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Despite BB10, more red ink for RIM?
Tue, 29th Jan 2013
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Research in Motion is far from out of the woods and not even the much-vaunted BlackBerry 10 is likely to get the company back on track. That's according to a note from market watcher Ovum, which points to an absence of consumer appeal in consumer-driven markets.

The woods in which RIM finds itself are lovely, dark and deep, to crib a little from Robert Frost, except perhaps for the ‘lovely' bit: every day that goes by without BB10, Google, Apple and even Microsoft add more customers to their ecosystems. Meanwhile, the rare BlackBerry user continues to demonstrate technological backwardness by polluting Facebook and other social platforms with (comparative to images from other smartphones) terrible photos.

Jan Dawson, Ovum's chief telecoms analyst, has this to say: “The new software platform will provide a temporary boost in performance but no salvation for RIM.

That's because the problems facing RIM go deeper than crappy handsets, as Dawson goes on to explain. “RIM continues to face the twin demons of consumer-driven buying power and a chronic inability to appeal to mature market consumers. There is nothing in what we've seen so far of BB10 that suggests it will conquer the second of these demons, and the first is utterly out of RIM's control.


But much like a rich but unpleasant old aunt, the company is likely to linger and linger. “We don't expect a speedy exit from the market; with no debt, 80 million subscribers and profitability in the black in at least some recent quarters, the company can continue in this vein for years. But its glory days are past, and it is only a matter of time before it reaches a natural end.