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RIP RIM: Will Foresight Be 20/20?

Phil Harvey

4:25 PM -- When I read this story -- "RIM Chairman Resigns After Bleak Q4" – I wondered how much trouble BlackBerry is really in. Then, today, I heard from at least one financial analyst who can't see RIM as having any subscribers at all in eight years.

During his valuation of RIM's shares in a research note issued today, Stuart Jeffrey of Nomura International predicts that the aging star of the smartphone market will be written out of the script as the mobile enterprise increases its support for flashier consumer devices based on Android, Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s iOS and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)'s Windows Phone. Jeffrey makes the following assumptions when valuing RIM's shares:

  • We assume that RIM eventually closes its device operations, running them at a slight loss to support its subscriber base as much as possible.
  • We estimate that RIM may have to pay $2bn in restructuring charges to gradually close this business down.
  • We assume that RIM's subscriber base gradually declines to zero by 2020 as enterprise users transition to 'bring your own devices' and consumers focus on iOS, Android and Windows Phone.

RIM's new CEO, Thorstein Heins, sounds like he may have a more realistic view of RIM's prospects in the consumer market, but I wonder what kind of decisive action he's going to take to get the world to notice RIM again.

Not since Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) partnered with Microsoft have we seen a company that so desperately needed an executive with vision to step up and create some momentum for his company. (See Microsoft & Nokia Ink Definitive Agreement.)

If RIM's boss doesn't act boldly enough, 2020 will be here before you know it.

— Phil Harvey, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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12/5/2012 | 5:37:27 PM
re: RIP RIM: Will Foresight Be 20/20?

They have to figure what to do to get the Canadians back.  May be put a maple leaf on every phone but losing the canadian market is a big blow.

12/5/2012 | 5:37:26 PM
re: RIP RIM: Will Foresight Be 20/20?

For a country all full of snow, they've had some spectacular flameouts.

12/5/2012 | 5:37:25 PM
re: RIP RIM: Will Foresight Be 20/20?

Funny comment.

I think it has little to do with them being Canadian. It seems Apple is doing to RIM what RIM did to Palm. Remember when every when exec had a PalmPilot Professional in one hand and a flip phone in the other? Masters of the Universe. There's just no way anyone will come along and build a handheld that handles data and calendering in a more efficient way. No way in the world.

12/5/2012 | 5:37:23 PM
re: RIP RIM: Will Foresight Be 20/20?

Brave statements of the CEO notwithstanding, I'm guessing he's put up the "for sale" sign. He's pretty admitted that, didn't he?

Blackberry--even the name sounds so corporate, like I have to wear suit (blue, of course) and tie if I'm going to use one.


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