Just gave an interview to E-Commerce Times on RIM. Here is some more background information.
There was a time when a Blackberry was the must–have-gadgets for executives, venture capitalists and business people. Those days are long over. In a recent report published by the NY Times (http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/technology/20121128_RIM.pdf) RIMs market share went down in most key markets between Oct 2011 and Oct 2012. Here are a few examples:
Great Britain: from 19% to 7.9%
United States: from 8.5% to 1.6%
Spain: from 23.7 % to 3.4%
Brazil: from 8.7 to 2.7%
Only in Germany RIMs market share increased from 1.6% to 2.5% in the same timeframe.
iOS and Android based devices have the commanding lead in all globally relevant markets. That’s what RIM is up against. Now, the early reviews of the new Dev Alpha B were positive. With BB10 RIM was able to create a competitive platform. However, it takes much more to win back market share the company has lost to iOS and Android.
First of all, RIM needs to win back the hearts and minds of the consumer. Then, they have to convince mobile carriers to aggressively push its devices. Those are two major preconditions for success. It will be interesting to see which niche RIM is trying to carve out for itself. There could be room for a third mobile platform at a lower price point. Having that said, it’s likely a rocky road ahead for RIM. Even though the company is vertically integrated manufacturing its own devices, it’s an open question how well RIM will be able to drive the costs down to a point that they can become and remain profitable in serving a niche market. For now, investors have to choose between the “too little too late” or the “niche player” scenario. It will take a lot more for RIM to return to its glory days.