06-01-12 09:21 AM
33 12
tools
  1. BlazorBoy's Avatar
    Research In Motion Ltd.'s RIMM -0.20% rookie chief executive is now racing the clock to stem its quickly weakening smartphone businessor come up with options to save the BlackBerry maker.

    With each passing quarter, RIM's financial situation is eroding and so too are its workable alternatives. Analysts and industry executives say RIM, by not considering more radical options earlier like selling the company, has now forced itself into a make-or-break blitz to roll out its next smartphone and operating system this year.

    "There are a bunch of people [within RIM] that still don't understand how dire the situation is," a person close to the company said.

    BlackBerry maker Research In Motion's financial situation is eroding and so are its workable alternatives. The WSJ's Isabella Steger talks with Asia equities editor Yun-Hee Kim about potential buyers in Asia.

    Chief Executive Thorsten Heins warned Tuesday that RIM won't make a profit this quarter, and named the bankers that have been working with the company for several months on a turnaround strategya move that many analysts interpreted as a signal RIM's financial woes have ratcheted up urgency in finding a buyer.

    But people familiar with the matter said RIM still isn't actively shopping itself outright, and is instead focused on seeing through the launch of BlackBerry 10, a new operating system that will power both its latest BlackBerry phone and its PlayBook tablet. If RIM is successful, that might make it a more valuable acquisition target.

    Last year, Microsoft Corp. MSFT -0.51% and Nokia Corp. NOK -2.37% considered making a joint offer for the company, but those talks never proceeded past the initial stages, according to people familiar with the situation. Other outright buyers could include Asian handset makers like HTC Corp., 2498.TW +1.42% or online retailer Amazon.com Inc., AMZN +1.76% which has jumped into the tablet business.

    Research In Motion shares tumbled Wednesday following its warning that it's no longer a profitable company. Will Connors on The News Hub looks at the new CEO's most likely choices. Photo: AFP/Getty Images.

    So far, these and other potential buyers, with the cash hoard and stomach for risk that would come with a RIM tie-up, haven't made a move. RIM's stock fell 7.8% Wednesday to $10.35 on the Nasdaq Stock Market, pushing its market capitalization under $6 billion from some $40 billion early last year.

    An acquisition also comes with significant execution risk. Several Canadian politicians have sent mixed signals about how Ottawa would view a foreign takeover offer.

    "Nobody is serious about buying RIM right now," said the person close to the company.

    Microsoft and HTC declined to comment. Representatives at Nokia and Amazon didn't immediately respond to requests.

    A RIM spokeswoman said that RIM employees "understand the vital importance of launching BlackBerry 10 on time at a quality that exceeds the expectations of our users."

    Short of an outright sale, RIM could try to cozy up to a handset maker and license its software or open up its valuable security network. Rival device makers HTC and Samsung Electronics Co. both had talks with RIM last year about licensing RIM's forthcoming operating system, according to people familiar with the situation. But Mr. Heins canceled these licensing talks after taking over, according to people familiar with the matter.

    It is unclear if he's restarted discussions amid RIM's worsening financial picture.

    RIM also owns a crop of patents which most analysts value at $2 billion to $2.5 billion.

    But a successful rollout of the phone is RIM's best-case scenarioand even that will be difficult as RIM needs to impress consumers in an increasingly crowded market. Apple Inc. AAPL -0.25% is expected to release its next iPhone this year, while more powerful devices using Google Inc.'s GOOG -1.25% Android software are appearing each month.

    And recently Nokia, armed with a relatively well-reviewed Microsoft operating system, is cutting prices for its low-end devices around the world. Nokia's move targets the same developing-world markets where RIM has recently performed relatively well.

    The few details RIM has shown off to application developersincluding a new touch pad keyboard and an easy-to-use interfacehave garnered positive reviews. But so far, RIM has given no specific timeline for that launch, and only the barest glimpse of what the new BlackBerry 10 phones may look like.

    "Given the increased competition in the high end, and dramatic growth in low-end Android, we see little hope for a turnaround," BMO analyst Tim Long said in a note to clients. "While the company is pinning its hopes on (the) BlackBerry 10 OS, we believe it is too little and too late."

    RIM has a still-comfortable cash cushion, upward of $2 billion, which the company said it expects to increase in the current quarter. But if losses continue, that safety margin is also under threat. RIM will need to spend heavily to push out its new phone and market it widely later this year.

    In recent weeks, Mr. Heins has been focused on shaking up RIM's top management, amid a parade of senior-executive departures and a handful of new c-suite hires.He's also promised to cut costs, warning Tuesday of "significant" job losses in certain divisions, though assuring investors he would still be hiring to support the BlackBerry 10 launch.

    The company has decided it needs to cut at least 1,500 employeesRIM had 16,500 workers as of Marchand may cut many more, according to people familiar with the matter. The RIM spokeswoman said the company isn't managing toward a specific head count.
    05-31-12 03:09 PM
  2. robedney's Avatar
    One of the things that worried me is that RIM would release the new phone with lackluster promotion. If they really are banking on it to save the company -- and they have that much in cash reserves -- we might see a really big advertising blitz to get things going. That would certainly help -- and it would help Playbook sales as well.

    IF they market it well -- and that's a big IF -- there are enough folks around who prefer not to buy Apple and are relatively unimpressed with Android to carve out a decent market niche. Add to that the Blackberry security features and they might have a company-saving product. It's got to be innovative, work right out of the box, bridge perfectly to the Playbook, etc. I wouldn't be surprised to see a larger format PB announced at the roll-out. Offering two tablet form factors (7" and iPad size) would increase appeal, particularly to media consuming buyers.

    Aside from the die-hard Apple loyalists I suspect the market is volatile enough to draw folks to a new BB product -- if it works, is sexy, secure and -- very importantly -- is promoted with a campaign that rivals Apple in creativity and saturation. Go RIM!
    05-31-12 03:26 PM
  3. pinkert11's Avatar
    I think a big question is how much has RIM hurt current sales by releasing that BB10 is coming out? We have heard for over a year how BB10 is on the way and will usurp the current OS for RIM hardware. We are also aware that old hardware can not simply upgrade the OS, so how many buyers are not buying now but waiting for a shinny new BB10 device. Consumers waiting for the newest and latest can really have a negative effect on the current sales, esp when many purchase on a 2 or 3 year contract so by purchasing anytime in the last year can really road-block you from getting that new shinny BB10 device when released. It is no wonder why current BB units are not moving and RIM is getting an inventory stock issue.
    Geeoff and bbfan1040 like this.
    05-31-12 04:26 PM
  4. kill_9's Avatar
    Nero fiddles while Research In Motion burns and the bread-and-circus-feeding media report mostly rumor and speculation countering the deafening silence from the emperor.

    We, the loyal BlackBerry users, have posted numerous easy to implement strategies to pull Research In Motion out of its present predicament. Some ideas have covered the enterprise/government/professional market segment and other ideas have addressed the mass consumer market segment. None of these ideas would cost the company any additional money; they would instead leverage the existing assets owned by the company. If senior management will not listen to its faithful user base, the writing is on the wall.
    05-31-12 04:30 PM
  5. GenTarkin's Avatar
    Didnt read entire thread but my thoughts on OP:

    Its palm all over again =(, Palm had a great OS w/ webos and it went on to be killed outright by HP...never to be heard from again....grrr

    I fear RIM will suffer the same, if not worse fate w/ the awesome QNX backed tablet OS they currently have and even BB10 =(
    Bob31464 likes this.
    05-31-12 05:10 PM
  6. BlazorBoy's Avatar
    Robedney: from your post to G-d's ear!

    Well said and I want to be sure all understand that I am very much in the BB camp but do worry wither goest RIM.
    bbfan1040 likes this.
    05-31-12 05:15 PM
  7. phonejunky's Avatar
    There is an article out now about RIM having to cut 6000 jobs. Wonder what the fanboy excuse will be about this matter.

    Sent from my HTC One X using Tapatalk 2
    Cee134 likes this.
    05-31-12 05:43 PM
  8. peter9477's Avatar
    RIM is doing exactly what they should be doing right now, and shouldn't change their strategy one iota.

    Talk of a sale prior to them launching BB10 is insane, simple as that, and after it launches nobody will be talking about the need for a sale. They'll be far too busy explaining how they would have been right about RIM's failure, but that RIM was just lucky and nobody could have guessed that the new phones and OS would be so well received, those serious security problems that came up with Android and iOS were an unexpected coincidence, etc etc.

    RIM employees: ignore all this silly chit-chat from people without a clue. Keep on making BB10 excellent.

    End of story.
    kbz1960, kdna and Geeoff like this.
    05-31-12 07:21 PM
  9. grover5's Avatar
    There is an article out now about RIM having to cut 6000 jobs. Wonder what the fanboy excuse will be about this matter.

    Sent from my HTC One X using Tapatalk 2
    So angry. Why?
    05-31-12 07:32 PM
  10. pididipop's Avatar
    It's not sad. It's just more analyst speculation. They love to do this even when they have minimal factual information. The smart phone/tablet market is extemely competitive now and RIM needs to deliver a great product soon or they will not be able to compete. It is as simple as that. So lets hope they can move quickly to deliver a BB10 on one or two great phones. If they can do this quickly and flawlessy, they can get back to being profitabe. But isn't amazing how these analysts can keep regurgitating the same stuff? We all know the RIM saga and we all know we they need to do, but it gets tiring as it plays out likeva soap opera.

    Sent from my BlackBerry 9800 using Tapatalk
    mbspence likes this.
    05-31-12 07:33 PM
  11. Darlaten's Avatar
    "Several Canadian politicians have sent mixed signals about how Ottawa would view a foreign takeover offer."

    I'm not sure why anyone would actually care what a politician thinks. Besides, Canadian law allows for foreign takeover.

    "There are a bunch of people [within RIM] that still don't understand how dire the situation is," a person close to the company said."

    If that statement is true; than heaven help us.
    phonejunky likes this.
    05-31-12 07:38 PM
  12. phonejunky's Avatar
    I didn't know it seemed as if I was angry D_March lol. I just posted a comment, and wondered what the excuse would be for RIM having to lay off 6000 more employees.

    Sent from my HTC One X using Tapatalk 2
    05-31-12 07:41 PM
  13. madman0141's Avatar
    Nero fiddles while Research In Motion burns and the bread-and-circus-feeding media report mostly rumor and speculation countering the deafening silence from the emperor.

    We, the loyal BlackBerry users, have posted numerous easy to implement strategies to pull Research In Motion out of its present predicament. Some ideas have covered the enterprise/government/professional market segment and other ideas have addressed the mass consumer market segment. None of these ideas would cost the company any additional money; they would instead leverage the existing assets owned by the company. If senior management will not listen to its faithful user base, the writing is on the wall.
    I like and agree but I believe this is what got RIM in trouble from the start by not listening to its loyal users.
    bbfan1040 likes this.
    05-31-12 07:58 PM
  14. Thunderbuck's Avatar
    Didnt read entire thread but my thoughts on OP:

    Its palm all over again =(, Palm had a great OS w/ webos and it went on to be killed outright by HP...never to be heard from again....grrr

    I fear RIM will suffer the same, if not worse fate w/ the awesome QNX backed tablet OS they currently have and even BB10 =(
    Can we please get this straight: RIM =/= PALM!!

    For one thing, Palm was already burning through money by the time HP picked them up. For another thing, RIM has the BIS/BES/NOC infrastructure in the background that adds tremendous value (and a steady revenue stream, remember).

    If RIM can successfully shed $1bln in expenses while still maintaining its engineering effort on BB10, they may well be able to continue to move forward.
    Geeoff and MoolahMitch like this.
    05-31-12 08:15 PM
  15. NaijaBerry's Avatar
    Sad indeed I just don't get it, great devices that really work, my wifi is down so I'm uploading a proposal at 1am from my playbook using Mobile hotshot, I've worked all day with my macbook pro connected to the 9900 without skipping a beat, I'm reading this and just wondering how come??
    05-31-12 08:25 PM
  16. BB10Apps's Avatar
    "There are a bunch of people [within RIM] that still don't understand how dire the situation is," a person close to the company said."

    I wonder if that means the reporter was standing close to RIM HQ buildings when they made these things up :P LOL
    MoolahMitch likes this.
    05-31-12 08:31 PM
  17. sf49ers's Avatar
    I didn't know it seemed as if I was angry D_March lol. I just posted a comment, and wondered what the excuse would be for RIM having to lay off 6000 more employees.

    Sent from my HTC One X using Tapatalk 2
    firstly loosing a job is bad for anyone and I empathize with them.

    And for RIM's sake, they are in business of making money and hiring and firing is part of the industry like life and death. Also if you understand there has been a major technology shift in the direction of the company that asks for some changes, hire new C++ devs and let go traditional BBOS folks, if you take in to consideration there are no new major BBOS devices slated or major upgrades planned on top of BBOS in future it well justified.

    RIM with QNX is better off with 4k-5k people if they also outsource manufacturing like others.
    MoolahMitch likes this.
    05-31-12 08:43 PM
  18. kdeckels's Avatar
    Didnt read entire thread but my thoughts on OP:

    Its palm all over again =(, Palm had a great OS w/ webos and it went on to be killed outright by HP...never to be heard from again....grrr

    I fear RIM will suffer the same, if not worse fate w/ the awesome QNX backed tablet OS they currently have and even BB10 =(
    I like my playbook, but I reluctantly agree with the above.
    05-31-12 08:56 PM
  19. grover5's Avatar
    I didn't know it seemed as if I was angry D_March lol. I just posted a comment, and wondered what the excuse would be for RIM having to lay off 6000 more employees.

    Sent from my HTC One X using Tapatalk 2
    Maybe. But it seemed very aggressive and off topic. You sought to attack random posters before you considered the negative impact on families of the potentially unemployed.
    05-31-12 09:00 PM
  20. phonejunky's Avatar
    firstly loosing a job is bad for anyone and I empathize with them.

    And for RIM's sake, they are in business of making money and hiring and firing is part of the industry like life and death. Also if you understand there has been a major technology shift in the direction of the company that asks for some changes, hire new C++ devs and let go traditional BBOS folks, if you take in to consideration there are no new major BBOS devices slated or major upgrades planned on top of BBOS in future it well justified.

    RIM with QNX is better off with 4k-5k people if they also outsource manufacturing like others.
    Loosing jobs is not a joke at all. I do feel bad for these people. I'm just saying RIM's path is starting to look a lot like Palms even though everyone keeps yelling BES and corporate world this and that. Lay offs after lay offs switching to a new OS. To top it all off consumers have a preconceived notion blackberry is old hat and corporate America has begun to beat to the same drum. BB10 won't save RIM I will bet money on it, because their reputation is all but tarnished, thanks to the media who just loves to beat you while you're down.

    Sent from my HTC One X using Tapatalk 2
    05-31-12 09:03 PM
  21. hurds's Avatar
    Loosing jobs is not a joke at all. I do feel bad for these people. I'm just saying RIM's path is starting to look a lot like Palms even though everyone keeps yelling BES and corporate world this and that. Lay offs after lay offs switching to a new OS. To top it all off consumers have a preconceived notion blackberry is old hat and corporate America has begun to beat to the same drum. BB10 won't save RIM I will bet money on it, because their reputation is all but tarnished, thanks to the media who just loves to beat you while you're down.... in america.

    Sent from my HTC One X using Tapatalk 2
    Makes it more plausible. Still seems like whinny FUD. If people see Palm's situation as similar to RIM's then to me there's no point in having a conversation since its a superficial and extremely poor comparison.
    MoolahMitch likes this.
    05-31-12 10:02 PM
  22. bbfan1040's Avatar
    I didn't know it seemed as if I was angry D_March lol. I just posted a comment, and wondered what the excuse would be for RIM having to lay off 6000 more employees.

    Sent from my HTC One X using Tapatalk 2
    RIMM is both hiring & laying off. This is what happens with new technologies replacing older ones. Sad but true. Thor explained this well.

    The stock went down less than one dollar. I credit Thor. He keeps creditability up!

    RIMM didn't have other options. Yes, ineffective leadership has created the timing problem. But, it sounds like major QNX programming challenges have been solved.

    Thor will lead RIMM to success! It won't be easy!
    MoolahMitch likes this.
    05-31-12 10:23 PM
  23. Cee134's Avatar
    I'm really amazed at tech reviews for the Playbook that either can't read nor maybe research. This is to compare tablet cost for features and the year of production. How do tablets first produced two or three years ago rate with the newest tablets for a comparison chart? Am I missing something for tech reporting?

    We're based in the center of Silicon Valley and this is our choice. It's the QNX operating system and I've researched this system for future applications but for business, future applications and it was the best. I 've never had one hesitation for this system, it's solid.
    We are in the middle of Apple users for location but love the Playbook... We believe whatever system works for each individual.
    05-31-12 10:27 PM
  24. southlander's Avatar
    I didn't know it seemed as if I was angry D_March lol. I just posted a comment, and wondered what the excuse would be for RIM having to lay off 6000 more employees.

    Sent from my HTC One X using Tapatalk 2
    No excuses. They are in trouble. You either cut expenses to conserve cash, or burn it up.
    Thunderbuck and MoolahMitch like this.
    05-31-12 10:40 PM
  25. Cee134's Avatar
    So sad, but this is always the same opinion for tech opinions when basic knowledge isn't there for what you need for knowledge.
    I'm not trying to start a negative view point so good luck for what works for you.
    05-31-12 11:01 PM
33 12
LINK TO POST COPIED TO CLIPBOARD