Will RIM’s Shares Keep Climbing With BlackBerry 10?
After a sad few years of quick decline, Research in Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) finally sees some light ahead with the release of its BlackBerry 10 devices, and users finally see some light shined on the device specifications.
A recent history
In just the last 4 years, RIM has seen a slippery downward slide from a 50 percent share of the smartphone market down to less than a fifth that, with 9.5 percent in December 2011, and then down to less than half that, with 4.7 percent in December 2012. Tough competition from Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Samsung (SSNLF.PK), and even Nokia’s (NYSE:NOK) smartphone devices did a lot of harm to RIM, but there has been hope that BlackBerry 10 could see the company turn things around.
In the latter half of 2012, more and more news was coming out about the 1st-quarter release of BlackBerry 10 in 2013. Since the summer, when RIM’s shares were floating around an average of $7, shares jumped to more than double the summer value, exceeding $15.30 per share Wednesday morning. Despite the good news on the shares, they are still a far-cry from the prices seen prior to 2011.
Considering the correlation between BlackBerry 10 news and the doubling of share value in the past months, it would appear the new OS and devices are integral to RIM’s immediate success. The new platform is intended to bring RIM to pace with other smartphone manufacturers as well as give RIM an edge on the business world…
RIM’s first new device is expected to be the full touchscreen smartphone that had its specifications released Wednesday. The device features a 4.3-inch screen with resolution that should match most competition; HD-capable, front- and rear-facing cameras to match those seen on many other smartphones; and memory capacities comparable to other current-generation smartphones. With a smartphone that has specs that only match much of the competition, it could be a hard push for RIM to take back much of its former market share. However, BlackBerry does have one edge that doesn’t show up in its technical specifications.
BlackBerry Balance is the name of RIM’s dual-persona software, which allows users to switch between a work and personal mode that separates the data and adds security to business information. The draw for this technology is obvious and potentially strong in the business world, where employees don’t want to carry around separate phones, and employers want to ensure their information is safe. The technology will be part of the new operating system coming out later this month and could be a key selling point for the new phones.
Late last year, RIM set up 120 enterprise and government officials with a trial program to let them experience the new BlackBerry features and services — a move that could help snatch up sales to enterprises and governments. As sales begin in just a few short weeks, initial sales could help paint a picture of just how well RIM will fare with its new platform.
RIM shares have been climbing steadily in the last couple months in anticipation of the new platform and phones. Shares were up nearly 3 percent today around mid-day.
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