It seems like it's an everyday occurrence that the BlackBerry maker RIM, is under fire from the media. The excitement over BlackBerry World has been trumped by recent talks of layoffs and the departure of more top RIM executives. The media are often quick to exaggerate news regarding RIM, and sometimes just plain inaccurate in their reports regarding the company. Every now and then its appropriate to set the facts straight.
The Real Deal
It would be a bit naive to think that RIM has not had its fair share of issues, and over the past year has given BlackBerry users and investors a wild ride. The truth is, RIM is not doing very well now. Sometimes the facts are hard to swallow for BlackBerry fans, but the fact of the matter is that there are some serious issues that RIM is going through now.
RIM's stock has declined over 75% over the past year, and are down more than 90% of it's all time high in 2008. Yes, this is something that we have been hearing non stop over that past year, but until it improves we wont stop hearing about it. Before the holidays RIM's stock traded for $11 that is a far cry from $147 its all-time high in 2008.
A massive surplus of mobile devices isn't helping the company either. We already heard from RIM about their $485 million dollar PlayBook inventory hit in December, and their $267 million BlackBerry inventory expense in January. That is quite a few BlackBerry devices not being sold. Since then the value of RIM's current BlackBerry and Tablet device inventory have grown more than 18% and has an inventory value of more than $1 billion, according to data complied by Bloomberg
. In short this is not good. No company wants to be in the positions of having a surplus of their product.
A large part or RIM's future will be determined by the success of its upcoming BB 10 device. Most consumers are just waiting to get their hands on RIM's new BB 10 devices, but they will have to wait until later this year. Late last year RIM decided to delay the release of their BB 10 super phones. Critics have expressed concerns as to whether or not RIM's current OS 7 devices will hold up consumer interest until then.
The bottom line is that BB 10 is extremely important to RIM's success. It's not just a hit or a miss, it has to be a grand-slam. It has to deliver and it has to "wow". RIM's recent BB 10 Alpha device
has already shown some signs of some exciting things to come. BB 10's rich UI and unprecedented functionality
is already getting may excited and is helping to spark new interest in RIM's smartphones. One thing we do know for certain from RIM is that BB 10 will be like nothing we have ever seen before.