Suggesting that RIM needs to ditch its BlackBerry handset business seems to be quickly gaining favor among a small amount of RIM's shareholders. It may seem like a bold statement, but that's what technology experts and investors are saying.
Poor sales and decreasing stock value have gotten many investors a little nervous about the future of RIM. Jaguar Financial an activist shareholder for the company stated that the "road map to value restoration lies in a sale of RIM whether as a whole or in separate parts," These parts to include its handset business. Jaguar also suggested a change within RIM's leadership stating that the company needed a new "transformational" leader.
Let's face it, we have heard these kind of bold predictions and statements before. What makes this one any different from the ones we have heard?
Declining sales. Whether you're a Blackberry fan like me or not, looking at whats really going behind the scenes is important to this theory. The bottom line is that BlackBerry device sales are poor. BlackBerry phones accounted for just 9 percent of the United States’ smartphone market in the third quarter of this year, compared with 24 percent during the same period a year ago, according to market research firm Canalys.
PlayBook reception. The BlackBerry PlayBook is one of the most advanced tablets on the market today, but the public has not accepted it. Why is this? Is it lack of apps or advertising? Maybe it was the rocky start back in April that had us PlayBook owners wondering whether we should return our devices. In the last conference call to investors RIM stated that its third quarter net income fell 71 percent. This is mainly due to the giveaway pricing that the PlayBook has had, good for consumers but bad for business.
A superior infrastructure. The one thing that RIM has done right from the start is keep up a backbone of security and a superior infrastructure. This is precisely what analyst and experts are suggesting that RIM focus on. Instead of concentrating on handheld devices RIM should be focusing on its enterprise software and start allowing more companies to use its back-end secure network. "There is a massive under-utilised asset in the services infrastructure which is very profitable. I think they are getting ready to come to market with a way to leverage that," said a U.S. fund manager.
The strategic reasoning behind all of this goes something like this: "Why build a staid Volvo or a flashy Ferrari when you can own the toll highway on which they drive?" - Reuters
The key's to RIM's success in 2012 depends on a, strategic launch of BlackBerry 10 smartphones, more cross-platformcollaboration like mobile fusion, and a more profitable use of RIM's infrastructure to.