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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 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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