Thursday, June 28, 2012

RIM announces new delay, posts disappointing earnings, slashes jobs (again)

I am going to go out on a little bit of a limb here make a prediction: there is not going to be a BlackBerry 10. There is talk about whether it will be the savior of RIM or whether it will be too little, too late, but the expectation is still that it will arrive. I have seen nothing to support that expectation. I believe RIM will already be in bankruptcy or sold off and divided up before BB 10 launches.

I want to make it clear that I am not here to badmouth RIM. I had a BlackBerry Pearl for 4 years. I went through three replacement batteries and two replacement rollerballs before I gave it up for an iPhone 4.  I am sad to see RIM go, but I think it's actually gone already, not going.

RIM stock is taking another whooping in after-hours trading after the latest round of bad news, but it's hard to understand why anyone would be surprised. It's hardly the first time they've disappointed with exactly the same headline. These types of disappointments should be priced into the stock already. This is a company that, while being know for mobile email, launched its signature tablet without a native email client. I know it's under new leadership now, but it's the same old story.

Lawyers were the second-to-last group to abandon BlackBerry, behind big government agencies, and even they have given up now. There are still plenty of lawyers with BlackBerries, but they are not repurchasing at the end of their contracts. They are going to iPhone or Android. Windows Phone 8 looks promising too, but there is no upgrade path from the current version of Windows Phone, so it doesn't make any sense to buy one now.

I was recently in a room with 25 fellow lawyers, and there were precisely two BlackBerry phones in the room. A year ago, it would probably have been 10. Two years ago, 18. The pendulum has swung, and it's over. BB 10 is now slated to come out in 2013, far too late to do any good.

News summary:,yahoo