Can Blackberry 10 Revive RIM’s Fortunes?
Rashmi is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.
Research in Motion (NASDAQ: BBRY) is all set to release the Blackberry 10 smartphone series probably on January 30, 2013. RIM’s shares were at the year’s lowest on September 24 at $6.31, however since then it has increased by almost 120% and is currently trading at $13.70. Its really surprising as there was no new product launch and the sales have continued to decline for the business phone maker. It has not been confirmed officially about the launch date, however RIM is pretty confident that it will be able to make it happen on January 30, 2013.
Blackberry is testing the BB10 with corporate organizations to ensure it keeps up to the standards. RIM is yet to announce its third quarter results, however it is focusing more on the upcoming product launch. Blackberry sales have dipped drastically this year. The sales of its devices was on a rise until this year it dropped for the first time. Last year it shipped around 52.8 million units worldwide, however this year it has sold approx 41.4 million units. The decline in Blackberry sales is a result of the tough competition its facing from Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), Nokia (NYSE: NOK) and Google’s (NASDAQ: GOOG) Android based devices.
Nokia’s sales have also been on a decline this year and it reported a loss of $1.27 billion in the third quarter as the sales dipped by almost 38%. Nokia is trying to keep up its pace by launching new Lumia devices like the Lumia 920. The only ray of hope for them is how Lumia 920/820 with Windows 8 performs in the market.
Apple also launched the iPhone 5 which has already met with record sales throughout the world. But after its initial success the graph has gone down to an extent. This can be attributed to the problems with the iPhone and other major blunders by Apple in the recent past. They also missed a deal with China Mobile (the biggest network across the globe with 79 million users). This could prove to be a huge setback for the company. There is also competition from other players like HTC, Sony Ericsson, etc., which will make it even more difficult for RIM to regain confidence.
While Samsung has become the world’s leading smartphone maker leaving behind Nokia. Nokia has also launched a number of Lumia phones based on Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) Windows Phone 8 operating system. Microsoft is trying to capture the software market for smartphones. Windows 8, with its touchscreen ability, is expected to overtake Android as per Microsoft's management. But this might not really happen as Google's Android has far wider application support as compared to Windows.
RIM claims that the BB 10 will be a mix of a work and a personal phone and its set to launch with as many as 70,000 apps available. But its not the number of apps that make a phone a success, it’s the quality of service and user response. However RIM has a tough task ahead of reviving its fortunes when there is already a lot of competition.
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