Print 32 comment(s) - last by hyfve.. on Jun 22 at 11:22 PM

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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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.

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