Facing a dire financial situation, Research in Motion (RIM) is weighing all its options. Not content with building out their restructuring plan from within, RIM has hired the services of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP to work on a plan that could include selling off assets, joint ventures, or licensing existing RIM patents and services.
The move comes amid increased competition from other mobile ecosystems, most notably Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android, which have pulled customers away from BlackBerry at alarming rates. The number of individuals purchasing RIM devices continues to plummet in recent months, with BlackBerry sales making up less than 10% of new smartphone sales in recent reports.
RIM’s troubles have hit them especially hard financially, posting a loss of $125 million in the most recent financial quarter. The current state of the smartphone market leaves RIM grasping for strategies to once again become relevant. Unless BlackBerry 10 completely blows consumers out of the water, RIM will have to consider alternative strategies to make money.
Former co-CEO and Chairman Jim Balsillie proposed a three-pronged strategy before he ultimately resigned from the company. Balsillie’s plan called for allowing carriers to use RIM’s services for messaging, content delivery, and analytics on all smartphones, which would reportedly double RIM’s service revenue. The plan also called for a dumbed-down data plan that allowed only social networking and messaging, and a carrier-specific cloud storage platform that would not be device-specific.
RIM’s board was cool to Balsillie’s ideas, which led to Balsillie’s resignation from the board in March. The board has moved quickly to hire Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP to come up with an alternative strategy aimed at propelling RIM to long-term success in the mobile industry. Milbank, Tweed, Hadley, & McCloy LLP have their work cut out for them, as the road back to relevance for RIM is certainly a long and treacherous one.