Blackberry maker Research in Motion (RIM) has reported earnings today and industry watchers weren't too happy. The company missed analyst expectations and the reason is pretty clear. Competition from Android and the iPhone are eating into RIM's business. Verizon, which was traditionally a Blackberry heavy carrier, has been getting into Android in a big way. Additionally, consumers continue to jump ship for the iPhone for non-business activities.
It's not all gloom and doom, though. Revenue did rise 24$ to $4.24 billion, but expectations were around $4.35 billion. RIM's stock took a pounding, but the smartphone maker isn't standing still. RIM will be buying back $31 million in stock to help stabilize the company. Investors are growing concerned that RIM will become increasingly marginalized as other platforms continue to take off.
RIM isn't going away anytime soon. They're a profitable business, and people that use Blackberrys often love them. Do we have any diehard Blackberry fans out there?
It's probably fair to say that Research in Motion (RIM) has Apple envy, but then again, so do a lot of mobile companies. We say this in part because, if we're to believe a report in The Wall Street Journal, RIM plans to claim a slice of the tablet pie that's now dominated by Apple.
Naturally RIM is unwilling to confirm or deny the report, but citing people familiar with RIM's plans, the WSJ says the tablet device will serve as a larger-screen companion to its BlackBerry, which sounds an awful lot like the iPad, which serves as a larger-screen companion to the iPhone/iPod touch. Still in the early stage of development, the BlackBerry tablet, or whatever it will be called, will connect to cellular networks by tethering to BlackBerry phones, and it could be ready by the end of the year.
But it's not just the iPad that has RIM's design team working overtime, the company is reportedly working ferociously to build other devices and software to gain back market share from Apple. One of these devices is a touch-screen smartphone with a slide-out keyboard, which makes sense given that RIM and their BlackBerry phones are perhaps most famous for the hardware keyboards. The phone will sport a new version of the BlackBerry OS and purportedly will work like the iPhone, meaning you'll be able to swipe your way through screens and menus, enlarge images with your fingers, and so forth. You can also expect a universal search bar that will comb through not only the phone, but online data too, the WSJ says.
Fans of Twitter who own a BlackBerry can cast aside any lingering feelings of Android or iPhone OS envy. Why so? The uber popular microblogging site has teamed up with Research in Motion to develop a Twitter app for BlackBerry, which is now available for download.
"When you talk about messaging and mobile phones, BlackBerry immediately comes to mind and it was no surprise to us that it has become one of the most popular mobile platforms for Twitter around the world," Twitter's Kevin Thau wrote in a blog post.
The app features real-time BlackBerry push of Twitter direct messages, camera and photo gallery integration, browser integration for Tweeting links, a customizable interface for changing fonts and hiding toolbars, notifications of @mentions, the ability to search for users, content, and trending topics, and a few other odds and ends.
According to Gartner, Inc., a business technology research company, cell phone sales totaled 286.1 million units during the second quarter of this year – a 6.1 percent decrease over the second quarter of last year. But, smart phone sales picked up considerable steam surpassing 40 million units in sales, a 27 percent increase from the second quarter of last year.
“Despite the challenging market, some devices sold well as consumers who would usually have purchased standard midrange devices either cut back to less expensive handsets or moved up the range to get more features for their money,” stated Carolina Milanesi, a research director at Gartner. “Touchscreen and qwerty devices remained a major driver for replacement sales and benefited manufacturers with strong, touch-focused midtier devices. However, the decline in average selling price (ASP) accelerated in the first half of the year and particularly affected manufacturers that focus on midtier and low-end devices, where margins are already slim.”
A great deal of this is credited to Apple’s expansion to a larger number of countries, which has had a clear effect on volume. Still though, companies like Nokia with their N97 and Research In Motion (RIM) with their popular BlackBerry line continued to dominate the number one and two positions respectively.