It seems to me that RIM is suffering the same lack of vision as the major US car manufacturers (GM, Ford and Chrysler) did a few years back. On the BlackBerry website they have the Bold, Torch, Curve, Style and Pearl phones available. That’s five different models. If I was in charge of RIM operations the first thing I would do is pare down the number of models to two.
All you really need to offer to consumers here is the classic “keyboard style” phone and one smartphone. Paring down the number of models would focus the company on the key sellers. Heck, if I took a closer look at their financials I would probably just keep the top two sellers and slash the rest regardless. After some time I would pare that down even further – one phone – one tablet and maybe one or two other devices. Focus is the key here to getting RIM back on track.
It would be nice to see RIM get it mojo back but with Nokia releasing Windows phones and now thinking about the tablet space things are starting to heat up a little more. After all the Windows PC install base is still enormous at over 90% and RIM’s string of bad luck seems to continue.
The latest issues include a class action lawsuit over the recent BBM outage. Reuters reported, “the U.S. lawsuit, filed on Wednesday in federal court in Santa Ana, California, was brought on behalf of all U.S. BlackBerry owners with an active service agreement at the time of the email, internet and messaging interruptions. It accuses Research in Motion of breach of contract, negligence and unjust enrichment.”
Another problem has surfaced over the naming of BBX the next operating system from RIM. According to CTV and Globe and Mail, “BBX, the operating system that Research In Motion is counting on to revive its floundering BlackBerry franchise, has run into trouble even before the company could install the system in its smartphone line. A New Mexico firm claims the “BBX” name is protected by trademarks it holds and is threatening to take legal action against RIM unless it stops using the moniker.”
All of the recent bad publicity has sent RIM’s share price downward. Over the course of one year RIM’s stock has gone from a high of close to $70 down to its most recent closing price of about $21. This all happened while the NASDAQ and Dow Jones indices have remained relatively flat over that same period. Meanwhile, Nokia’s stock price appears to be on the uptick recently closing at $7.18 nearly double their recent low of about $4.00.