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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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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?

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997

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