More bad news for RIM

Published: September 15th, 2011
Waterloo, Ont.-based Research in Motion just can't catch a break.
 
Earlier this morning, Brand Finance Ltd. pegged The company's brand value at $3.3 billion, down 24 per cent from January's $4.36 billion. (Brand Finance is a London-based worldwide firm that specializes in the evaluation of intangible assets.)
 
That news comes on a day that RIM is expected to report “disappointing” second-quarter results, according to the Globe and Mail.
 
And report the company did. The CBC reports that profits are slashed in half over last year's Q2, at $329 million (US). Revenues, at $4.17 billion, are substantially of the analysts consensus of $4.5 billion.
 
Shares are falling sharply. And, despite the fact that I've always believed the dysfunction at RIM is overblown, now is the time for a decisive move in the C-suite. Regardless of whether the problem is more the perception than the technology, co-CEOs Mike Laziridis and Jim Balsillie haven't been able to change that perception. Shareholders aren't going to tolerate it much longer, and will vote with their feet.
 
The new, QNX-based operating system has to come soon, and RIM can't afford it not to be a compellingly different user experience. The new BlackBerrys have to be revolutionary, like the earliest RIM products that changed the face of the mobile enterprise (hell, it practically *created* the mobile enterprise). RIM has to woo developers from iOS and Android, a tall order.
 
The company's share value makes it queasily close to an easy takeover target, and it would a shame to see a young, iconic brand like RIM's relegated to a second thought in some international tech giant's portfolio.


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