With its shares trading at a near 9-year low amid increasing skepticism over its prospects for a turnaround, expectations for RIM’s first fiscal quarter are decidedly low. As Jefferies analyst Peter Misek told AllThingsD, “It’s going to be terrible with a scoop of worse for August.”
The quote from Wedge analyst Brian Blair nails it:
RIM finds itself in such a situation with an aging product line and nothing that appears able to change its fate in the pipeline.
When you lack vision for the last 5-years—no doubt in part to their once dueling co-CEOs—it becomes obvious you are only digging your own grave. I feel for the employees who are uncertain about their jobs. They have only management to thank for that.
From the Verge:
The Sunday Times reports today that RIM is considering a plan to split its handset division and messaging network into two separate companies, and will sell off the struggling BlackBerry hardware business. The British paper doesn’t cite any sources in the report, but it says that Facebook and Amazon are both “potential buyers.”
Facebook and Amazon? I guess I could see Amazon as a potential buyer, but Facebook does not compute. Amazon could make sense if they were looking at building their own internal hardware team. The RIM employees could simply move from one hierarchy to another and continue with their daily grind; all but under different management.
While there have been rumors of Facebook creating their own phone, the existing mobile market is already heavily saturated with Android- and iOS-based phones. If Facebook were to enter the market, I believe they would follow Amazon’s lead and fork Android. And since Bing has Facebook integration, I wouldn’t be surprised if their maps app would be powered by Bing as well.
The RIM BlackBerry PlayBook has so far been a dud. Even with steep discounts, RIM is still left with inventory, forcing the company to take a $485 million charge. From AllThingsD:
RIM sold just 150,000 PlayBooks “into the channel” this quarter, down from about 500,000 in the first quarter and 250,000 in the second.
Because of the tablet’s lousy performance, the company will take a $485 million charge and will not meet the $5.3 to $5.6 billion in revenue it had forecast when it last reported earnings.
Despite the PlayBook’s lousy performance at market and its deleterious effect on the company’s bottom line, RIM’s leadership says it has no plans to ditch the device.
The phrase “into the channel” is key. These numbers do not represent the total units sold to consumers, but rather sold into retail inventory.
The fact that their management wants to continue with this device is amazing. Consumers have shown that they are only willing to part with $199 for a new PlayBook. Considering that is the same price as the Kindle Fire—which had demand from the day it was released—I have to wonder what the PlayBook can offer that Amazon can’t, even at a loss.
According to Business Insider, Nokia has stated that their devices do not come loaded with Carrier IQ. From the article:
Nokia says it does not authorize Carrier IQ on its devices. Nokia calls reports of Carrier IQ being found on its phones “inaccurate.” Nokia also says that Carrier IQ doesn’t support Nokia phones, so it’s impossible to be installed later.
RIM has also stated that none of its BlackBerry devices come with Carrier IQ. From the article:
RIM is aware of a recent claim by a security researcher that an application called “CarrierIQ” is installed on mobile devices from multiple vendors without the knowledge or consent of the device users. RIM does not pre-install the CarrierIQ app on BlackBerry smartphones or authorize its carrier partners to install the CarrierIQ app before sales or distribution. RIM also did not develop or commission the development of the CarrierIQ application, and has no involvement in the testing, promotion, or distribution of the app. RIM will continue to investigate reports and speculation related to CarrierIQ.
This contradicts Trevor Eckhart’s original assertion that BlackBerry devices—in addition to Android devices—have Carrier IQ installed.