RIM Shareholders Have Some Harsh Words for Dual CEO’s; Too Late?

| July 14, 2011 | Reply

RIM’s stock has dropped 49 percent the past three months. In the same time frame they have lost almost 5% of the market share they used to dominate in smartphones. There is fear of a hostile takeover from a few other companies. The shareholders meeting was held this week and what did they demand of the CEO Duo? “We wanted to give them a chance to prove that there is an actual business necessity,” is exactly what was said after the meeting. Sounds like the inevitable is coming and the two just wont give up. Those were the words of Jennifer Coulson, manager of corporate engagement at Northwest & Ethical which controls a large number of stock. Another large shareholder with 450,000 shares int he company is the California Teachers Retirement System (ouch). The man in charge of investments there said this: “The co-CEO, co-chairman structure is probably the worst solution of all. If they come back with a structure that’s similar to what they have now, even if NEI doesn’t come back and ask for a vote, someone else will,” said Larrieu. “This is just delaying the inevitable.”

So what is the real problem with RIM and why have they lost so much in the way of marketshare, sales and value? In my opinion it is exactly what made them as popular as they once were. Appealing to a business crowd. Sure, many people used Blackberrys outside of business, but I have always viewed it as more of a business friendly phone that end users bought. Now we have very good end user phones that businesses are starting to use. Some of RIM’s ideas and OS functions are great, but the OS lacks much of the pizazz of iOS and Android. Now WP7 is coming along. When Blackberry tried the full touchscreen with the Storm it was doomed. Phones were getting lighter, thinner with more options. The storm was thick, the clickback was a bad idea and the software was terrible. They came with an OS that didn’t beat or equal what was out. Since the release of that phone it has just been downhill.

If RIM wants to survive, they need to split. One side for business which would keep the common Blackberry style phones and offer the ease of use, corporate email syncing and organization of BB OS. The other side needs to completely rethink what they are doing. New phones that compete with an Iphone 5, Galaxy s2, Thunderbolt and the Nokia lineup coming for WP7. I think they should ditch the BB OS on consumer devices all together, and switch to Android or WP7. If they did that they could use an already strong base then add Blackberry features on top of it and present it in a IU that resembles BB OS but is still customizable for the masses. Will that ever happen? No. But just like Nokia realized if you can’t beat them, you join them. And you use them to make yourself better. I nwo plenty of people that would love an RIM made phone with killer specs, Android, BBM and corporate email added. Couple that with RIM’s ability to make killer keyboards and you’d have something nice. Are blackberry looking Android phones out now? Yep. But they don’t have the things RIM themselves could offer. Just a better base.

In six months you will see RIM change into something different than it has been for a long time. When the head of the teachers retirement system spoke and said they were “delaying the inevitable” I think he needs to take that thought deeper. The inevitable will be the downfall of a once huge company who became lost. Make no mistake, Apple hasn’t been the big loser in the war of phones. Android OS has killed Nokia and RIM. Apple is doing and will continue to do just fine.

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Category: Tech News

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Co-owner and Editor-in-Chief of GizmoNinja.com.

During the day I work in graphic design and also do photography. By night I try to play with programming and code of all different types. I love the opportunity to write for the site and hope to see it grow as time goes on.