The volatility in Research In Motion shares continues

Stock Talk
By Chris Umiastowski on 28 Nov 2012 09:12 am EST

Yesterday a research firm put out a report saying that the iPhone is back on top of the US market, while Android is a close second. Everyone else is currently irrelevant based on the numbers.

According to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, our beloved BlackBerry maker is down to 1.6% of the US smartphone market for the three months ending October. They had 8.5% of the market in the year ago quarter, so the drop is huge.

I think all we can really say here is "duh".

Of course sales are slipping. The BlackBerry portfolio is stale. All hands are on deck to get BlackBerry 10 to market, and the company is seeing a loss of subscribers in many developed countries, while subscribers are still growing quite nicely in emerging markets. It's actually amazing to see BlackBerry subscribers grow around the world despite this current portfolio problem.

We also saw negative analyst reports by two research firms on Monday, including Morgan Stanley. The digestion of those analyst reports along with bad news on US market share is probably to blame for the stock's 10% slide yesterday.

Remember, RIM is going to be a volatile stock. We've said it before and it's worth repeating. In fact, the stock is pretty much back to where it traded in May, after a wild ride down and back up again. Do not even go near the stock if you can't stomach this.

I also want to mention that these quarterly market share studies reflect device sales, not device users. Clearly BlackBerry has more than 1.6% of the US market in terms of actual users, but not when measured by current sales. That's exactly why getting BlackBerry 10 out there is such a priority.

To see just how quickly things can change on a product launch, just look at Apple's iPhone 5 situation. Last quarter, before its launch, Apple had about 22% of US smartphone sales. They gained 26% in one quarter. How? A hot product. I'm not saying RIM will be able to achieve anything close to this, but I do think RIM's share will rise upon the release of BlackBerry 10. Hopefully this will lead to stock volatility in the opposite direction.

Reader comments

The volatility in Research In Motion shares continues


much as everyone is saying `nokia could stop RIM making devices` its a FRAND patent from what i can see, so they have no choice but to offer terms to RIM.

Much ado bout nothing,lol. This ruling was done on Nov.6.2012 , I'm sure it will be appealed or RIM pays a small fee per phone (FRAND), part of doing business.

Nokia has gone public to try and force RIM's hand to settle quicker, knowing full well BB10 is just around the corner. Without missing a beat the bears are now trying to push the narrative in a negative light, so be it, it will all come out in the wash within day/s and the public will see it's media sensation as usual.

Thanks for the free BB10 publicity Nokia, we know secretly you luv BB10.

Interesting that Nokia didn't try to enforce these patents until it created Mobile Media Ideas LLC a couple of years ago. Hence RIM maintained the patents were incorporated in earlier license deals. Not sure the contract being in the Swedish legal jurisdiction was a great idea.

The case is more a sign that Nokia is dying - and looking for ways of generating revenue - than a problem for RIM.

RIM may have to pay to use the patents the only question is the price.

I do believe the reason for the downward movement is based on this Nokia Dispute.

I just don't understand why they waited until after official statement to release BB10 in January to make file their claim?

Please keep in mind, this "report" (seems like everyone with a TLD comes out with a different report) is based one SALES, not actual market share. Meaning, BlackBerry SALES, were "1.6%" of US smartphone sales, not that BlackBerry users only make up 1.6% of smartphone users in US.
Which, as Kevin (a.k.a. lots o' hair) pointed in the article makes sense, since they haven't really come out with a new handset and everyone is prepping for BB10. I am actually still a little surprised people are buying BB7 phones with BB10 2 months away, but to each their own. Obviously more sales are better, but don't get confused comparing apples and oranges (or in this case marketshare with sales from a certain time period).
So if you thought you were that much closer to being in the "1%," sorry to bear the bad news.

" . . .quarterly market share studies reflect device sales, not device users." Seems like I have to explain this to everyone I meet now a days. . .when it come to RIM all of a sudden everyone's an expert. . .also the few folks that are buying BB7 devices probably have no clue BB10 is on the way. . .RIM really need to to get the word out there as soon as possible. . .

I must say that I find the market share report a little suspect... not necessarily the drop in RIM but the Android/Apple share swing. I'll wait for the Neilsen ratings to come out for Q3 2012.

With that said, the market is taking the report seriously.

RIM will be just fine, bears will play while they can, which won't be much longer.

" Can your phone do this? " ;)

RIM will be just fine, bears will play while they can, which won't be much longer.

" Can your phone do this? " ;)

With numbers like that, I'd be worried about buying the current crop of BB right now. If I was a developer, there's no way I'd spend resources developing apps for the current OS. So people who just locked themselves into a 2-3 contract might harbor very bad feelings for RIM...and that's not going to help in the long run.

So RIM is in a tough spot, BB10 really needs to come out. I'm still holding out, even though our company just approved the iPhone 5, I'm getting tired of the "grid" look and want cover flow!!!

RIM has made a number of huge blunders over the years... But the delays to BB10, and the lack updated devices that could eventually run the new OS has really hurt their current sales. And has even allowed many corporate customers to open the door to other platforms.

Imagine how much better shape they would have been in if all the current OS7 devices could be updated to BB10. Or if they had at least release some BB10 capable phones within the last six months with the assurance of upgraded.

Heck I bet there are some corporate and government customers that might want new devices capable of being upgraded when and if they want them to be - have them running OS7 from now until they are ready to make the switch. Not to be force to upgrade their whole mobile system.

To be the first, we must be and stay ahead of the innovation.
RIM needs to wake up and start listen to the market.

Apple and Samsung will stay N° 1&2 ( Samsung will lead in a couple of months) unless RIM will learn his lesson and aim his strategy towards the main Market : the ordinary users.

I find it intriguing that if all the media companies are looking at this report and going `BlackBerry is losing marktshare` (which in an expanding market is hard to fully determine the effects of volume sales) then how exactly are they turning a blind eye to Apple losing their marketshare? some would amost say it shows a clear bias ofthe media (shock eh!!)

Germany - iOS share down 5.1% (RIM marktshare up 0.9% too lol)
Australia- iOS share down 0.8% with RIM down 1%
Brazil iOS down 0.% with RIM down 6%

Yes in the above figures it does show RIM share is down in places too (that hat unbiased means btw) but then you could say RIM havent released any `big` devices in the last 12 months, apparently, this isnt the case for iOS.

Thank you for the buying opportunity!! I wanted to sell some naked puts on RIM and pickup some more and needed a correction. Correction over!!! Thanks again.

PS The NOK settlement is going to make NOK rich because RIM will out sell them 100X with BB 10.

"PS The NOK settlement is going to make NOK rich because RIM will out sell them 100X with BB 10."

Nokia and Sonys tame patent troll has cases against just about everyone in the industry. It won't just be RIM making them rich.

What will be measured in next quarter report ?
The fact that RIM has - or not - maintained a fair amount of customers or even raised it. From there, its capacity to renew the current/older devices, witch is a mandatory step.

Apple did not put out a hot product....isheep jus followed the crowed...they could put out crap and people would still buy thats FACT

I was reading that some investors might dump rimm stocks while they are down (on the year) so they can lessen they capital gains hit.

Come January they pick the stock up again and get in time for BB10. Any opinions on how this would impact the stock and mood around BB?

"I was reading that some investors might dump rimm stocks while they are down (on the year) so they can lessen they capital gains hit.

Come January they pick the stock up again and get in time for BB10. Any opinions on how this would impact the stock and mood around BB?"

In Canada, the CRA prevents you from selling a stock before year-end, using the loss and picking the stock back up in January. So I doubt this will have much impact .. I'm sure there are similar rules in other countries as well.

It does not make sense that it's 1.x percent as not all goverments switched over to iphone or anroid. There are still some home users so nums did not make sense. How the heck iphone5 gained so much marketshare it's not even reviwed good by iBulls..We all know that BB is sliding in USA but is that new ? It's manipulation at work..

I understand your confusion. This report is not about the number of phones that Americans own. It is about what type of phones and how many were bought in this three month time frame. It is a marketer's dream report if you are increasing market share as it gives everyone a false impression about what people own and use. Lots of folks only read headlines and first paragraphs of stories so impressions are important. Still it's pretty clear BlackBerry phones aren't selling in the US. Perhaps millions of current BlackBerry users are waiting for BB10. I guess we'll find out sometime next year.

that is the question, no doubt. How many of those IP5 and Samsxxx customers were former BB customers who just gave up on RIMM and how many will jump back for BB10 if it merely is more competitive? If BB10 is ahead of those devices tech wise at release (a short lived phenomenon with monthly phone releases) and has proper app support then it has a good chance to get beyond fanboy sales. I tried to query number of apps registered so far but did not come up with anything except vague pronouncements. I guess we will know in late January. I think there will be a pps surge release week but by then the market will have already priced it in so ongoing sales will tell the story. I am a new long to RIMM and plan to watch post release info very closely because it will either rocket up, or down.

No offence Chris, but you seem to have developed into the chief propogandist at CrackBerry - it seems that whenever a negative story needs addressing thesedays you're there with the positive spin. It does seem as though your role is in danger of becoming that of spinmiester general, which sort of undermines some of the objectivity we all love about CB. From remarks on the pod back at BB World (in relation to a NY Times piece?) it seems as though maybe Kev has you pegged as the man for this sort of job, but knowing your earlier work, the more recent stuff seems a bit too North Korea if you know what I mean.

Just my 2c with no offence intended and no hatin' intended either - feel free to ignore...

Well of course they are talking about recent sales.
When you talk about TVs, do you talk about how many people have a certain brand in their house, even if the TV is 5 years old?
No, you talk about recent sales.
Same with everything else.
But, of course the numbers are down more now that people are starting to hear about the new OS and touch phones. That is good because it means the message is getting out.
This is an example of how looking at statistics without understanding the whys behind the statistics can be misleading or dangerous.
Extrapolating sales records beyond the release date of an entirely new product line which replaces an outdated product line is foolish and investors will be burned if they don't look for the reason behind the statistics.