanted to bet you , but you wouldn't take it. I admit though, I was wrong about one thing... I said by October 2012, all metrics would be down and there would be no way to fudge the #'s anymore. I was incorrect, because it happened much faster than I thought. Yet, still here you are, steeped in deep denial. Good luck with that.

Good luck to you too RIM, you need it. You really need it to try and get a buyer willing to pay tp dollar, becasue your company is worth less and less every day.

RE: Android phone?
By Pirks on 6/18/12, Rating: -1
RE: Android phone?
By retrospooty on 6/18/2012 6:21:01 PM , Rating: 2
Whatever man... The world marches on, regardless. When RIM's selloff is announced, I will say I told you so and you will say "no you didnt" and regaldless - life goes on. Enjoy your cloud.

RE: Android phone?
By Reclaimer77 on 6/18/2012 9:00:01 PM , Rating: 3
And when BB10 arrives, then what? LOL you really see that as their savior or something?

RE: Android phone?
By Focher on 6/19/2012 9:01:45 AM , Rating: 2
You are aware that Heinz said he's open to a sale, right?

"Chief Executive Officer Thorsten Heins said yesterday the BlackBerry maker will concentrate on the market it once dominated following a fifth straight quarterly sales shortfall. He also said he would consider a sale of the company, though that is not the “main direction” at the moment." -

The reason that's not their primary strategy is because no one actually wants them.

RE: Android phone?
By mcnabney on 6/18/2012 5:04:54 PM , Rating: 2
The only thing of value at RIM are some patents and BES technology. Google should seriously think about spending some money in the frozen north before Apple does. Both Apple and Android-partners are tired of paying MS for ActiveSync.

RE: Android phone?
By retrospooty on 6/18/2012 5:13:40 PM , Rating: 3
Yup... in the hands of Apple, Google, or MS, BES could be an enterprise powerhouse again. RIM has just lost the ability to execute, the lackluster OS and products have totally brought the company to its knees. QNX (BB10) is a good OS, but RIM bought it too late and there is no way in hell RIM releases it - round 1, first phone and it's not buggy as hell. Today's phones are way too complex and they just dont have the talent anymore.

RE: Android phone?
By darkpuppet on 6/19/2012 9:36:19 AM , Rating: 3
problem is that a lot of companies (or their CEOs) at least, don't care about BES anymore.

It may have had a lot of great features for remotely securing and managing devices along with push messaging/email, but solutions are out now for iOS and Android devices that do the same thing.

So now people can get the devices they want, and do the work they want on them without having to rely on BB.

Honestly, I think the last ship has sailed on RIM -- they should have moved to Android, or licensed out their tech -- or come out with something truly innovative and useful. I said it 3 years ago that RIM was in trouble, and now I think, other than holding a defensive patent portfolio, they're truly sunk.

RE: Android phone?
By retrospooty on 6/19/2012 10:17:12 AM , Rating: 3
agreed... The thing that really amazes me is how RIM's sales were still strong through 2009 and 2010. It really didn't dip until 2011. I remember thinking in 2008,2009 WTF are people still buying Blackberries for?

RE: Android phone?
By tayb on 6/18/2012 5:17:58 PM , Rating: 2
It seems likely but I'm not ready to call them dead just yet. BB10 looks amazing. Better than WP7, Android 4.0, or iOS 6. The features are just unmatched by anything on the market. If they released BB 10 six months ago I think we would be talking about their epic turnaround but delay after delay after delay has made investors, partners, employees, and customers jump ship. I think their future hinges on delivering BB 10 with some excellent hardware before the fall onslaught of iPhone 5, WP8, and new Android devices/OS . If they can't get to market by late September I think it's time to board up the windows.

RE: Android phone?
By retrospooty on 6/18/2012 5:25:14 PM , Rating: 2
BB10 does look good. They bought a great OS... But a phone is more than just a great OS. Just the ROM alone and getting it all working fairly stable is a huge effort and RIM just doesn't have the talent anymore.

Think of this... RIM got into bed with QNX 2 1/2 years ago and they STILL don't have a phone on the market. The developer samples they sent out last month didn't even have wireless capability, not even WIFI. That is how far along they are.

I do like QNX/BB10 though, it has alot of potential. I hope that whoever buys RIM develops it further.

RE: Android phone?
By Pirks on 6/18/12, Rating: -1
RE: Android phone?
By retrospooty on 6/18/2012 5:51:59 PM , Rating: 2
Apple made the OS. RIM bought a good OS pre-made, and this is 2012, not 2007. You may remember 2007 as the year the iPhone was released and RIM should have acted. Instead they didn't act at all until 2010.

RE: Android phone?
By Pirks on 6/18/12, Rating: -1
RE: Android phone?
By Pirks on 6/18/2012 8:27:49 PM , Rating: 1
OK, after seeing new MS Surface I think jury is now closer to the negative conclusion on RIM's fate ;) That's some killa competitor for Playbook right there. Man if only RIM knew Bellmer would be so fickin' cunning...

RE: Android phone?
By retrospooty on 6/19/2012 8:34:29 AM , Rating: 2
The Surface didn't change anything. The Playbook lost money. Lots of money. If it went away it wouldn't do anything to change RIM's fate. RIM needed to have a competitive phone a year ago, not 6 months from now... End of story.

RE: Android phone?
By Flunk on 6/18/2012 9:07:16 PM , Rating: 2
You can't compare current and unreleased products, by the time BB10 comes out the other 3 will be running circles around it. Kinda looks Androidish to me, but that could just be because Android kinda looks like they stole half of their interface from iOS and Blackberry.

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