Research in Motion Isn’t Dead Yet
Research in Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) saw shares jump more than 5 percent on Tuesday after CEO Thorsten Heins showed off BlackBerry 10. Developers liked new features such as “peek” and “flow” while investors got excited about the BlackBerry’s 80 million subscriber mark, up from 78 million a year earlier.
Shares were up about 2 percent in morning on Wednesday, but the company has seen a decline in share price of 57.45 percent this year through September 24. The obvious culprit is competition from Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), which have bombarded the market with attractive, quality phones.
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The fate of the BlackBerry may rest in the emerging markets. Forbes reports that “North American unit volumes likely tanked by more than 75 percent over the past quarter.” But Google’s Android OS is widely adopted in China, and Apple sees the country as its second-biggest market. The second layer of BlackBerry’s success will be, and has been in the past, enterprise adoption. Compared to the iPhone 5 and new Android phones, the BlackBerry brand is all business.
On that front, RIM may see competition from Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone 8 push. Mobile integration with the Office suite could make a Windows phone appealing for big businesses who want to supply employees with smart devices. Despite RIM’s uphill battle, they still seem to have the mobile advantage on Microsoft with a lead in platform use.
“The question now is whether the devices will be sufficiently competitive and that is in no small way a function of RIM’s ability to spend massive marketing dollars to cut through the competitive noise,” said CCS Insight mobile analyst John Jackson.
And, just for fun, here’s a video of the BlackBerry Developer Relations Team reinterpreting “Keep On Loving You” by REO Speedwagon.