Stephen Foley: BlackBerry feels the squeeze and soon it will be crushed
Saturday 30 April 2011
US Outlook: Research in Motion shares have plunged so sharply on the company's profit warning not because the maker of the BlackBerry cut its forecasts, but because it didn't cut its forecasts by enough.
The company's management is losing credibility faster than you can download an app to your iPhone, and its claim that there will be a quick rebound in BlackBerry sales and profits this year beggars belief.
What Thursday night's poor results demonstrated was just how fast demand for the BlackBerry is deteriorating, in the face of a new generation of powerful Android smartphones and the always-sexy iPhone.
Reading between the lines of the latest results, the new, high-end touchscreen Blackberry Torch has clearly been a huge disappointment. RIM says that stocks of unsold phones are piling up with retailers, and the much-needed refresh of its product line is behind schedule.
The problems facing RIM are hardly new news. The BlackBerry went from 20 per cent of the world smartphone market at the end of 2009 to 14 per cent by the end of last year, and there is evidence that corporate customers – the backbone of the Canadian company's business – are starting to loosen their loyalties. Employees want sexy phones too, after all, and IT departments are finding it easy and cheap to integrate workfunctions on Android devices and iPhones instead of signing up to BlackBerry.
Where once BlackBerry was a pioneer, now it looks stale. It has gone from having the most functionality among the products on the market to the least. Apple can boast 350,000 software applications for the iPhone; Android users have a choice of 150,000 apps and growing. BlackBerry App World has mustered only 25,000, and with potential software developers grumbling about the new Blackberry operating system, it doesn't seem likely to gain traction soon.
The sharp cut to the guidance for the current quarter comes only four weeks after RIM published those original forecasts, so it is clear the deterioration has taken management by surprise. Unless RIM has the mythical "iPhone killer" up its sleeve at its annual trade show next week, there is no reason to expect a sudden upturn in fortunes, regardless of what the optimistic co-chief executive Jim Balsillie tells investors.
The smartphone market is fast running out of room for so many different platforms, and BlackBerry looks like becoming an also-ran sooner than even I had suspected.
- 1 Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin file for divorce after 10 years of marriage
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby bought for just £10 at car boot sale could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 4 Bookies now say Ed Miliband is more likely to be prime minister than David Cameron
Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin file for divorce after 10 years of marriage
Rarest Beanie Baby bought for just £10 at car boot sale could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
Katie Hopkins and The Sun editor David Dinsmore reported to police for incitement to racial hatred following migrant boat column
'Jihadi John': Isis executioner Mohammed Emwazi wanted to wage jihad in Somalia until his friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
Parma, Missouri: 80 per cent of town's police quit after first black mayor is elected
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
Katie Hopkins on LBC: Listen to caller taking The Sun columnist to task over migrant comments
iJobs Money & Business
£12000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An expanding Insurance Brokerag...
£60000 - £70000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£30 - 35k (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pricing Analyst with experienc...
£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...