Research In Motion, maker of the iconic Blackberry and Playbook (not as iconic), got clobbered yesterday as its stock is down more than 21% as of this writing. As a publicly traded company, making hundreds of millions isn't enough to stem the ire of stockholders.
I know, it's all about being able to compete in the marketplace and RIM's mobile gears are not doing so well. And while the two CEOs reminded financial analysts during the call yesterday night, RIM is still very profitable. However, the fear is that it'll stop making money all together if it doesn't get its acts together.
Increased competition from Apple over the years stunted RIM's growth and lead to losses of market share.
While management has pleaded for patience until new products reach the marketplace, those based on its QNX operating system, investors and bloggers think it might already be too late. References to Palm has kept cropping up during user commenters on various blogs as the financial call started.
Also, the iPhone has made great progress into enterprise, the last of Blackberry stronghold and the halo efforts of the iPad has made the iPhone more of an attractive alternative to the BB. Furthermore, these troubles at RIM could for IT to rethink their commitments to Blackberries. After all, they need to keep an eye to the future.
Then there's the tablet market. RIM said it has shipped 500K units. Immediately, many took that as a good sign. But after sitting back to look at the wording, "shipped" does not meant "sold". When pressed on this issue, one of the two CEOs said that RIM has no firm number. But a moment later, he said that he was happy with the sold-through. So which is it? Now can RIM be happy about a figure they don't have?
Furthermore, layoffs are on the books. And while many want the co-CEOs to be among them, it's not likely to happen. And it's beginning to look like if they're still in charge, a turnaround is less likely to happen any time soon. Meanwhile, Apple will continue to eat away in enterprise.
Just wait until Apple releases the next iPhone and, quite possibly, a budget version. If you think things are bad now for RIM, you haven't seen nothing yet.