Dan Walkes

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RIM’s state of affairs (my completely uninformed opinion)

I noticed several articles on Research In Motion yesterday – including this one which I found interesting.  I’ve never been a Blackberry user but I do have friends who are passionate about them and I have heard of other high profile folks who are also obsessed with their ‘berries.  I’ve always attributed this to Blackberry being the first phone that allowed people to un-chain themselves from the Microsoft desktop.  They enjoyed a huge head start in the smart phone category which has slowly dwindled since, probably due to lack of innovation.

I thought some of the comments in the article linked above regarding RIM’s future were particularly interesting.

From their CEO:

“It is now very clear to me that substantial change is what RIM needs.”

As my brother would say – “Thank you, Captain Obvious.”
Supportive Analyst Ted Schadler:

“To stop that trend from spreading, RIM needs to do a better job of reminding organizations that it can offer customers a dedicated network and secure servers,…”

Pessimistic Bloomberg comment

Still, that advantage has started to erode as companies have installed technology that has made the use of iPhones and Android devices for corporate purposes more secure

Pessimistic comment from analyst Scott Sutherland through Bloomberg:

While the company accepts the fact that it was late to the bring-your-own-device market, we fear that the damage is
already done” because it’s consumers now driving the enterprise market, not IT managers, he said.

I tend to agree with the bearish view on RIM. Gone forever are the days when a company IT department can tell it’s employees which phone they will be using (IMHO). RIM needs to stop focusing on organizations that force phones on users and try to find a way to connect with more users instead. Frankly I think they are too late.

The idea that their stock could spike on a buyout is interesting. That might be their best hope. I’m curious if Microsoft might be circling, assuming they could find some way to move what’s left of the RIM market and pull enough of the blackberry experience into Windows Phone 8/9 for people who know and love Blackberry. They might be able to solidify the market for people who want the best Microsoft interoperability, prefer the “Blackberry way” and/or believe the security story RIM is selling.

Time will tell…

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