Thursday, December 15, 2011

OP ED: RIM 3Q Earnings Call: No Surprises & BIG Bummers

So one of the big stories out of RIM's 3rd Quarter earnings call was that the RIM Co-CEOs are dropping their salaries to $1 a year. Yeah, you read that right!

RIMM gained $5.2 billion in the 3rd Q but Net Income dropped to $285 million from $911 million same quarter last year. Yes, you read that right too.

The RIMM shares were at 15.13 at the sound of the closing bell. The stock is currently down to 14.09 per share in After Hours trading as of this writing.

And now for the worst news. RIM once again is delaying the launch of their products in this case their next generation smartphones running on the new QNX OS dubbed "BlackBerry 10" smartphones. No, I'm not surprised. The next phones are promised to be great. Its good to finally see RIMM not rushing products to market with subpar hardware and ancient software. 

The problem is by late next year the market will be saturated with Android devices running Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0 and the expected launch of Apple's all-new iPhone 5 running on 4G LTE. Add in the onslaught of Windows Phone 7 hitting the market hard especially with the Nokia bump and you have RIM coming very late to market. The BlackBerry 7 phones, which is years ahead of the previous BlackBerry devices, are still behind the crowd. With the continued stories of developer relationships souring with RIM and leaving the platform altogether, that doesn't leave much to expect from an awesome device like the BlackBerry 10 smartphone without any key and quality apps. RIM better have learned from their arrogance with the BlackBerry Playbook. Great device. Great features. Little to no apps. Roughly 850,000 units moved since launch not counting the 4th Quarters's fire sales numbers. Here we are eight months since the tablet launched still without native, core apps. What's even more silly is the lack of auto-correct on the keyboard! These features and more are expected to debut February 17, 2012, a near 10-month wait since launch. 

Windows Phone 7 users, I finally feel you in your Mango update! Trade off was worth it, right?

I love BlackBerry for its capabilities. When it comes to messaging, BB is king. Notifications, push email, security is all there. The next generation software has been officially rooted, hacked into in the past weeks. I don't use enterprise but for business users, this is a great concern. And with the next generation OS ultimately a touchscreen experience, BlackBerry just lost its two strongest market features. How will it standout among the black slate devices out there that all look the same just with different looking icons on the screens? 

Again, I love BlackBerry. I really love my Playbook but as an all-purpose smartphone, I currently find myself wearing out my BlackBerry 9930 on Verizon Wireless. It freezes more often than not now. This is my 2nd device since the epic charging failure. My receiving phone calls is becoming a game of Russian roulette. Maybe it'll go through or it won't. And lastly, the white of screen of death is making an appearance. I fix BlackBerries, but its not a career I'm interested in.

I don't like Apple's iPhone. The next gen looks very attractive though.
I don't trust Android. The Samsung Galaxy Nexus is a mighty fine device though.
I don't have a good Windows Phone 7 option. WP7 is my 2nd choice after BlackBerry.

How low can BlackBerry go . . . ?

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