What are RIM’s Strategic Alternatives?

RIM's Strategic Alternatives
By Chris Umiastowski on 4 Jun 2012 04:19 pm EDT
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As the price of Research In Motion stock continues to slide (it's a at 2003 low of below $10 / share today), it's clear that the market has pretty much zero faith in the company's ability to make a comeback.  The market can be wrong, but it would be foolish to assume so.  As encouraged as we are by BlackBerry 10, we have to realize it may still not be enough to "save" RIM.

So with that in mind while still hoping for the best, the CrackBerry team spent some time thinking about what the alternatives are beyond Plan A, which is the upcoming launch of BlackBerry 10. What else might happen?

Obviously Thorsten and the board of directors are engaged in multiple strategic alternative discussions. They've hired not just one, but two separate investment banks to act as advisors.

Keep reading for our thoughts on what Plan B, C, D... you get the picture... might look like.

Plan B - Form a strategic alliance with Samsung

Sure, there are other potential hardware partners but Samsung seems like the strongest opportunity to us.  They've got supply chain strength that is almost unmatched, and they have ripped past Nokia's market share to become the world's largest cell phone vendor.

Samsung's smartphone volume is almost entirely driven by Android, and given Google's purchase of Motorola, this is a position Samsung might not feel so comfortable with.  Samsung may wish to diversity its positioning by adopting BlackBerry 10 at some point, but clearly this can't happen until after RIM launches the OS on the market. So it would not be a 2012 event, most likely.

We'd also like to see RIM partner with Samsung on low cost BlackBerry plans for Android, exclusively available on Samsung phones. Think about BBM, email, and other social features that are powered by RIM's infrastructure and offered to customers at low price points (significantly cheaper than general data plans).  This would be benefit for RIM and Samsung.  

If RIM was to form an alliance with Samsung, it could involve the Korean firm taking an equity stake in RIM, or paying an up front licensing fee, or both.  RIM has a strong balance sheet today, with about $2 billion in cash.  But if the operating losses go on too long this strength diminishes.

Plan C - Go private

Having to disclose poor financial numbers only gives the media more ammunition to shoot holes in your story.  Going private would allow RIM to hide its numbers until it was ready to go public again (if that was to happen).

Some might ask if this would change anything.  It might not.  If you're dying then hiding doesn't change anything.  But if a part of your impending death is due to public ridicule, and group-think driven by negative media messages being constantly published, then hiding can allow you to heal in private.  

In the past, RIM was probably too big for a going-private transaction.  But today RIM is worth only $5 billion (and that includes the value of the company's $2 billion in cash).  Big private equity firms like Silver Lake Partners have done deals significantly bigger than this. For example, Avaya (the enterprise voice spinoff of Lucent Technologies) was taken private at a value of $8.2 billion by Silver Lake.  

Private equity firms can also bring in partners.  For example, when Silver Lake bought Skype from eBay (before selling it to Microsoft), it partnered up with the Canadian Pension Plan.  

The point is, RIM could be taken private.  Silver Lake is believed to have talked to RIM about this, as reported exclusively by Bloomberg

Plan D - Team up with Microsoft

This option needs to be talked about, despite the fact that we're not huge fans of it as a choice for RIM.  But, it's pretty obvious that either BlackBerry or Windows 8 will hold a spot in the top 3 smartphone (mobile computing) platforms, alongside iOS and Android.

If Microsoft is not able to absolutely crush RIM, then they may as well team up with the company on a more serious level.  Whether this involves licensing, equity stakes, or a full-blown acquisition  ... who knows.  But RIM has QNX (installed in many car platforms) and Microsoft has a close relationship with Ford.  Between the two companies, they could dominate the automotive infotainment market, which is a pretty big source of leverage.

Also, both Microsoft and RIM are pushing hard for adoption of HTML5. This makes sense since neither company has a strong platform (yet) with native apps.  So a combination of forces may, over a period of years, result in a much stronger HTML5 platform that brings with it strong developer support.

Plan E - Shrink and grow

If RIM doesn't succeed on its own with BlackBerry 10 and Plans B, C and D don't pan out, it may need to completely focus its business around enterprise customers, and becoming the clear leader in mobile device management (via Mobile Fusion).  

This would clearly result in RIM becoming a much MUCH smaller company, and wouldn't require them to manufacture any hardware at all.  It's not clear if they'd even need to maintain ownership of QNX and BB10 if this was to happen.  

We think of this as more of a "giving up" option.  It doesn't seem very appealing on its own, unless BB10 also gets licensed out to another large manufacturer such as Samsung.  So we prefer to think of this option as living alongside one of the other options.

What have we missed?

It seems to us there are so many possible transactions that RIM could do as part of its restructuring / comeback / future path.  What are your ideas?  Let's hear them.  This is obviously a topic we're interested in following closely.

Reader comments

What are RIM’s Strategic Alternatives?

198 Comments

$RIMM stock price when CEO Thorsten Heins took over on Jan 23: $16.35 ...
Today: $9.70...

Keep drinking the cool-aid!

I think you may be the worst troll on Crackberry.

The stock will continue to drop until RIM can post some positive financials. Who is drinking cool aid? Did you even read the article?

"The stock will continue to drop until RIM can post some positive financials."

I might be a troll but you're just another sucker...

Keep drinking RIM's poisonous cool-aid if that's what you like.

Btw, I'm going with Plan F:

RIM FAILS, BURNS ITS CASH AND SINKS INTO OBLIVION

$9.65 ... So far so good!

This is hilarious; taking forecasted financial advice from a guy who spells "Kool-Aid" wrong, must be an Android user. Lol. j/k man, but seriously, you spelled Kool-Aid wrong.

Why would anyone want to see a company fail? especially one that made the first smartphone. It seems to me having more competition makes for better development of new hardware and software. I don't necessarily enjoy Apple products but it wouldn't make me happy to see them fail.

Technically the 1st 'Smartphone' was invented by IBM. It was called SIMON. Back in 1992 I think. Had a calendar and everything.

I also don't want to see a company fail and see folks lose their jobs.

But sometimes that's just the way it is.

'Don't ask me 'cause I don't know why.'
- RUN-DMC -

Kevin and company... can't someone permanently ban this idiot? It is one thing to have negative opinion about something, but it is another thing to be a douchey troll.

I've been called worse things by better people...
Wasn't expecting much from a group of RIM junkies.

PLAN F ... RIM FAILS & F*CKS UP

Hey : JUST GO FUCK YOURSELF.
(OMG - I'm sorry (not 4 U, idiot) - Can't refrain - no more than once a year - I swear - I just need it - so gooood - ohhhyeaahhh - it's ... oh ... yesssss .... it's .... BROADWAYYYY ! - maammmmmmaaaaaa !)

Edit: my apologies to all, yes, to you also ... idiot :D

Idiot also from switzerland ... Me i use blackberrys and make money with apple...i buy it cheap and sale it higher price ... Use blackberry and deal with apple folks

16.35 --> 9.70. yet my blackberry works just fine and i still would not buy another cell phone other than a blackberry. millions like me. since i don't wear a beanie, those numbers don't take away from my enjoyment of my cell phone. since i can't do anything about it, ill enjoy my phone until bb ceases to exist, and not worry about the numbers. money lovers are so desperate sometimes, it takes away from their enjoyment of life.

It is Kool-Aid, but to the point.....over a year ago I was reading these stupid responses to the stock going into free fall, but that that OS10 would be the savior. I said it would never ever happen (I still don't think it will), and whether people here like it or not, Android and Apple own the market 1000x over (I still don't understand the Apple haters, they are pissed because they took the market away from RIMM) It's reality. And the kid waiting for OS10 for his FIRST phone? I have a Torch 9810, I am quite sure it will be my last of many BB's, but what's to do. Microsoft?! Samsung? If Samsung bought them they should just make the BB's Android phones. And last, going private, what does that do? Sh-t in, sh-out. The end game stays the same. RIMM is dropping like flies, it's just a matter of time. They can sink the tablet along with it, what a waste of time. I can't imagine how few they sell.

The stock price decline would have occurred regardless who the CEO was. The reasons for the recent stock price decline have their roots in actions (or inactions) RIM took 3-5 years ago, not 3-5 months ago.

I am starting to sound like a broken record responding to these posts by Chris! :)

I have been saying this over and over, here on CB, on N4BB, on Twitter (@SurrealCivic)

RIM NEEDS TO EXIT THE HARDWARE MANUFACTURING BUSINESS!

This is a money losing business.

RIM has been bringing less and less revenue and lower margins, each quarter, each fiscal year.

RESEARCH IN MOTION WILL STOP MANUFACTURING HARDWARE AND FOCUS ON SOFTWARE AND SERVICES!

Research In Motion is going through a transition like never before. Having lived in Waterloo for over 15 years, I have watched RIM from pretty much infancy to global smartphone leader to where we are now (struggling to compete in this market with the likes of Apple, Google, Microsoft, etc).

Research In Motion has built some great phones throughout the years; the Curve, Bold, Pearl, Storm, Torch, Style series. Albeit some were poorly executed on (ie. Storm) and some never fit into the current market (Style). But most were winners. The BlackBerry Bold is one of the greatest QWERTY smartphones every created, to this day. The BlackBerry Torch was a great way for RIM to incorporate the QWERTY keyboard into a touchscreen slider. The Curve, probably the most successful consumer smartphone RIM created. But as the years went on, competition increased, input prices increased (commodities), costs of labour increased (worldwide); it has proved to become too expensive for RIM to manufacture hardware. I know the truth is sometimes hard to swallow, but this is a fact.

YEAR OVER YEAR, GROSS MARGINS FROM HARDWARE SALES ARE TANKING AT RIM!

Gross margins are the percent of total sales revenue that the company retains after incurring the direct costs associated with producing these goods. Therefore, the higher the percentage the more RIM makes from each dollar of sales.

On a GAAP basis, hardware gross margins of Research In Motion:

42% FY 2010
36% FY 2011
20% FY 2012

Now introduce less revenue on hardware, year over year, and you have RIM losing money on the manufacturing and selling of hardware!

Look at the competition out there, Apple (with FoxConn), Google (now with Motorola), HTC, LG, Samsung, Microsoft (with Nokia). And smartphones are becoming cheaper and cheaper each year, while input costs and labour keeps on rising.

Solution: Research In Motion needs to exit the hardware business!

SOFTWARE IS THE WAY TO GO

Research In Motion purchased QNX Systems from Harman International over two years ago. They have had time to develop it into a mobile operating system that can actually compete with iOS, Android, WinPhone. And not only that, they have an OS that can be used across many different applications and industries (Automobile, Airplane to name a few).

They have been spending a lot of money on the new QNX-based BlackBerry operating system. From the design process, to attracting developers, to building the tools to develop for this OS.

It is clear now, the focus is on software. They also have their services business which has high margins and makes them approx. $1B per quarter. They also have many patents.

RIM needs to exit the hardware business, focus on software, innovate their services (a long the lines of what Balsillie had in mind) and cash in on their patents (either through patent selling, licensing or even trolling).

RIM is going to look very different a year from now, and it will be better for the company and for consumers!

Thanks for reading my comment.
Martin...

If you would like to hear more of my analysis on RIM, please follow me on Twitter (@SurrealCivic)

I agree that from a purely financial perspective that RIM needs to get out of hardware but there is a problem. If they let someone else create the handsets then what about the potential security concerns? Could you see President Obama (sp?) Use a RIM phone from a Chinese manufacturer or Korean manufacturer?

OK, so I'm still using a Tour along with my Playbook.
The reason I still have the Tour is twofold. One, it keeps working and working............. Two, I'm holding out for BB 10.
I agree that they should get out of the hardware business. But, we don't want the Apple debacle as in China, they're the Golden Boys and can breeze right past it, RIM wouldn't be able to do this. Plus, QC is critical for the hardware.
Texas Instruments keeps popping up in my little brain. I know their equipment is outsourced but their QC continues to be excellent once you get past the "impulse buy section at Walmart" products.
That would seem to be a great partnership, it might take a little outside capital, but maybe TI could acquire 2 assembly plants in North America.
My cent and a half!

And you're just as mistaken every time you post.

RIM would implode as a purely software company and be a shadow even of the company it is now.

Yes, you are sounding like a broken record and just about as annoying to boot. RIM would die a quick death as a software company as they have shown time and again that this is not their core competency. Their lifeblood relies upon the fact that they are the ONLY vendor right now with a complete ecosystem. Take that away and you lose their only competitive advantage.

Repeatedly posting the same long winded advertising for your website doesn't make you smart or right... Just annoying. Please stop.

RIM price long before Heins took over... North of $100...$16 by the time he got there $16... don't be such a tool...move along...

BlackBerry Torch 9860
BlackBerry PlayBook O/S 1.xx.xxxx

I'm almost certain you "flirt" on the first date. Don't you?

Total go getter who doesn't drink kool-aid...

BWAHAHA

Your life must be pretty pathetic to come out here constantly and talk sh_t about a company that you don't even like. What is worse is the fact that you sound like you are wishing for them to go out of business... which classifies you as human garbage in my book.

If ur following that much the news of stocks u can see what the ceo said: the stocks will drop for the next two quarters or maybe more to make a progress again! Don't just say bad things when u know nothing about it

Sorry Kevin but you're delusional. RIM cannot do it alone at this point (maybe a couple of years back but not today). It's way too late in the game. Even if BB10 is the best thing since sliced bread, the media and the market will not believe RIM can recover on their own. There will be no support for RIM. There is no way RIM can convince the media and the markets they can be successful on their own and without their support RIM is, unfortunately, doomed.

Hope RIM can find someone to save them...

Nothing succeeds like success and, BB10 will be a success.

Now that CrApple has stopped spreading anti-RIM publicity because the idiots think they have won, maybe, just maybe the best smartphone maker on the planet can get on with releasing BB10.

Oh, and CrApple can now go back to artificially manipulating its stock and leave RIM alone.

I think Rim can absolutely do it on their own. Here me out for a minute....Just aminute. Rim is the dominant smartphone in a lot of markets. Markets that have more potential customer than NA becuase well more people live in these contries... yes i'm talking about india- the country whose economy is growing so fast that americans with Indian background are returning to india as moe opportunities arise.

All Rim needs to do is place a bit more emphasis on these markets. capitalizing on the fact that blackberries are the brand of wealth and success shouldn't be that hard in one of the world's most productive countries.

finally with a great marketing drive from rim in na we could see rim becoming kool again. everybody who is somebody uses a bb. from kardashians to president to jay z to warren buffett to me so rim can easily be seen as cool

RIM needs to private. Someone needs to take them private. Takes them off the spotlight, no more investors circling like vultures, gives them room to concertrate on what they do best - make amazing communication tools.

Stop trying to please everyone and their mother who dont understand because they've never used a BlackBerry. Only people who have used a Berry know what its like. Everyone else just wants to make a quick buck or just wants to see something or someone fail, just for shits and giggles.

Get off WALL STREET. The "speculations" will stop, no more taking shit in the media, just go private and say F&#@ You to everyone.

i agree with your get off wall street comment. if wall street itself was a company, i'd say it's going out of business before RIM does. wall street is the last haven for beanie wearing tools to steal money legally from the hard working public. go look up your current pension value, see how the beanies are full of your earned money.

I've used a Blackberry smartphone, and I prefer (in order of preference of devices I own/use) Windows Phones, iPhones, webOS smartphones, and Android smartphones.

If you want to mention Sony then throw in Facebook too whilst you are at it.
What is new that has people doubting Plan A? We new all along that until a quarter into BB10 RIM would be losing money. What did I miss?

Financial analysts didn't expect RIM to post a loss in Q1 2012. Realistically, RIM is probably posting losses in every quarter up through the end of Q1 2013 at least, assuming BB 10 OS launches in mid-Q4 2012 (i.e. by mid-November). RIM may have a difficult time surviving 5 straight quarters of financial losses, especially considering that RIM isn't product segment diversified. (Stated another way, smartphones ARE RIM's business.)

For several reasons I think there is something in this idea. The coming together of these two once powerful companies could ignite something amazing, each has expertise they need to re-light, reshape and offer. Sony needs something powerful to leverage into their products, RIM needs a partner who can leverage their software and patents and who can execute a manufactured product with excellence, integrate TV, game device and communications. A partnership of necessity for both could create something bold, something people have to have!

Make it so!

"It seems to us there are so many possible transactions that RIM could do as part of its restructuring / comeback / future path. What are your ideas?"

Not my preferred option but possible it is bought out, asset (patents/BIS)-stripped and bb10 never sees the light of day.

Well he did say it wasn't his preferred option. I don't think anyone wants that, but it's possible I suppose.

I would like to see them rationalize the business into hardware and software/service with a reduction in phones to two models. An all touch and the classic qwerty model. They can then offer Enterprise level services and security and leverage both entities toward a common goal of retaining a specific market niche for their products. They need to become leaders and dominate enterprise while allowing for growth if and when their new line of phones appeal to the masses.

If they breakout services and security and own that space, the positive income flow will provide expanded P/E pricing for their stock. Shareholders would be big winners in this arrangement.

Is there any chance the BB10 won't make it to market prior to the restructuring? I personally can't wait for the release of the BB10 phone. I don't have a cell phone and this will be my first and I want a BB10!

I hope RIM get things resolved. We need RIM and Blackberry in the market place.

Get yourself a Bold 9900 for now, when BB10 is launched buy it outright and sell your 9900 online. I sold a BB curve 8520 for $140, so you will recoup part of the cost

Unfortunately, I think there is an increasingly good chance BB 10 won't make it to market prior to restructuring (with restructuring likely taking the form of going out of business or the company/company assets being bought).

Others on here know better, but QNX/Tablet OS on the Playbook is supposed to be relatively similar to what BB 10 OS will be. You could go and buy a Playbook for $200 to get a BB 10 OS-like flavor - it is a very solid piece of hardware with a good operating system.

The CEO has been a total failure so far as indicated by share price. He has been unable to excite the community -- both his employees, as well as the market.

He may go down as the CEO who lead once of the great Canadian Company's down the drain to destruction.

Yes BB10 is coming, yes it'll be the greatest thing ever, yes tens of thousands of die-hard RIM lovers will lay down some heavy coin. Doesn't matter.

Time to play "TAPS"!

I don't think Heins comes out of this badly - he was the right man for the job but he was selected 18-24 months too late to make a difference.

Naah, Its not Heins fault the company is going down, he just took over at the worst possible time having to clean up years of mistakes of the CO-CEO's. He has a massive amount of damage control to do because of those idiots and its going to take more than the couple months he has been in charge to fix it.

I think an exit from the hardware game is a good choice. Forget about releasing hot new devices every year in a market that is flooded with options, focus on perfecting software to pull in revenue from every OS.

BBM, Blackberry Travel, Blackberry Traffic, Blackberry email, etc could all show up on iOS, Android and Win8 as standalone apps or integrated with existing apps like iMessage to dominate cross-platform; and perfect Mobile Fusion as the only choice in corporate device-management, with tools and apps which work across any platform.

They could keep BB10 for cheaper devices in emerging markets where they still make good money on handsets; or produce a single yearly flagship device either independantly or through a partner like Samsung; but I think the focus should be taken off a standalone ecosystem competing against the big-names, and should broaden into a set of excellent tools spread across every platform.

+1 (- BB Traffic etc... I think some of the native BB apps are crap)

The only intelligent post I've seen on here in months. I nominate you for CEO as this is the only strategy that has a future that doesn't end in RIM not existing.

Plan A. Get BB10 devices out the door.

Plan B. Get help from Samsung. Get BB10 devices out the door.

Plan C. Go Private. Get BB10 devices out the door.

Plan D. Get help from Microsoft. Get BB10 devices out the door.

Do I need to point out the obvious part of each of these plans?

The uptake of BB10 needs to be spectacular for RIM to survive.

Plan A is the "easiest" plan. Make it happen RIM.

/Device agnosticism or bust!

Personally, I think RIM needs to partner with someone like Amazon. RIM can make hardware (both cheap and expensive). That is something they know how to do. What they don't have is content. Amazon can provide content, a huge footprint into the consumer space and an immense secure cloud to host the BBM network. Amazon has continually reinvented itself. Bezos is a brilliant visionary. He could really leverage the QNX platform.

I think a partnership with Amazon makes much more sense than Microsoft, and more mutually beneficial than Samsung. It was Amazon's brand power along that powered the Kindle Fire to strong Christmas sales. The Fire is pretty much a PlayBook with only 8GB of storage and no cameras. BB10 could easily be made to run on the Kindle Fire. Also, Amazon would like to get into the smartphone business. Amazon is already getting in good with the enterprise (EC2 cloud storage). RIM would get Amazon apps that are missing currently for more content. There are more benefits but you get the idea. The fact that Amazon was interested before, and that Bezos was a fan of BB, it just seems like the perfect fit if Option A doesn't pan out. Even if it does, a content-only partnership would seem like a good idea...

Step 1. RIM partners with Samsung on low cost Blackberry plans for Android
Step 2. RIM partners with Amazon (?) for content on BB10 and retains BB10 exclusivity
Step 3. Leverage the BB10 platform in the automotive and aviation industry

Sounds good. Agree with you.
Plan C also sounds good if plan A fails. But I don't see why plan A will fail. They have a great product, existing customers won't flock unless the company vanishes overnight, it might take a few quarters for the market to actually accept BB10, so what. Just focus on the product don't get distracted by all the noise.
Why do we fall, to raise.

It's interesting to see how the mood at Crackberry has changed recently; I wonder if a speculative commentary such as what was just posted would have seen the light of day a few years ago? Perhaps the reality of the situation that RIM finds itself in is finally starting to hit home for people.

In any event, my obvious preferred option is Plan A. But in all honesty, I doubt that Plan A is going to work let alone actually be implemented. I would happily settle for a partnership deal with another manufacturer - my preference would be for Plan D than Plan B.

if Plan A doesn't go through (I still think it will), I'm actually cheering for Plan D. a partnership with Microsoft. They both target the "people who do." They both have good enterprise tools but not necessarily the same ones. Microsoft has a much stronger ecosystem of support to connect with, something RIM could really use. RIM could be a second top-notch hardware supplier alongside Nokia to really drive the platform. Their combined userbase would get close enough to second-place iOS that developers will be forced to build for it. All in all, they could really complement each other and dominate the productivity/enterprise/communication-driven segment of the market.

@Chris
"Going private would allow RIM to hide its numbers until it was ready to go public again (if that was to happen)."
When was the last time a publicly traded company went private and then went public again? I'm honestly asking this.

Seagate went private then went public again--about a decade ago, after the Internet bubble burst.

Not quite the same, because it was a subsidiary at the time, but Bauer hockey equipment was part of public company Nike, then was bought by private equity before having an IPO to go public again last year.

Coincidentally, it was also a company started in Kitchener/Waterloo.

"Going private would allow RIM to hide its numbers until it was ready to go public again"

Are we being serious here?

No, you are being a douche here. The adults are trying to have a conversation and you keep interrupting. Do you need your binkie or your diaper changed?

What happens to the investors? We have lost so much already and hoping to recuperate the loss if BB10 is successful.

Screw the investors. Go private immediately. They are parasites based on the rampaging "activist investor" community. What the H3LL is an activist investor?

I am surprised that you didn't mention Amazon in a plan.

I think with their content in books, music and other cloud services, they could be a worthy partner. Not to mention they also have developers that would assist in application services.

Plus the fact that Amazon is a strong US company would elevate fears of RIM's BIS/BES network disappearing overnight and put some more confidence in the US market.

In this partnership, RIM still will be able to control the devices, and Amazon gets to do what they do best, rule the content.

I think you hit the nail on the head. Of all the potential partners/owners of RIM, Amazon makes by far the most sense. They have a crappy Web browser. Their tablets are great e-readers but sick at just about everything else. It would be dead easy for them to put Kindle on BB10 and use the PlayBook as V2 of the Fire, and they'd gain a foothold in the enterprise, 650 carrier relationships to widen their ability to push content globally and new stuff to sell through their excellent consumer sales channels. The BlackBerry is a great fit with heir cloud strategy as well.

What would they bring to RIM? First and foremost, the consumer focused knowhow, RIM so sorely lacks. Deep pockets, and channels. Together, they could take on Google with its collection of disparate hardware vendors, Apple with its one size fits all strategy and stop Microsoft right in its tracks. I'd be very surprised if Amazon isn't being sold to right now by RIM's new advisors.

Partnering with Amazon for content I think would be great - although Amazon is doing a great job of producing hardware devices of their own too.

Research In Motion has ONLY ONE option. Become a privately-held company. This should have been done in 2011 but with share prices near CAD10.00/USD10.00 there is no excuse financially not to buy back all outstanding shares at say 15.00-20,00 per share and privatize the company. Every other option Chris mentions is akin to a person flailing their arms just before going under the water and drowning.

"...but with share prices near CAD10.00/USD10.00 there is no excuse financially not to buy back all outstanding shares at say 15.00-20,00 per share and privatize the company..."

Who's gonna lend them the money to do that?

Lehman? WaMu? Madoff??

Research In Motion has the cash reserves as well as the monthly revenue stream from BIS and BES subscribers along with the annual support contracts to fund the share buy-back and take the company private.

That argument assumes a majority of shareholders would agree to sell at that level.

Some of us believe enough in the company's ability to turn around that we might not accept $10-$20

"Some of us believe enough in the company's ability to turn around that we might not accept $10-$20"

You're not drinking the cool-aid, you're sniffing the powder!

Agreed. Plan A should be go private. Cut off all the negative comments and speculation. They could always go public again when they are ready.

We continue to see a mass exodus away from the BlackBerry platform in the consumer segment, in the enterprise, and in government, and there is nothing that will stave off this decline in 2012

Know of what you speak. Recently talked with a person responsible for smartphone deployment for the government where I live and he said right know they won't even consider any other phone other than BlackBerry because os security concerns.

Yeah, know of what you speak. We're full BB shop but are looking to implement MDM so BYO devices can work. This is a push directly from the execs in our company. Eventually, most of the enterprises will be moving towards MDM solution.

Chris,
you keep mentioning BBM exclusive on Samsung devices. There is nothing exclusive about Android. The second it is on Android, the apk will be ripped right out and used on every single Android device. It is a mistake in my opinion.

But if it's all through RIM's servers, couldn't they just block anyone using the app who isn't on a Samsung phone?

Someone would probably be able to hack a way into thinking it is a Samsung phone, even if its not. If someone wants to do it on Android, there's pretty much always a way.

I'd like to see serious take over talk and see what happens to the stock. Up it'll go so seriously reading a ton into the stock price is kind of silly.

Am I a blind optimist? No, I think BB10 in October is too late, I'm just saying taking daily market movements a real knowledge about the future is a bit silly.

A takeover would be most welcomed. RIM grew to fast, outgrew the capabilities of its management and it needs help to compete in the consumer market. I'd like to stick with Blackberry but seriously having RIM go out of business would make my decision to move on easier, so I don't complain either way.

For the trolls that get pleasure coming on and predicting RIM's demise, you should know the vast majority on here don't own stock in RIMM and are pretty much like me: we stick with RIM due to BBM or keyboards if RIm goes belly up, I'll lose nothing personally so I'm not sure where you are getting your satisfaction.

it's kind of pathetic that iPhone users (a small number for sure) cheers if Apple stock goes up. You do realize that it just means Apple is being very successful at ripping you off don't you? Also owning an Apple product doesn't make you part of any exclusive group, virtually anyone including almost all blackberry owner could own an Iphone if they wanted to.

First of all the stock market analysts who are scaring investors each and every day with - same old, same old crap using historical data, do not have the insight or knowledge to know how BB10 will change the smartphone market place. The only people who really know the full potential of BB10 are RIM insiders and all they can do is to have an effective plan to produce, market and deliver. So all your frequent ramblings about stock price is meaningless unless you are a fortune teller. We all know how fast stock prices can escalate when there is good historical news. This may take some time, but I have faith in RIM. They may have been complacent in the past, but they are the first ones to bring the world a format of smartphone. Secondly, wouldn't it be nice if RIM partnered up with Samsung, the world leader in Smartphone sales. Samsung produces the nicest hardware on the market (sorry Iphone lovers), but unfortunately most of them run on Android which I find is a far more unstable OS than BB - even if you don't factor in BB10. But maybe the new BB hardware will be "sexy" like the Samsung phones.

Its a bit late to try and catch the bus after its already left the station!

RIM hits lowest price since 2003
By Zack Whittaker | June 4, 2012, 12:15pm PDT

Summary: RIM has dropped to a new low: less than $10 a share on the Nasdaq, its lowest point in just shy of a decade. Will the free-fall ever end?

This is the sort of day Research in Motion had: a bad one.

The BlackBerry maker is now trading at less than $10 a share. It dipped as low as $9.57 at around lunchtime but only marginally improved in the last few hours of trading.

RIM closed today at $9.65 per share — more than 5 percent down from market open. It hasn’t been this low since December 2003.

Its market cap on May 29 was $5.89 billion when the company halted trading on its stock on the Nasdaq to prevent further downward motion. It now stands at $5.04 billion at market close on June 4.

To say that it was close to reaching the $78 billion mark five years ago, it doesn’t take much working out to see how far the once-proud smartphone maker has fallen since.

RIM’s shares have fallen more than 30 percent for the year to date, and more than 75 percent over the past twelve months.

The smartphone giant has been in free-fall since October, around the time its data network suffered a global outage that spanned four days. More than 30 million people were affected by the outage, which led to RIM losing $54 million — or $40 million after tax.

Last week was the tipping point for the company after it said it expects to post a fiscal first quarter operating loss. In short, RIM is no longer a profitable company and has no option but to start slashing and burning whatever it has in a bid to keep the fire going.

But RIM has at least $2 billion in cash at its disposal. RIM will survive the month, and likely the month after that. The company will start eating into that pot of cash reserves quickly because there are operating expenses it needs to pay. If it cans between 2,000–6,000 employees, it may give RIM more time.

Have you checked to see how much RIM spends a quarter on R&D and selling expenses? Please do some research before you comment.

Don't get me wrong, I want to see BB10 be successful, but I'm losing confidence it will be successful due to a number of business indicators. I think this is what Nokia saw when they entered a partnership with Microsoft. Their operating system (I think it was Meego) was very good, but it was just not going to have the same impact without all the major partners that microsoft offered. So I think if you look at the business model and if all the indicators are that BB10 is not going to be widely successful (that's what the banks will look at), then you need a new strategic partner. My choice would in this case be "D" microsoft option, particularly given the immiment release of Windows 8 and all that is going to bring. It's not completely negative (albeit sad and disappointing with all the excitement going into BB10), but sometimes these are the hard business decisions that need to be made. Think about BB hardware with windows phone appollo, with Blackberry specialized apps and services (like Nokia is doing e.g. Nokia drive). Anyway, just speculating and providing my opinion. Still want BB10 to be successful it would be my choice, but what are the stark realities saying if you look at this as a business problem.

And full-blown acquisition of software by Microsoft and hardware by Nokia is the only way to go. It'll happen by Christmas.

That makes no sense. There is no RIM or BB in that scenario. What does MS or Nokia get from it? MS won't pay billions just to eliminate a competitor, especially if they really are in such a dismal state.

I see MS doing away with BB phones all together and using RIM's tech for other things. QNX and all of RIM's enterprise/consumer services and software could be put to more uses than BB phones. If MS acquired RIM they would end Blackberry OS in a heartbeat.

I told you i warned you focus on quality not quantity! Too many phones to little apps too little of quality.

It's funny how the mood has changed around here.

First of all, I think people are vastly underestimating the ability of RIM to pull BB10 off. What will Fortune 500 companies all over the world do once BB10 is released? Replace all their corporate BB devices with Samsung Galaxy IIs?? Give everybody iPhone4S and have everybody dictate their notes into Siri?? That's not how large companies and governments think. They will probably continue to use BB7 devices for a while (they will just be cheaper, that's all), and they will experiment with the BB10 devices for a while. And then slowly they will infiltrate their organization, like Torches did. iPhones have been around since 2007 now. They have had plenty of time to infiltrate the business world, but it hasn't happened in any serious way.

Both iPhones and Android phones were not designed with security and efficiency in mind and do not have a good reputation as a serious business device. Telling someone your Fortune 500 company is giving everyone iPhones sounds like a party, not a company that knows what it's doing.

With BB10 having video conferencing (I hear that in BB10, Skype will be mapped to the video conferencing built-in, so you don't need an app for it) and a slick, fast, integrated and easy user experience, there's no reason companies couldn't migrate over to BB10 phone, much like they have with BB7 phones like the Torch. While we won't see the big business push immediately, once the physical keyboard version comes out, there will definitely be some uptake, no doubt. It's a phone built for efficiency for professionals. I think there's a market for that. Nobody else is doing it.

What about the consumer market? Harder to crack, but I see a lot of Android users who are not super happy about their phones and with the new super-slick and easy UI, would switch to BB10 in a heartbeat. Easy, swipey, fun keyboard? Check. Awesome new camera function? Check. Video editing on the device (JayCut)? Check. Gorgeous new screen, bigger than iPhones? Check. Incredible browser with Flash? Check. I think there's enough going for it.

I also see iPod Touch users who also carry a BB device. With a super slick media player, some of those people might be OK with just carrying a BB10 phone with a nice big screen.

The pendulum has swing completely the other way, and it has gone too far over. I think there's a real opportunity for a stake at a company which can change the world at pennies on the dollar, but hey, that's just me.

+1. The BB10 has great potential, I too am confused by the negativity towards RIM, coming after the excitement of the keynote couple weeks ago.

I guess people are swayed as easily as the stock market they play in

+1

I also think that this is a pendulum, & that it has swung far to one side right now

At most stores these days there are really only two smartphone options available: iPhone or one of dozens of Android clones. The Lumina is probably there too in some markets, but I don't see it near my house yet. I think that there is more granularity to the market than that. More niches. Opportunity.

I agree with Thor when he says that RIMM cannot try to be all things to all people. They need to re-establish their identity as a communications tool first and foremost. Make sure that it is always faster, more elegant and more secure to read and send Emails and instant messages on a Blackberry than it is on any other platform.

RIMM should be in the business of making a solid hardware platform with the great core software functionality that they have always been known for (security, Email, BBM), solid browsing, and great developer tools. I think they are doing that with BB10.

Concentrate on 3 devices: The flagship high-end with keyboard (Bold), high-end touch (Torch) and low-end with keyboard (Curve). Copy Apple's strategy by extending the product life-cycles with price cuts and software updates so that the 'new' models from 18 months ago become the 'budget' and 'emerging market' products of today.

Under Thor's leadership, I think they are headed in this type of direction. They need to execute now. Even under the best case, they are going to come out of this as a much smaller company. But I think their cushion of goodwill from enterprise, governments and BB fans is big enough that they won't disappear completely, and that the pendulum will swing back in their direction.

Bro, u nailed it. That's what I've been saying. There is no reason why plan A will fail. If a small glimpse of BB10 is that amazing then can't imagine how good a finished product will feel like. RIMPIRE just needs to focus on the product. Make it better and better. If all fails we still have plan C.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/04/us-rim-warning-shares-idUSBRE8...

The stock's latest slide was in part a response to the Pacific Crest note.

"Our checks indicate that U.S. BlackBerry sales likely declined further in May, while inventory remained relatively stable," said Faucette in a note to clients on Sunday.

Faucette believes that telecom carriers now hold about six to eight weeks of BlackBerry inventory, which is roughly three to four times normal levels.

No One's Buying ... Save Ferris ... & Thorsten too!

I'm sure you'll be sad to know that I just added ANOTHER Bold 9900 to my cellular account... I'm running 3 Berrys and 2 PlayBooks at my house.. Are you gonna go cry now that you know RIM sold another phone?

PLAN "we didn't unveil the whole truth, there's a surprise for you".

Release a fairly polished version of BB10 for PB and catch eyes on what can be a mixed experience with an effective, secure and robust smartphone (9900/BB7) plus an amazing graphical U.I experience. Add some incentive as "buy a PB (full priced) and pre-order a BB10 phone with xx% discount with priority delivery at launch date".

No big maneuver, no (hardware) strategy divergence, satisfy loyal customers ... and put some cash within 2-3 month in advance on schedule at the bank. Be agile.

Too simple to be feasible ?

We know so far that BB10 will be released sooner or later. Investors and companies will decide after the see market reaction. Things will eventually happen after the release. Happy things. Dont worry, altought people lost faith in RIM, they still love the BlackBerry brand. They just want a better BlackBerry.
Let's wait and see. If BB10 comes with great Facebook, Twitter, foursquare and BBM apps, it will be a good start.

Hopefully a slightly different version of plan b where RIM keeps making hardware but we get android on our devices!

Security will be their salvation if there is to be one.... IBM. Just banned Suri among other apps last month for byod users.... Citing security concerns.... On top of that the have there have been no cost savings with byod as they had thought.... Seems and Siri use goes to Apple servers unencrypted.... The have stated the only secure devices at bb.... watch what happens when there. Is a major breach at. A major corporation..... RIM will survive especially if the implement an aggressive upgrade program for government and corporation...

First of all, I am happy with my Bold 9930, but then my previous BB was a Storm 2. Was also happy with my Palm and their desktop program. When Palm left the marketplace BB was the only alternative that gave me a means of syncing with a desktop program, including Outlook. That ability has been declining over time because of Desktop problems. I foolishly bought into the Playbook promises, a lot of which never came to fruition. Only native reader, KOBO, is a real POS. Loses books and last time used it nicely placed a bookmark on every page before even opening the book. Still cannot sync or use stand alone with PIMs. Still no Kindle except side loaded which causes frequent reboots. The jist of this rambling is RIM has not produced on enough of it's promises to gain confidence of consumers. Why, they do not have to ability, talent or desire. How could anyone hang their hopes on another promise, BB10.
Ok, then have to ask why they deserve customer loyalty when it is not reciprocated. Ever tried to get customer support, sure, for $49 for a conversation. Corporations whether private or public only care about the bottom line and those employees caring generally have only one other care, their job. Corporations do not care about it's employees so I guess it is even. Customer satisfaction does not seem to be in the equation except for those Corporations succeeding in the marketplace.
As I said, I like my Bold (except for the sub-par camera) and like the Playbook but only for the bridging ability. But then I don't have a cell phone for games or other entertainment. I have it to get some business done securely and make calls. I am also happy with the apps on my Bold and really do not need more for a PHONE. If RIM folds instead of bouncing back I will miss them for that and their push email but think the gaps will be quickly filled.
Sorry for the rambling, just do not understand the hysterics, loyalty or lack thereof when it is not returned.

Ahhhhh rim is dead. I feel sorry for Kevin. He reminds me of the Iraqi information minister during the gulf war II. Denied the Americans were outside Baghdad even as the tanks rolled in. Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf.

Would android,and iphone be as popular if they didn't have as many apps on their phones?I doubt it so Blackberry phones need more apps on them that we can download like netflix or hulu plus.Apps is the key,RIM as a company is doing just fine on their phones.

Yeesh! Talk about depressing comments on here.

Did we not all expect to see the stock tank? We all knew that RIM was going to start losing cash during these quarters until BB10 came out. I'm actually surprised that they gained subscribers, albeit, only 1 million. Still... surprising.

I now expect to see significant job cuts or transitions. They are moving a big ship away from their old Java OS onto BB10. That requires new people, new talents to take it where it needs to go. Do we expect the stock to drop more... yep. When would we expect the stock to go up? When they release BB10 properly with proper marketing and with proper hype.

The company seems to have become bloated. They'll be slimming down and focusing on the BB10 release. I'm not sure I understand the need for all these other plans. They've got to cut their workforce, make less models, and becoming much more efficient.

While they are probably past the point where they could do this, my view is this: the RIM secret sauce is their enterprise management/security, their existing footprint of BES and BIS services (and most importantly their services revenues), and their best in class email and push capabilities. But you have to admit they are years behind in handset technology and the BB OS is past its sell-by date. The last thing the market needs is yet another mobile OS platform such as BB10. So how could RIM leverage what they're great at without having to continue playing catchup in the handset market?

Change the game!

Suppose RIM did the following...

1) Create a MIFI like device which supports both bluetooth and wifi connectivity and provides a combination of mobile hotspot services (to both BIS and BES services) and UMA. Note that this MIFI device wouldn't include any screen or gui beyond a standard html interface for configuration.

2) License to every handset manufacturer (other than Apple) the protocols RIM created that allows BB handsets to "bridge" to the Playbook. However, what the handset manufacturers would use this for would be for connecting their handsets to the MIFI device.

And Voila...every handset manufacturer would/could:

1) Focus on cutting edge handset hardware with ultra cool, flexible, and elegant user interfaces (which RIM pretty much sucks at)

2) No longer have to build umpteen different handset variations for each of the different cellular technologies, frequencies, etc. needed for global markets. The RIM MIFI device would take care of that. This would reduce handset design time, FCC (and other similar) qualifications, handset weight and time to market for new handsets. And it would increase handset battery life.

3) No longer have to include ANY cellular radio technology in their handsets. Only wifi and bluetooth would be required. Again, lighter weight handsets, longer battery life, reduce testing (virtually no radio testing by carriers because all of that testing would be focused on the (far fewer models of) MIFI devices.

4) Automatically inherit BIS/BES push technologies, enterprise security (ok, that's a bit of a stretch unless someone validates the handsets are secure enough).

So what are the impications of this?

For RIM, they could exit the handset business (which they suck at with respect to the consumer market), but their revenues from BIS/BES services would dramatically increase.

For handset manufacturers, their cycle times would reduce as they would never again have to worry about the numerous cellular technologies and bands.

Carriers would need less testing for new handsets. Only new MIFI devices would require that level of testing.

For consumers, we would get fantastic push technologies, be able to buy any handset we want without having to even tell our carriers (because the contract we'd have with our carriers would only be for the MIFI devices).

This might even accelerate the carrier industry from trying to charge extra for tethering when we're all already paying for data - why should they care if it powers 1 device or multiple (from a user's perspective that makes total sense - perhaps the carriers cost savings from this approach would more than offset the tethering revenues they currently charge???).

So what do people think???

Remember that RIM is not a US company operating in a free market. I don't think that the Canadian government will let RIM go under. I predict that, like Bombardier, subsidies will come to RIM from the Canadian taxpayers to keep RIM afloat. As a BB fan, I like this. As a capitalist, I don't like this. :)

The main problem with rim is lack of apps and more security for general phone users.

I don't understand one thing, why don't RIM give one model without security and no restrictions on apps. Like other phone manufacturers, I know RIM is not restricted to manufacturing like others. But that is what lot people are looking. And they have to give BBM free for this devices, no other data from rim network. Except BBM nopush email. So no problem traffic and security of network.

And they can give other devices aiming other businesses and people who likes security.

So that they can do better in secured and unsecured platforms and do better with apps also

I don't know what to say. Lent my BB to an international traveller (he needed bbm) and I used his Galaxy Note for a few days.
Gotta tell ya I LOVED the phone but missed BBM horribly. I was never so glad to get my 9810 back and be back in touch with BBM contacts.
I think best option now is to join with Samsung. If that Galaxy Note had BBM I would have ran out and bought one.
Even if BB10 is outstanding the US media doesn't want to see/hear/believe it.
Everyone seems to be an Apple victim these days.
With no app support for BB or Playbook its just going to get worse before it gets better.
Its still popular to keep bashing Rim which keeps driving the stock price down..
If Rim doesn't join with Samsung I'd like to see it go private again.
I don't want to see Rim fail. Its hard to stay hopeful.

Unfortunately BB10 lounch will change almost nothing... at once (at least). BlackBerry has somehow been losing the value of its uniqueness for individual customers and the value of its usefulness for corporate business. However, let's hope, it will be a mile stone on the long way to the brand (re)building and the firm 3rd position on the market, as well. Therefore:

1. First of all BIS must be FREE BONUS for BlackBerry users - not additional cost for them. BES should only be payable today. Data packages have been killing BlackBerry. Not everything goes over BIS = to avoid additional costs BlackBerry users have to pay additionally for data packages. They pay for BIS and they have to pay for data, as well.

2. BlackBerry branded stores are extremely needed almost everywhere. Let people come to BB franchise home, touch it, play it and buy it!

3. Stop wasting money for permanent persuading developers to make apps for BlackBerry. Instead of it start spending money for concerts, sport games, research grants and so on - focusing on customers' needs (By the way, listen to the people who want to be able to easy take black and white pictures without shutter sound!).

4. Stop thinking that you can still sell everything... There is only one OS7 terminal with AutoFocus and NFC. But on the other hand, 9790 looks like designed almost 3 years ago and has a poor screen.

5. Keep calm and carry on! There are many other things to do but I don't work for RIM :P
Regards form the very heart of London, UK

I never understand the RIM bashing. Yes, BBOS is ancient and slow and cumbersome, but it does work reliably well as a business tool without much flash or pizazz that a lot of people are looking for in other devices. And this is what BB10 is going to correct; update the platform with a flashy and robust OS, but inherit all the good aspects of the old BBOS.

I have been a BB user since the beginning, and I appreciate what the platform can do: one-handed use, best keyboard, and best security. I get frustrated with it now and then when I need to reboot my Bold or *wait wait wait* for it to (un)install an app, but I have as much, if not a different kind of frustration with my iPhone; why can't it do the things all my BlackBerry's could do before it? Like why does the virtual keyboard suck so badly? Why can't it multitask? Why can't I attach more than one file to an email?

BB10 will have all the flash and pizazz of iOS and Android (and RIM is making it ridiculously easy to port all those iOS and Android app catalogs), while also maintaining all the novelties of what makes a BlackBerry a BlackBerry. If it delivers on that promise, then I'm definitely going to get one.

Chris, one of your poorest articles. Sorry, but you have disappointed me.

Plan B - Samsung? Samsung is winning with Apple. Highly unlikely Samsung would purchase RIM unless there is a fire sale. Why wouldn't Samsung use webOS?

Plan C - With quickly deteriorating business metrics, who would invest in RIM? Silver Lake only invests in sure things and BBOS 10 carries huge risks. No guarantee of success. This could happen if several investors took a piece. But again too many risks in this economic environment. No LBOs after financial crisis of 2008.

Plan D - Microsoft could purchase RIM but this would be a death knell of BBOS 10. Windows 8 on BB? Maybe.

Plan E - too ugly to contemplate

If you believe what you wrote about silver lake I have some oceanfront property in Waterloo that you might like to buy. 

 There ain't no such thing as a sure thing :) 

It's sad but RIM is one shitty company, so much potential but management needs to get thrown to jail. I mean it's 2012 RIM has no phone with a front face camera. I had 174 BB Contacts and I and 160+ drop our BBs because naturally we wanted what the competitor had that time things like Tango, Front face camera, nice little touch screen to browse net smoothly. Torch shoulda been RIM the rebound play ball but no it was unfinished as every other RIMs products now they gotta toss a hail marry with BB10 which should have the killer. Customers(most) are very clear today about what they want: We front face Cam, a little bit of fun apps, a reasonable touch screen that's all. Did RIM did any of that.... I am tired of explaining to people what is a PlayBook, that's RIM job. Even unfinished it's much better than all tablets out there. Like Pair the device with the amazing 9900 and advertised accordingly but noooooo..... SMH they deserve that beaten they getting. And please Release that freaking BB10 phone people will buy it just make sure it's at least 4'5 screen, yes 4'5 and please no one care for that big BLACKBERRY under or above the phone it's just taking screen space. And Please some decent ad and hell no with that BlackBerry for people who do...... Keep it simple" This is BB10 phone, it's beautiful, it does every the the competition do but better" then something that make BB special, things no one has(the cool factor)

Options:

Investors mount a class action lawsuit if RIM proceeds to go private.

The Board Chair and CEO stepping down to restore confidence.

Why didn't RIM raise $ at a higher share price to weather the storm until BB10 launches?

Too many holes in Heins' last update. He's been far from a "Rock 'N Roll" CEO.

The board and Heins are meek when it comes to building confidence in the RIM brand. It's time to bring out the axe to their jobs.

Why are you guys so in love with Samsung? They have NO incentive to partner with RIM or have anything to do with BB 10. If their position weakens in Android due to Google's purchase of Moto, then they have Tizen, and Windows Phone if it ever picks up. Samsung wouldn't even think about it.

BUT....

You know who else has a great supply chain, has recently had it's own share of tough times and is restructuring the company and making Mobile one of it's main pillars? Sony!

If RIM were to have an equity partnership with ANY mobile phone manufacturer then I hope it's Sony.

Why? Sony is struggling with Android, they CAN'T choose Windows Phone as they make PlayStation so a Platform that forces XBOX live integration is a total non-starter. Sony competes with Microsoft.

They also compete with Apple. Sony would love to be one of the top three mobile phone manufacturers in the world and despite their best efforts, the market is to crowded in Android and they get over looked.

But IMAGINE the possibilities if SONY switched to BB 10 and QNX powered their TVs, PlayStation home and portable consoles, and their cameras and phones and their in car infotainment systems. Sony could use a powerful platform like BB 10 to differentiate and they could really use a distributed OS like QNX to compete with Google and Microsoft by making all Sony products seamlessly communicate and integrate with each other. Now there's a partner who could benefit from a partnership or outright purchase of RIM. No loss really for Sony to give up Android. Sony makes its own suite of apps and games anyway. They would be a much stronger partner who actually have the potential to take BB 10 to unimagined heights.

I would like to see if anything, a totally crazy alternitive. How about something like Vizio or Sanyo take RIM uses the software. And once the tablet market has a point. They release one that domanates. Yes this would mean no BB/QNX phone.
But yes I vote plan A.

I posted similar comments several times, I think this combination could produce amazing products and results. Watch for it!

I think the delays to BB10 are more than just normal development cycle problems or waiting for a new chip. Rather, they are facing serious challenges getting basic functionality working. I am afraid that it this point it doesn't matter how good BB10 is, it is simply too late.

All of the bad news in terms of financial losses and layoffs will weaken RIMs negotiating position with the carriers. I believe that RIM will find little support in terms of carrier subsidies and co-marketing support. Considering that the handsets components will also cost more it is difficult to see this product turning the company around.

Boldmonger - with regard to your first sentence in the first paragraph, I've thought the same thing for awhile. IMO that reason is the most plausible explanation for why RIM has had so many delays in releasing BB 10 OS. My personal guess is RIM is having major problems integrating their security features into BB 10 OS.

I am sick of waiting for BlackBerry, October is far to late. I am sick of my BlackBerry style, with its spinning clock 99 percent of the time and lack of apps. BlackBerry will fall, that is inevitable. I'm moving on to Android.

A partnership with Microsoft is actually probably the best, given that both companies are focused on business solutions.

Samsung is too much of a toy to have a partnership with...

It's official: this is the most depressing article ever published on CrackBerry.com.

Chris, you just have to believe they can and they will. However, they can no longer afford to wait. It seems people will buy anything but not any BB7 device -- they all want the next generation BlackBerrys that will be upgradeable direct from RIM rather than via carriers -- just like the PlayBook. They will buy Apple, Samsung, HTC, even Nokia before they will buy a BB7 device -- not because they aren't good but because there is a perception that RIM is ditching this OS for BB10. It doesn't matter what RIM says, BB7 is dead.

I love my BB7 9860, and the 9900, 9790, and 9810 are great devices, but most folks will never know that. This is probably why RIM produced the cheaper Curves for developing countries -- they can still sell BB7 in Asia.

"This is probably why RIM produced the cheaper Curves for developing countries -- they can still sell BB7 in Asia."

Agreed, I saw more people on my fb timeline that updates their statuses via BB now. The only make sense explanation is they are first time BB owner bought the new cheap 9220 and 9320 which are way better than the previous curve qwerty series in the price range. Like I said on the previous article, Asia is still a huge market share for Blackberry that if they can play it right, maybe can help them while waiting to release their BB 10.

The fact that 9220 & 9320 has bigger rom/ram/app memory than the older BB type will make it less having hourglass/crash than previous BB 5&6 series. Oh have I mention that those who bought 9220 & 9320 are mostly highschool/college students? There are lots of potential market there when they got to working age.

If I can suggest, as a short term plan, is making & selling more good but cheap products like 9220 & 9320 and throw them to Asia to get first time/ low end users (therefor stock price falling won't hurt that bad and also can be used to counter those who choose cheaper android products because cheap androids sells like on sale here in my country), while preparing a great marketing campaign for BB 10. For the long time plan, embrace developers & media more tightly-which is what they are starting to do that now (and embrace more forums like crackberry too, so they can help and explain to ignorant user about how to use their Blackberry the best way within it's limitation instead of crying on the net about how bad what they bought).

19cbb-the us government and police forces are buying. Thats who. I feel alot safer having them using blackberry than crapple fart apps. Face it. Apple makes toys like leappad and blackberry makes micro computer solutions. And yes i sit here typing this on my playbook while i borrowed (cause i am not getting herded into buying something like a giant ipod touch) a ipad and it is sooo funny how much more the playbook can do better. Apps dont even matter as there is so many other ways to do things without them. If people were able to really see the differences it would be totally different. They need to step up their marketing more than anything.

...I look at it this way..where and what was Apple doing when they were in the tank? just computers...then they expanded to MP3 player, phones, tablets etc and now they are up, however they are gettin long in tooth... where is BB and what are they doing now? they are more or less just doing phones...but with QNX they will move out into more areas of software/hardware, phones, tablets, cars, etc etc...QNX was the best thing that happened to them, it opened the doors to places that they couldn't have gotten without the QNX platform. 65% of touchscreen car systems run QNX for example....just my 2 cents

BlackBerry Torch 9860
BlackBerry PlayBook O/S 1.xx.xxxx

I like your thought, true that Apple made it's comeback with Ipods. RIM can also do the same with QNX, given the time and research/development. Even now (if you notice the news about apple/androids and cars) Apple and Androids are already on the way to catch up with what RIM already got with QNX.

As a fan of this great Canadian Technology success story, and a long time Blackberry user. I would like to see RIM carry this off on their own with a release of BB10 in the fall. I have been accused of being a BB fanboy many times just by defending RIM to my many iFriends, and it has been a trying time lately, but I persevere. I do believe RIM will struggle through this, but in the end, if RIM can't survive on it's own then I feel some kind of partnership with Microsoft is the best second choice.

And to those of you who troll this and other forums passing out your "expert" opinions on the future of RIM and spout stupidity like you do on your wishes regarding the demise of RIM, go home and play with your iToys. We are talking about grownup things here kiddies.

Night all.

And kevin is the co-founder of crackberry.com I wonder if RIM fails on all of the above options. Does the Crackberry.com also has plan B, C, or even D? Not to be negative, just curious. And dnt say there would never be any plans, just an honest question.

I'm looking forward to trading my iPhone for the 10. If it's anywhere as good as the playbook, should be sweet.
As far as the stock price goes. If you like their products, buy the stock soon. It is a bargain in my opinion.
I do feel rim needs to be trimming products. Not employees. Focus thier efforts and fucking deliver already.
The key to BB's security is the control over hardware and software. This is also an incredible opportunity for Rim and investors. This is the revolution as we know it. Rim has shat the bed. If they can hold on to their security reputation long enough to get these fuckin handsets out, those who were bold enough to buy these share will be rewarded. Remember Apple? Rim will not see their comeback anywhere near as dramatic. However. There is a massive industry in it's infancy going through a major economic upheaval. Rim fucked up. They do have the means to rectify this.
Let's hope they learned and can turn this shit tornado around.

I know im the minority here but I do feel confident Rim will turn it around, but its not going to be a cake walk and it will take time. I travel extensively to asia, and i just see wayy to many strong supporters of blackberry to see otherwise. You are right that Rim did sleep on this one but they are doing all the right moves to right itself. Rim cannot rush this, and as much as alot of users think Rim needs to get 10 out now its more important to get the devices working right the first time out. Whats that old saying. " first impression is everything ".

It may look like mobile tech industry is moving extremely fast, but at the same time its not if that makes any sense at all. Steve Jobs made a comment long time ago in an interview with Bill Gates. He said something unique about the state of apple back then, and i think it also applies here as well. He said Apple did not need to beat Microsoft, Apple needed to remember who Apple was. And i think the same should be said of Rim. Apple and Android are already dominating the marketplace, but for how long? Rim needs to focus on making a solid product and service, and hang in there. Regardless of the current negative forcast, there is a strong surpport for Rim to succeed but its being overshadowed by all the bad press. Scared investors CANNOT be allowed to dictate the future of this great canadian company. I have shares with Rim as well ( albite small shares, but soon to purchase more ).

Peace

I live in Asia too and I'm pleasantly surprised by how well Blackberries are represented here. Almost every professional here in HK owns a Blackberry, even if they already have an iPhone. In fact it's not uncommon to see people with an iPhone and a Blackberry. And every major store chain still stocks all the Blackberry models. So any comparisons of RIMM to Palm is just ridiculous. And 5 years ago nobody expected RIMM to dominate the consumer smartphone market like they did, so now why are people suddenly saying they need to beat Apple or they won't survive? It doesn't make much sense to me. RIMM grew too fast while their market shrunk, if they cut costs(with the layoffs) and refocus on what they do best(enterprise and security) I don't see why they can't still be very successful.

RIM needs to go private and as soon as possible. Preferably before BB10 is released.

They're being annihilated in the financial press and there won't be any good news prior to BB10 launch because RIM is a volatile stock that is just too easy to make money on. (Though who is selling all this stock at rock bottom prices is a bigger question. Maybe you could investigate Chris?).

If they don't do something to stop the short sellers, they'll be able to take the company private with their own cash.

As a private company they can take significantly higher strategic risks, slash the bureaucracy and therefore costs (SOX sucks) within the company, and the major stock players will find their fun somewhere else.

Apparently they would have done this earlier if they could have agreed on a valuation. They should do it now while there's still something to take private.

I would like to see RIM take advantage advantage of their worldwide network and launch BlackBerry Cloud alongside BlackBerry 10. The cloud stores my stuff and provides cell service. Securely. For a monthly fee.

I'd also like to see a bigger push for inhouse development benefits strength to start building apps for government, businesses and consumers (in that order).

There's more.

Hi Chris!

A very worthwhile discussion.

Would alliances with companies strong in enterprise software (e.g. IBM or Germany’s SAP) result in any mutual synergies?

Both SAP and IBM have committed to Web apps that work well on BB10 but frankly neither of them have enough compelling apps to make a tangible difference. There only so many beanies in a company (and most of them will be using BB anyway) and IBM's Lotus software isn't exactly burning doors down with new adoptions and BB works better with it already than any other device.

I got my first BB last year,a Style.It was good looking and somewhat functional but had some irritating OS problems with BB6. When Sprint offered me a upgrade credit 6 months later I had the choice,become a Apple or Droid user or get the new Bold 9930.I got the Bold and regret not at all.If RIM could improve so much with one OS upgrade then why not with BB10?Remember in the late 90's when Apple was at the brink also?They were almost exclusively selling shitty I-macs to high schools with hideous green Lucite monitors that crashed repeatedly.Granted the economic climate has definitively changed and the smartphone market is not nearly the same as the laptop market.But seriously why the hell can't RIM recover?Ebb and flow my friends,and we shouldn't be relying on the stock market to gauge a companies true worth.This is the same stock market who traded garbage with each other for profit and nearly brought everyone down with them.Time will tell,but seriously though get these phones out there and make sure they are flawless

If RIM did partner with or get acquired by "somebody", I'd rather it be Microsoft than any Android driven manufacturer. It would destroy RIM's heritage and strengths to be partnered with any company that uses the most insecure platform on the market. If you eliminate Android makers, that leaves MS.

My opinion is to team up with a automotive company that they already deep into. My thought is GM, lets face it they are not going anywhere and are simply going to be a major force in the industry. Same goes for RIM, Microsoft will never be a #3 its Android, Apple and Rim but Rim has to hold on. They could put qnx in every car, as i already is add a phone and a playbook.......and keep pushing. QNX belongs in cars, and the mobile intergration is bound to happen why not make the mobile industry move faster.

Plan B and D doesn't sound like an alternative, more like changing what RIM is doing.
When forming an alliance with Giants of other industries, always pick someone from the second/ third division, an handset alliance with HTC would have yeild better results then the Korean Giant who already have a global foot hold, while HTC is currently going down the gutter for its focus on business.

Hardware manufacturing outsource to the Taiwanese manufacturer will help to reduce cost and improve the line of product to market deliverance.

Plan D instead of dealing with MS, RIM should look into alliance with HP to deliver a host of cloud/software service to be made available on the BB and Play book range.
HP is a giant when it comes to business software and hardware integration, such tie in would have been great for HP and RIM with a different business our reach.

RIM is a company with plenty to offer, the first act might be to create some kind of certified RIM service partners in providing services to the customers, while at the same time looking at other revenue opportunity in conjuncture with design house is a great way to do business as well.

NMIL

Apple use to make crappy products, or at least products that no one really liked...funny, my dad has a Mac from the 90's that still runs. And at the time, the market share it had people thought it would be dead before the year 2000.

Look at it now, so RIM can still change, I believe in BB10.

RIM has been making strides and learning from its experiences, they put out less phones that are 128MB upgrades, and have more substance with their OS launches, so lets hear it for BB10, hopefully this pulls the company around.

I'm fairly new to blackberry, just started using a 9300 about 3 weeks ago. Besides the inferior camera and lack of some apps that I have on my iPhone, this little thing flies and weights nothing. I really believe RIM has a lot of work to do if they want to stay alive, but looking at their products, they are not that bad, they are good actually. I wish I had been into blackberry for the past few years because the quality is there, all they need is a clear strategy. Being on bb10 and products running it, and hurry up. I for one know that I'm interested in their tablets and phones. I want to see bb10 first hand and will probably pick up a phone to use asmy main one. Don't give up yet. As Yogi Berra said, it ain't over till it's over.

A lot of people still like QWERTY, so I believe there will always be a market for Blackberry phones. But the problem is that their phones just cost too damn much. Here in Hong Kong a Bold costs more than an iPhone 4. And they wonder why they're getting killed by Apple? Why can't RIMM ship off the manufacturing to very cheap labor in China like what Apple is doing?

You did not mention the most likely suitors. Apple, Facebook and Google. Quite strange. Hope it doesn't mean you are in the boat with paid RIM bashers.

Greetings to Rupert Murdoch's media empire ;-)

Why are people so negative! RIM needs to become a much smaller company and even just a small government mobile solutions compony or even go privet!

RIM OS in a nutshell: Cumbersome, slow and boring will BB10 fix that not likely maybe the slow part if you lucky I would really laugh if I see the spinning clock on a BB10 handset although load screens are a factor in any system but come on RIM my iPhone doesn't have that problem and seriously how many people would still use Blackberry if BBM gets licensed away?

Really.. have you tried one of the newest versions of OS 7.1 on a 9900?

It is also cumbersome? Is that because it actually has options built into it?

You think it is boring too? Just like that plain azz iOS interface with page after page of icons and nothing more... but it is made by Apple so it must be ________.<---fill in blank (use the following words: hip, great, cool, awesome, better than anything else)

Thorsten's communication and marketing strategy is a continuation of his predecessors. Meek and lacks conviction. Fire him as soon as possible. Barbara as well.

When is RIM going to announce its AGM? Last year it was held in July. Investors should be able to lob water balloons at them for their disservice to their investment and the further erosion in the BlackBerry brand.

The Stock Price and the market's view of RIM are not really important actually, excluding those who own the stock. The “Street” is made up of traders and not investors. That means they are only interested in short term returns not the long term positioning of the company. In the short term the results will not be good and this should not be a surprise to anyone. In fact the more that RIM gets positive press around the BB10 the more that people will hold off purchases of System 7. New technology freezes sales of older technology. The challenge has been well documented that the speed of execution is critical but that is where the conundrum is. Getting the software and hardware out for BB10 is one thing but setting up the entire ECO system is another. The ECO system takes more effort and time. The fall time frame is probably about right to get all the pieces in place.

Strategically RIM has made a lot of good moves in terms of moving to the new OS, getting behind app developers, repositioning the products for "doers" which includes both business and consumer’s as well as differentiating themselves from Apple.. As stated above they need some time. Even if they get everything right with the release of BB10 it will take time to develop their market position. They can’t do this alone they need a strategic partner. Don't forget that Apple was near collapse in the 80's but they brought in a new (old) leader "Steve Jobs", who brought with him a new OS (NEXT) from outside the company. Does this sound familiar? The other major item was that Bill Gates invested in Apple to give them needed investment dollars and more importantly a confidence boost or stamp of approval from the industry. This bought Steve Jobs much needed time. RIM needs the same to fully execute their strategy. I believe the best partner for RIM would be Amazon. They would fill in holes in their ECO system, they could merge the Kindle tablet with the Playbook, they would provide a steady investor with deep pockets and Amazon will not be left in the dust by Google.

"The Stock Price and the market's view of RIM are not really important actually, excluding those who own the stock."

Except that because the market movers have been able to generate negative headlines RIM's stock has fallen like a rock (and the movers cashed in of course).

Which generates more negative headlines.

Eventually the ordinary person on the street starts to believe this junk PR and even though the devices are perfectly serviceable and as good or better than their competitors, they stop buying the phones.

If you can't see that, just check RIM's market share in North America over the past few years.

True, much of that is carriers pushing cheaper more revenue generating phones, but part of it is consumers not demanding BlackBerrys in store.

And that's because RIMs brand has been decimated while their management was off trying to buy hockey teams (unfair but only just).

It is still hate bro... and what is worse, you felt the need to share your negative comment on a pro-BlackBerry site.

Sounds like a troll, smells like a troll, looks like a troll.... must be a troll.

When the car makers where is trouble, does that mean that support for those cars are zero? No. They continue to be support even if they are purchased by another company.

There is value in RIM and it will never truly die even if it is purchased by another...consolidate, not dead.

Hey Liquid_Revolver, wow....you're a genius! What insight in the market you have. You having a good time with the rest of the trolls?

I don't think you should be cheering for the demise of a company that employs thousands of hard working people. How would you feel if you or your family members worked for RIM? How would you feel if everyone was chanting for the collapse of the company you work for? (If you even have a job).

Grow up and find something more constructive to say. That goes for the rest of you Trolls.

I watch this site and RIM very closely and have for a couple of years, although this is one of very few posts, or perhaps the first one. This is my take.

I work for a high tech manufacturer in mobile, my wife has worked for the two largest carriers for 20+ years. We started with phones when they were in cars. Where to begin.

Someone mentioned that RIM announced BB10 way too early, yes, Jim and company froze their user sales when they announced something new, it happens to us and everyone else. 2012 cars go on sale because 2013's "are right around the corner." That was stupid, and I think done out of desperation. Of course sales will suffer, they will continue to suffer until the BB10 stuff is out.

The BB10 release will spur a big pop in sales, there is pent up demand, what the markets will look for is sustained growth, and they will react slowly at first, unless the offering is perceived as a bubble, if that is the thinking, they will kill the stock until something demonstrates otherwise.

Operating systems are the key, they are the tool, and only worth what you can do with them in the future, while maintaining some backward compatibility. The more structural limitations, subsequent releases, feature enhancements, the more coding groups that work on them, the bug fixes on bug fixes, the more bound up they get, thus less flexibility. I suspect Apple is getting into that territory. I have heard that when security really becomes an issue, and it will, that Apple and Android will magically write a few lines of code and it will be addressed, good luck with that. I was very glad to see that the QNX people are driving the software, they have managed this code well for 20+ years, I think they understand far better than any of us.

RIM management. The market is still beating on RIM based on the old management group. I see a huge difference since the change. The message is much clearer and straight forward, the delivery to the market is on time and generally of much better quality. The focus on the community is much sharper. Execs have turned over, as they should, lay-offs are happening, as they should, RIM grew fast and was fat. I hate to see anyone lose a job, but if this move is successful, it will create jobs, if it fails and the company fails, everyone is out of work. It takes a long time to change the culture in an organization of that size, you can get a good start in a year, but it is a long and continual process. I suspect there is a lot going on inside the company, I would love to be a fly on the wall, well, I really don't want to be a fly....... I see roadblocks inside companies that continue to be a problem until certain department head or senior VP retires! Fiefdoms inside a company can be stubborn and well entrenched, especially if there is nepotism or old pay backs involved. Congress is the best example.

There are too many models. It is very expensive in several ways, it complicates the supply chain horribly, makes after sales support complex, requires a lot of staffing, confuses buyers, and makes carriers cringe. Think for a minute the training required at the floor level sales crew, and they turn over, and over. Sales suffer because they don't stock all of the models and the sales person cannot effectively point out the pros and cons. And that is just one little piece. RIM does need several models because of the different markets, but this is a mess. They will not do anything about it until BB10 comes out. Why create a new headline, "RIM DROPPING PHONES"

"It is too late, RIM missed the boat", bull. If the adoption is good and sales start moving in the right direction that all goes away. People buy phones about every 18 months to 2 years. They are always buying, yes a percentage of the market is locked, but someone is always coming up for renewal, which is why the carriers watch "churn" so closely. The market has huge growth potential, world wide. Yeah, the US is a problem, but the second largest retailer in the world has NO stores in the US. Carrefour (perhaps a spelling error there).

Marketing, yes the need to market, but not now, waste of money. They will be enticing people to look at the current stuff, and they may not come back, thinking they have seen it. RIM has a new marketing manager, if this guy blows it, big trouble.

Waiting for a new chip set. Well, they probably shouldn't have said that either, Jim, again was a PR disaster, I listened to him on several earnings calls; he could put speed freaks to sleep, and confuse everyone else in the process. I think they are waiting for chip set, the LTE's are power hogs, though our engineers say they are getting better all the time. RIM also bought an expert in the field, which was an excellent move, the name escapes me. They would be crazy to introduce a new platform one an aging chip.

The stock price. It will only turn when the shorts get scared (they own it now). If RIM can take some share and show some positive numbers, that problem will be history. The Street has had RIM's funeral, those boys attitudes and direction turn on a dime, if they smell profit. BTW, they can turn on Apple and Google just as quickly. The road is littered with past "darlings of Wall Street."

Partnerships, there will be some. Who and how, I haven't a clue, but I think it is more likely to happen after some success, the terms will be much better.

There is more, but this is a book already, sorry.

Nick

Nick

Good posting and bang on. I also come from the high tech manufacturing world. Cannot understand why people are surprised that sales of System 7 are down with BB10 around the corner.

Only point I would discuss is the timing of the announcement and the time to market. While I would agree Jim made many poor marketing decisions, not sure if they announced later it would have benefited them. The problem is not bringing the phone to market but setting up the apps content and systems to support that. A lot of analysts said RIM made a huge mistake with the PB, but I don't think that is the case. It has helped establish the ecosystem for BB10. If they launched early and just cut people ovIfer to BB10 then there would be no apps or content. If they said nothing and built behind the scenes everybody would have killed them for no vision. It takes time to develop new OS and also risky.

It's a shame that Mike, Jim and the Board didn't take this company private when the stock dipped below $20. I think the two of them will go down in textbooks for how to build and burn your company quickly because you don't know when to put hubris aside and admit that issues do exist.