June 29th, 2012
06:37 PM GMT
This was supposed to be Research In Motion’s come-back moment. Its last chance to show that the newest Blackberry, the 10, was going to be amazing enough to silence all those voices who said Blackberry was dead. It was not that moment.
Instead, Blackberry released quarterly results that confirmed analysts’ worst fears: It is bleeding cash, laying off a third of its workforce and delaying the launch of Blackberry 10 - again.
I don’t know why I am surprised. At every turn, at every opportunity to right itself, Blackberry management has failed miserably, smiling as they dig the grave. It seems incredible that current CEO Thorsten Heins can cling to the idea of launching the Blackberry 10 sometime next year - after the next generation iPhone comes out, after the holiday sales season, in dead of winter when consumers have no money left.
Even more incredible – the Blackberry 10 will not have a physical keyboard – just a touch screen. What? Isn’t the keyboard the reason people love their blackberry?
Talk to an analyst about RIM these days and all they can do is shake their heads. Before this earnings report there was a small glimmer of hope that maybe, just maybe, Research In Motion could do what Steve Jobs did back in the 1990s and bring the company back from the brink. But Blackberry is no Apple.
When I asked technology analyst Peter Misek, of Jefferies & Co., whether Blackberry put itself on the block as a whole he was pessimistic. “It will be very difficult for anyone to buy them," he said. "A buyer would have to get a handle on the fundamentals and they are deteriorating too rapidly.”
Analysts have slashed their forecasts and at least one is now on record saying RIM will fail and be out of the market by 2020. Others continue to think that the company’s intellectual property and user base have value, but they say management has to get more serious about selling.
It is hard to stay on top in the rapidly evolving tech space, but if companies had tombstones, RIM’s would say, Killed by Management.
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