RIM is betting its entire future on BlackBerry 10, a product many in the industry frankly aren’t that excited about. The former king of smartphones is struggling immensely of late, with over $1 billion in unsold inventory sitting in its warehouses, at least 2 more quarters of abysmal returns, and market share dipping below the 10% mark. As the punches keep coming in, investors have turned against RIM in droves, driving the company’s stock price down into the single digits. RIM’s stock was valued at $9.66 per share, the first time RIM has closed below $10 per share since late 2004.
RIM is expected to release the first BlackBerry 10 device in October of this year. RIM needs to hit BlackBerry 10 out of the park if it’s going to steal customers away from the runaway market leaders Android and iOS. What RIM has shown thus far, however, is a product that is at best slightly ahead of current offerings, and at worst on par with what’s currently available. But the companies RIM is competing against aren’t standing still waiting for RIM to make their move. By the time BlackBerry 10 is available on retail devices, iOS 6.0 and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean will also be available, perhaps featuring innovations that make BlackBerry 10 look flat.
Meanwhile, they’ve hired J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and RBC Capital Markets to assess the short and long-term business strategies, which could include licensing some of RIM’s products or even an outright sale of part or all of the company to another interested party. These trends paint a bleak picture for RIM, who has a few gut-wrenching quarters ahead for it as it attempts to retake the industry.