By Chris Sorensen - Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - 0 Comments
It’s barely been a month since BlackBerry (formerly Research In Motion Ltd.) launched its long-overdue BB10 platform. But already the honeymoon appears to be over.
Despite positive reviews of its new touchscreen Z10 device, several analysts have dramatically slashed their initial sales forecasts for the current quarter. Two are forecasting sales of about 300,000, as opposed to the one million units that Wall Street had expected.
By The Associated Press - Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 11:01 PM - 0 Comments
TORONTO, Cananda – Jim Balsillie once re-mortgaged his house to help build the BlackBerry…
TORONTO, Cananda – Jim Balsillie once re-mortgaged his house to help build the BlackBerry company, but by the end of last year, the smartphone maker’s former co-CEO had cleaned out any shareholder stake he still owned.
A document filed with U.S. regulators shows that Balsillie, once the company’s third-largest stakeholder, no longer held shares in Research In Motion (TSX:BB) by Dec. 31 of last year.
Balsillie owned more than 26 million shares of the company at the end of 2011, according to filings obtained through DisclosureNet.com.
The documents don’t reveal how much he got for his stock, or when the shares were sold, but it illustrates how quickly Balsillie shed his stake in the company he was leading just months earlier.
By Tamsin McMahon - Friday, February 1, 2013 at 1:13 PM - 0 Comments
RIMBlackBerry has launched its new smartphone, the BlackBerry 10, this week to largely positive reviews, the Internet is rife with lists promising consumers “Everything You Need to Know” about the new device.
Rather than add another review to the mix, we’ve put together our own top five list of “Top Five” lists about the new BlackBerry 10:
1. CNN offers its take on the five coolest features about the new BlackBerry 10.
2. Not one to get too caught up in the hype of the phone’s release, the Toronto Star offers five ways in which RIM screwed up in the past.
3. Android OS fan site Androidauthority.com found five things about the new BlackBerry 10 that should leave Android users quaking in their boots
4. Gizmodo offers five videos of stupid things people did to win a free BlackBerry 10 from fan site Crackberry.com (Hint: they involved bikinis, tattoos and paper cranes.)
5. Following on its hugely successful Nov. 27 post entitled “20 Things You Didn’t Know About Baby Carrots,” The Huffington Post honoured the BB10 launch with its top things you didn’t know about blackberries. (The fruit, not the company/phone.)
Apparently, blackberries are also known as thimbleberries and lawers. Also, if your blackberry plant turns orange, it’s dying of an incurable fungus and should go in the garbage. (No word on whether the same advice applies to BlackBerry 10.)
By David Friend - Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 2:59 PM - 0 Comments
Research In Motion changes its name to BlackBerry
NEW YORK, N.Y. – Canada’s smartphone pioneer will have a new BlackBerry in Canadian stores next Tuesday, the start of a new chapter for a rebranded company that’s seen its once dominant position trounced by the competition.
The BlackBerry Z10, a touchscreen model, will be the first to hit the shelves while the BlackBerry Q10, which will have a physical keyboard, will follow in April — a move that was signalled last year by the company.
Research In Motion (TSX:RIM) made the announcement Wednesday at a splashy unveiling in New York City, where it also let it be known the company will now go by the name BlackBerry.
The new BlackBerry models are widely seen as a make-or-break product for the company — the BlackBerry 10 devices were originally due for release last year.
By Peter Nowak - Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 6:17 AM - 0 Comments
BlackBerry may have outdone Apple in regards to its frothing fan base.
Two seemingly disparate events are happening this week: Wednesday’s long-awaited launch of BlackBerry 10 and Sunday’s Super Bowl. But believe it or not, they’re not that different. Both inspire fanatical devotion from legions of fans, some of which border on madness.
Anyone who has written anything on Research In Motion during the past little while is surely familiar with the attacks that inevitably follow. It doesn’t matter how scathing or glowing said piece was, the BlackBerry fanboys have been out with a vengeance once reserved only for Apple’s own iCult.
By The Canadian Press - Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 5:59 AM - 0 Comments
NEW YORK, N.Y. – Following several delays and much anticipation, the new BlackBerry smartphones…
NEW YORK, N.Y. – Following several delays and much anticipation, the new BlackBerry smartphones will be unveiled this morning in New York.
Research In Motion (TSX:RIM), the company behind the once dominant smartphones, is holding a splashy event in Manhattan to usher in the new devices, which were originally due for release last year.
The debut is expected to showcase the device as well as provide key launch details.
That will likely include its release date, which is expected in the next four to six weeks, the phone’s features and how much it will cost.
The company says the new BlackBerry will be released first in a touchscreen version, while a keypad alternative will follow in the weeks or months afterward.
By The Canadian Press - Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at 5:00 AM - 0 Comments
NEW YORK, N.Y. – After several technical blunders, two unexpected delays and one major…
NEW YORK, N.Y. – After several technical blunders, two unexpected delays and one major shakeup in its leadership, BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion is about to raise the curtain for its new smartphone devices in hopes that consumers share the excitement.
The unveiling of the phones and operating system on Wednesday marks the start of an advertising blitz that will stretch to social media, the Super Bowl and beyond as RIM tries to regain the cool factor that was once firmly in its grasp.
If all goes according to plan, the event will also mark the end of a troublesome 12 months that has seen RIM try to stay afloat while its future was constantly in question by outsiders, and its stock price tumbled to the lowest level in about a decade.
While the first hurdles to overcome on Wednesday are the opinions of tech analysts and investor reaction, the true measure of success — actual sales of the phones — is still weeks away.
By Peter Nowak - Monday, January 28, 2013 at 10:35 AM - 0 Comments
Does anybody else have the feeling that this week’s launch of BlackBerry 10 doesn’t really matter? It’s not for anything that Research In Motion is or isn’t doing with its long-awaited and overdue handsets, but rather because mobile devices are on their way to becoming commoditized.
With smartphones, it’s Google that’s driving the trend. As with virtually every area of its business, the company isn’t so interested in selling things to consumers as it is in getting them online and using its services, with the money coming from the ads it serves them that way. That’s why Google is selling the Nexus 4 in North America for $300 without a contract, while in the developing world it’s moving smartphones for just $50. It’s also why Android has more than three quarters of the world’s market share for smartphones. If Google knew the first thing about actually selling stuff to consumers, the constantly sold-out Nexus 4 would be an even bigger deal than it is.
Neither the Nexus 4 nor those African phones are as high-powered as most of the “hero” devices being sold in advanced markets, but for many users, they’re good enough. With Google plying this very different agenda, smartphone prices have only one way to go: down.
That’s good for consumers, as it will ultimately change the way phones are sold here in North America. Cheap handsets mean consumers won’t need to sign on for subsidized contracts with carriers. And with no contracts to lock them in, carriers may actually be forced to give consumers better service and prices.
But it’s bad for phone makers. The healthy profit margins enjoyed so far by the likes of Samsung. and especially Apple. are coming under pressure, which is why there’s been so much chatter lately about the possibility of a cheaper iPhone.
Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook has tried to deflect such talk by saying he isn’t interested in “revenue for revenue’s sake,” yet the company’s previous actions speak volumes. Apple did launch the cheaper iPad Mini last year in response to pressure from Google and Amazon, who together set the new price agenda on that category with their own smaller and less expensive devices, the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire, respectively.
Phones and tablets are inevitably following computers into commoditization. Apple may still charge a premium for its products, but it will ultimately have to settle for a relatively small market share as a result, just as it has in computers. There is also a limit to that premium – with the likes of Google and Amazon setting the pace, the respective days of $700 smartphones and $500 tablets are numbered.
Which brings us back to BlackBerry. With shrinking margins on the horizon, why would anyone want to be in the smartphone or tablet market? Monolithic conglomerates such as Google, Samsung and Apple can afford it because such devices are but pieces of their much larger wholes. They can take a bath on phones and tablets since they pay off in other ways, including keeping people within their larger ecosystems.
For smaller, single-purpose players such as RIM or Nokia, which don’t really have anything else to offer consumers, that low-margin future isn’t very appealing.
It’s no surprise, then, that RIM may be looking to pull an IBM, where it would sell off its hardware business to focus instead on software and services. It’s ironic that the same company involved in IBM’s computer spinoff nearly a decade ago – China’s Lenovo – is the latest potential dance partner to be attached to this idea. And it’s not just speculation; RIM CEO Thorsten Heins says he is considering doing exactly that.
The smartest thing currently going on at RIM is the development of BlackBerry Fusion, the toolkit that lets businesses manage all the different phones being brought in by employees. This bring-your-own-device niche is one which RIM’s current competitors are unlikely to enter – and it’s potentially a high-margin business, at that.
Put these trends together with Heins’ oddly-timed comments about a potential hardware sale, and it’s tough to get excited about this week’s BlackBerry 10 launch. It may just be a lot of sound and fury that ultimately won’t matter much, since RIM’s real interests – and future – lay elsewhere.
By Michael Oliveira, The Canadian Press - Monday, January 28, 2013 at 5:21 AM - 0 Comments
TORONTO – Research in Motion went from being a company revered worldwide for its innovative phones — coveted status symbols proudly carried by world leaders, executives and celebrities — to an industry also-ran that’s down to its last chance with BlackBerry 10.
How did RIM fritter away its marketshare? Here are five factors that eroded its dominance.
1. A failed transition from the corporate world into the consumer market
Before users became accustomed to fast and unfettered mobile web access, wireless messaging on a BlackBerry was the ultimate in high-tech connectivity. The ability to send and receive email on the go and trade BlackBerry Messenger texts spawned the CrackBerry moniker, and everyone in the corporate world had a BlackBerry or lusted for one. But RIM failed to catch the wave of consumer smartphone adoption and its rudimentary support of multimedia and the mobile web eventually looked pathetic beside Apple’s iPhone, Google Android phones and other devices. Only now with BlackBerry 10 does it appear that RIM has caught up to its rivals, but can it keep pace as Apple and Android continue to innovate?
By The Canadian Press - Monday, January 28, 2013 at 4:16 AM - 0 Comments
TORONTO – They call them the BlackBerry loyals: longtime smartphone users who have clung…
TORONTO – They call them the BlackBerry loyals: longtime smartphone users who have clung to their aging Curve and Bold models through the most turbulent days of the company.
In the coming months, Research In Motion (TSX:RIM) is certainly going to need them.
Despite what some critics suggest, there are still plenty of smartphone users around the world who sport BlackBerrys. In fact, there’s about 80 million of them according to RIM’s most recent quarterly subscriber numbers.
Among them are millions of enterprise customers, mostly employees at government, corporate and private businesses who were handed a BlackBerry by their employer. Together, they were the BlackBerry users who helped the device become a symbol of mobile communications innovation, and kept the company relatively stable as its share of the consumer market tumbled in North America and Europe.
By The Canadian Press - Friday, January 25, 2013 at 6:19 PM - 0 Comments
WATERLOO, Ont. – The BlackBerry is ready for game time.
Research In Motion (TSX:RIM)…
WATERLOO, Ont. – The BlackBerry is ready for game time.
Research In Motion (TSX:RIM) said Friday that its new operating system will appear in a 30-second advertisement during this year’s Super Bowl.
The announcement comes as RIM prepares to unveil its latest BlackBerry smartphone devices on Wednesday.
“A Super Bowl commercial is a great opportunity to show the redesigned, re-engineered and reinvented BlackBerry to tens of millions of consumers on the largest advertising stage of the year,” said Frank Boulben, chief marketing officer at RIM in a release.
The ad will be shown in both the U.S. and Canada on Feb. 3.
The Super Bowl is the most-watched television event of the year, drawing 111.3 million U.S. viewers in 2012.
In Canada, last year’s broadcast drew a record 8.1 million viewers.
It’s also the most expensive event for advertisers, costing an estimated average of $3.4 million for a 30-second spot on NBC last year, according to ratings firm Nielsen.
Super Bowl advertisements are typically a flashy showcase of new cars, beer and technology products, often with celebrity appearances. Aside from airing on television, the ads also get plenty of mileage from being streamed on the Internet.
Last year, a Harris-Decima Canadian Press poll found that more Canadians planned to watch the Super Bowl ads than the football game itself.
By The Canadian Press - Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 5:00 AM - 0 Comments
TORONTO – Smartphone owners who want to use their personal phones at work can…
TORONTO – Smartphone owners who want to use their personal phones at work can now pick whether it’s a BlackBerry, iPhone or Android device.
Research In Motion made the latest update to its secure enterprise service available for download to IT professionals on Wednesday, which it said gives IT departments the flexibility to accommodate a growing trend of bring-your-own-device in workplaces.
“It’s a single platform, from an IT perspective, that can manage the full suite of mobility devices they may need to support inside of their organization,” said Jeff Holleran, senior director of enterprise product management of RIM in a recent interview.
The move comes as competition heats up for the highly lucrative corporate smartphone market, which has largely been a stronghold for RIM for years, but other players in the industry are making their own plans.
By James Cowan - Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 11:29 AM - 0 Comments
We’ve become so accustomed to treating Research In Motion as a dying enterprise, any indication that it might, actually, perhaps, maybe survive is nothing short of miraculous.
Still one week away from the launch of the new BlackBerry 10 operating system, the company saw its stock rise by 10% on Monday alone, closing at $17.41 on the Toronto Stock Exchange, having risen from a 52-week low of $6.10 in September. Anticipation for the new operating system—which has received positive, if not effusive, reviews—is partly responsible for the gains. But more important for Monday’s improvement was president and CEO Thorstein Heins’ admission to German media that the company is considering selling its hardware division. In an interview with newspaper Die Welt, Heins noted RIM’s in the midst of a strategic review that is considering “several options, including the sale of hardware production.” RIM might also begin licensing its software, but any decision will come after the launch of BB10, according to Heins.
Could this really be RIM’s Lazarus moment? If so, it may come thanks to the same alchemy that once saved another ailing tech giant: IBM.
It might seem preposterous that RIM could stop making BlackBerrys and still survive, but there is a big, blue precedent for the move. For most of the last century, IBM was the market leader for business technology, particularly mainframe computers. But it fell behind as other, nimbler competitors like Microsoft emerged. In 1979, the company scored a billion dollars in profit. By 1993, it was losing $8 billion a year and pundits were predicting the corporation would be broken up and sold for parts.
But IBM saved itself by recognizing, in the words of CEO Lou Gerstner, that there was no future in “just pushing iron down [its customers] throats.” The company shifted away from the hardware business, even selling its entire PC division in 2004. IBM instead became a software and consulting business. IBM made close to $16 billion in 2011, with 60% of the profits coming from software licensing fees and service contracts.
Regardless of the merits of the BB10, it seems unlikely RIM will ever regain the market share it’s lost to Android and Apple. Following IBM’s example, however, shows RIM might save itself by cutting the cord on its signature phone.
James Cowan writes for Canadian Business where this first appeared.
By The Canadian Press - Monday, January 21, 2013 at 11:12 AM - 0 Comments
WATERLOO, Ont. – Shares in BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion are continuing their upward march….
WATERLOO, Ont. – Shares in BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion are continuing their upward march.
RIM stock is trading up almost seven per cent, or $1.06 to $16.77 in the early going on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
The stock (TSX:RIM) has gained some 14 per cent since the close last Monday, and more than 170 per cent since hitting a 52-week low of $6.10 last September.
The recent surge comes as RIM prepares to unveil its new BlackBerry 10 operating system and line of smartphones on Jan. 30.
On Monday, president and CEO Thorsten Heins was quoted in a German newspaper as saying the Waterloo, Ont.-based company is still open to licensing its new OS, but not before the launch.
The paper also quotes Heins as saying the sale of RIM’s hardware production arm is also a possibility.
On Friday, Jeffries & Co. analyst Peter Misek raised his target estimate for RIM to US$19.50 per share, from $13.
In a note to investors, Misek said he expects RIM to open its corporate BlackBerry email services to iPhone and Android devices, which would be a new revenue stream for the company.
BlackBerry 10 is widely considered a make-or-break product for the once dominant smartphone maker, which has seen its market share eroded by Apple and Android devices.
By Matt Kwong - Monday, January 7, 2013 at 8:59 AM - 0 Comments
How a start-up in Atlanta is stealing the BlackBerry maker’s most important clients
In the mobile tech trade, a business built on communication, rescinding a party invite is one way to send a frosty message. So when John Marshall, CEO of the Atlanta-based software firm AirWatch LLC, learned that Research In Motion Ltd. had “disinvited” him and six executives from the BlackBerry World expo last spring—a week before the May 1 conference, and with their Orlando flights and hotels already booked—the snub was obvious.
“Now we’re seen as a direct competitor,” Marshall says. RIM refunded the airline tickets. AirWatch, a “Bronze sponsor” since BlackBerry World in 2011, yanked its funding from the 2012 conference. The BlackBerry maker’s hostility toward the little-known southern start-up was telling. Theirs is a see-saw relationship. When big organizations dump RIM’s BlackBerry Enterprise Server—the once-pioneering software for handling workers’ emails—they contract AirWatch to protect the data on mobile devices like iPhones and Android phones. Consumer choice is driving the migration, says Jefferies analyst Peter Misek, who tracks RIM. “As RIM’s fortunes have faded, these alternative smartphone platforms have risen.” Continue…
By Sue Allan - Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 6:03 AM - 0 Comments
WATERLOO, Ont. – Today is the last peek the market will have into RIM’s…
WATERLOO, Ont. – Today is the last peek the market will have into RIM’s financials before it releases its much anticipated new line of smartphones in the new year.
Research In Motion posts its third-quarter after markets close.
Analysts will closely be watching the company’s cash volume and subscriber numbers after the BlackBerry-maker surprised in the last quarter with better-than-expected numbers on both fronts.
RIM has already said it expects to report an operating loss in the third quarter.
By The Canadian Press - Wednesday, December 19, 2012 at 5:35 AM - 0 Comments
WATERLOO, Ont. – Research In Motion will report third-quarter results Thursday, the last time…
WATERLOO, Ont. – Research In Motion will report third-quarter results Thursday, the last time the market will get a peek into RIM’s financials before it releases its much anticipated new line of smartphones in the new year.
Analysts will closely be watching the company’s cash volume and subscriber numbers after the BlackBerry-maker surprised in the last quarter with better-than-expected numbers on both fronts.
“We want to see their cash balance more or less unchanged quarter over quarter. They’re going to need all that ammunition to promote the BlackBerry 10 globally when they launch it,” said National Bank analyst Kris Thompson.
On Jan. 30, the company (TSX:RIM) will unveil a new line of smartphones running its latest operating system as it enters the most important months of its history, ones that will likely determine whether RIM survives in its existing form.
RIM has already said it expects to report an operating loss in the third quarter as it works through the transition to its next generation of BlackBerry smartphones and completes its cost reduction plan.
Thompson said he expects to see subscribers fall by about a million, but noted a surprise in that area could happen again.
In the second quarter, RIM said it had 80 million subscribers at the end of the quarter, an increase of about 2 million from the previous three months.
“I modelled down a million last quarter too and (I was) wrong. They’re discounting the units aggressively, they’re blowing out their inventory, so I wouldn’t be too surprised to actually see them grow that subscriber base again. If they can do that and maintain their cash, the stock is going higher,” Thompson said.
With the company heading into uncertain territory in the new year, RIM’s stock price has traded erratically.
Since falling to its lowest level in about a decade in September, the company’s shares have surged about 125 per cent, helped by a number of analyst upgrades.
Some analysts have noted that even though RIM has added new customers, many of them have been in emerging markets where lower priced phones are the norm. Cheaper phones don’t add as much to the bottom line.
Also in its second quarter results, RIM said its cash reserves grew by $100 million to $2.3 billion as of Sept. 1. Analysts had been concerned that the company would have to dip into its savings to survive during this period before its new product launch.
Technology analyst Bill Kreher at Edward Jones said it’s hard to forecast quarterly results going forward because although the launch date for the phones is set, customers do not yet know when they will be available. He is hoping the company will shed some light on that question and also reveal a price point.
“Any incremental information would be helpful,” he said.
Richard Tse, an analyst at Cormark Securities, said the key thing he’ll be focusing on is the company’s outlook.
“I’m sure a lot of questions will be around the timing of BB10 and the extent that they can talk about that and give specifics.”
This year, RIM has watched its market share in North America dramatically fall to about four per cent as the BlackBerry became an afterthought in the face of Apple’s iPhone and the Samsung Galaxy S3.
And while other companies debuted new devices, RIM was forced to push the launch of its BlackBerry 10 operating system and new phones into next year, missing the crucial back-to-school and holiday shopping seasons.
The company has also made significant reductions across its operations, closing facilities, severing ties with certain manufacturers and announcing plans to lay off 5,000 workers across its global operations in an effort to save $1 billion by the end of its fiscal year.
Analysts are expecting a quarterly loss of 33 cents per share and an annual loss of $1.27 per share.
By macleans.ca - Saturday, December 8, 2012 at 7:50 AM - 0 Comments
Nokia files a lawsuit and Yahoo moves away from RIM
With its much-anticipated new smartphones still weeks from release, Research In Motion found itself under attack yet again last week. Rival Nokia filed a lawsuit against the BlackBerry maker after a Swedish arbitration panel ruled RIM was in breach of a key wireless patent. At the same time, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer was widely quoted dissing RIM’s phones: “We literally are moving the company from BlackBerrys to smartphones,” said Mayer in an interview with Fortune.
Yet despite the bad press, things are suddenly looking up for the Waterloo, Ont.-based firm. Goldman Sachs recently raised its rating on RIM from “neutral” to “buy.” Market confidence has been quietly rising. National Bank and Jefferies have also boosted their outlooks. Over the past two months, RIM shares have risen 75 per cent, to over $11.
Investors don’t expect RIM to shoot back to the top of the mobile industry when BlackBerry 10 arrives. But it has fallen so far in recent years that even a modest turnaround seems a safe bet that could yield results. “We now assess a 30 per cent chance of success for BB10 given positive early reviews, broad-based carrier support, attractive features and interest by carriers and consumers in broadening the field beyond Android/iOS,” said Goldman Sachs in its report.
By The Canadian Press - Tuesday, November 27, 2012 at 8:13 PM - 0 Comments
WATERLOO, Ont. – Research In Motion shares took a substantial step back Tuesday from…
WATERLOO, Ont. – Research In Motion shares took a substantial step back Tuesday from recent gains, closing down 10 per cent amid a report that BlackBerry’s share of the U.S. market has fallen to just two per cent.
Shares in the Waterloo, Ont.,-based tech company closed down $1.20 to $10.70 in heavy trading of 10.4 million shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Until Tuesday, the stock had risen about 50 per cent in November as several analysts upgraded their views of the company after it set a firm launch date for its upcoming BlackBerry device.
But the latest smartphone sales data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech showed BlackBerry market share in the U.S has fallen to 1.6 per cent in the 12-week period ending Oct. 28. That’s compared to 8.5 per cent in the three-months ended last October.
The loss came as Apple’s iPhone made a 25.7 per cent gain, now capturing 22.4 per cent of the crucial consumer market. The iPhone’s gain also came at the expense of Android phones, whose market share fell 16.6 per cent to 46.7 per cent of the market.
Apple launched its hotly anticipated iPhone 5 in September, on the same day BlackBerry users in Europe, the Middle East and Africa experienced a massive outage.
The research firm said six per cent of iPhone 5 sales came from former BlackBerry users switching devices.
RIM has under 10 per cent of market share in the tech-savvy North American market. Its new operating system, expected to better browse the web and be app friendly, is considered a make-or-break product for RIM.
Its market share also fell in other countries studied in the report. It was down 11.1 per cent in the U.K., nine per cent in France, 20.3 per cent in Spain and six per cent in Brazil. There was no data on market share in Canada.
RIM is scheduled to release its next financial report on Dec. 20, for the fiscal third quarter ending on Dec. 1.
By The Canadian Press - Monday, November 26, 2012 at 11:36 AM - 0 Comments
TORONTO – Research In Motion (TSX:RIM) has received another vote of confidence from the…
TORONTO – Research In Motion (TSX:RIM) has received another vote of confidence from the investment community, this time from CiBC.
The bank’s capital markets arm has raised its price target for the Canadian smartphone maker’s stock to US$17 — up from CIBC’s previous estimate of US$8 per share.
CIBC has also RIM stock a “sector outperform” rating — an improvement from the “sector underperform” rating it has had due to skepticism about RIM’s ability to come out with a new generation of products that will beat back the competition.
Research In Motion shares closed Friday at C$11.61 in Toronto and at US$11.66 on the Nasdaq market. They were up slightly after markets opened Monday but remained below $12 at midmorning.
A note from CIBC World Market analyst Todd Coupland issued Monday before the markets opened says he thinks RIM’s stock is “materially undervalued.”
He points to the base of existing subscribers to BlackBerry smartphones as a source of strength for the company.
There have been several similar upgrades ahead of RIM’s launch of the BlackBerry 10 operating system that’s scheduled to be launched Jan. 30.
CIBC’s revised price target is $2 above an estimate last week from National Bank Financial.
The BB10 devices are seen as a make-or-break development for the Waterloo, Ont.-based company as it competes against Apple’s iPhones, devices using Google’s Android operating system and a refreshed Microsoft smartphone system.
The stock traded as high as US$11.97 on Monday at Nasdaq and as high as C$12.08 in Toronto.
RIM stock was last above C$12 on the TSX in May.
By Emily Senger - Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at 11:41 AM - 0 Comments
The National Transportation Safety Board is the latest in a number American government departments…
The National Transportation Safety Board is the latest in a number American government departments to announce plans to dump the BlackBerry, or at least to look to other providers.
According to a report from Bloomberg, the Transportation Safety Board posted a notice of intent to a federal website last week, saying that it was looking to make the switch to the iPhone 5 due to reliability issues with the Research In Motion product.
The notice said that the BlackBerry has been “failing both at inopportune times and at an unacceptable rate.”
The Transportation Safety Board’s decision follows the U.S. Military’s decision to move away from the BlackBerry.
All this comes as RIM stock got a slight boost on Tuesday after Jeffries & Co. analyst Peter Jeffries released a report giving RIM a 20-30 per cent of success when it releases its long-delayed BlackBerry 10 on Jan. 30. While those odds still aren’t great, it was an upgrade from his earlier estimation of a 10-20 per cent chance.
By The Canadian Press - Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at 9:22 PM - 0 Comments
OTTAWA – Research In Motion turned to core supporters Wednesday in Ottawa, hoping to…
OTTAWA – Research In Motion turned to core supporters Wednesday in Ottawa, hoping to upsell its new BlackBerry 10 operating system as the company’s shares fell after a biting report from a securities analyst.
The company (TSX:RIM) invited federal politicians and their staff to a sneak preview of the yet-to-be-released devices, an event that RIM’s Canadian managing director acknowledged was a bit like preaching to the converted.
“Government is a critical constituency for RIM and for BlackBerry,” said Andrew MacLeod.
“It’s where we got our start, in many ways, and it’s an area that we are going to continue to innovate and deliver value.”
RIM shares fell by more than eight per cent Wednesday to $8.23 after a report from an analyst at Pacific Crest Securities warned the BlackBerry 10 software may be “dead on arrival.”
“We believe BB10 is likely to be DOA,” James Faucette was quoted saying in a research note obtained by Bloomberg. “We expect the new operating system to be met with a lukewarm response at best.”
MacLeod dismissed Faucette as “not a fan” and as just one voice in a varied landscape of people looking at the new platform.
“Two other analysts came out this week with some very, very positive reactions to the platform and some positive reactions to our prospects,” MacLeod told The Canadian Press.
“We’re focused on delivering value and innovating, and we think if we do that, then we’ll get the rest of the stuff to follow.”
The Waterloo, Ont.-based company’s stock had been on a rally of late, lifting steadily in the past week to a four-month high. Wednesday’s tumble nearly wiped out all of those gains.
Besides showcasing the BB10 for politicos and business people, RIM was planning to announce Thursday how it would migrate some of the key security features of its current suite of devices to the new model.
“We’re really going to make sure the core DNA — what made Blackberry so attractive to government customers, to enterprise customers — will of course be a key part of the BlackBerry 10 and architecture and system moving forward,” said MacLeod.
Many political staffers, journalists and others swear by the BlackBerry over other devices for one main reason —its keyboard, which can make writing on the fly fast and easy compared with the touch screens offered by RIM’s competitors.
The BB10 line will include a touch screen option, but RIM maintains that its operating system will make typing faster than on other smart phones.
The company said earlier this month that its new BlackBerry smartphones were being tested by 50 phone carriers around the world.
RIM aims to have the new devices on store shelves in the first quarter of 2013, after the crucial holiday tech sales season.
By David Friend, The Canadian Press - Saturday, October 20, 2012 at 6:44 AM - 0 Comments
TORONTO – Some of Ottawa’s key government officials will be among the first to…
TORONTO – Some of Ottawa’s key government officials will be among the first to get a sneak peek of the new BlackBerry 10 operating system.
The Canadian Press has learned that Research In Motion (TSX:RIM) has sent invitations to a list of select politicians for an event in the nation’s capital on Nov. 7.
Designed to drum up excitement on Parliament Hill, RIM will host a walk-through of the new system at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier. Politicians will also have a chance to mingle with executives of the company.
Invitations were sent to MPs, their assistants, members of Industry Canada, and regional caucus members.
“Get a sneak peek of BlackBerry 10, the next generation mobile platform that will change everything,” the invitation reads.
“You’re invited to join BlackBerry Government Forum 2012 for an exclusive invite-only presentation.”
RIM is preparing to launch its new operating system and BlackBerry devices early next year, though a specific launch date hasn’t been set. A touch screen version of the smartphone is expected to debut first, followed by a keypad variation of the device.
Government workers have been heavy BlackBerry users since the early days of RIM, particularly because the devices are known for their encryption system, which adds another layer of protection to confidential information.
Despite the onslaught of competitors in the North American consumer market, including Apple’s iPhone and the Samsung Galaxy S3, the BlackBerry remains the dominant phone on Parliament Hill.
Each Member of Parliament is issued a BlackBerry smartphone when they take the job, and the BlackBerry Messenger service has become the substitute for a quick email.
RIM’s PlayBook tablet device hasn’t proven as successful, though, and House members are often seen using iPads instead.
In other countries, the BlackBerry has also been a staple of politicians, including in the U.S. where President Barack Obama said during his first campaign that he relied on the device.
However, several companies have jumped ship from RIM phones to other devices in recent months, primarily due to several delays in the roll out of the latest version.
On Friday, U.S. government adviser Booz Allen Hamilton said it was shutting down its BlackBerry server and allowing its employees to use iPhones and Android devices.
By Chris Sorensen - Tuesday, October 9, 2012 at 5:15 AM - 0 Comments
Research In Motion is still near death, but has one last shot at redemption
It’s just before 10 a.m. and Andrew MacLeod, the Canadian managing director for Research In Motion Ltd., is sitting in a diner in downtown Toronto. For the first time in recent memory, he has some “good” news to talk about. A day earlier, the beleaguered BlackBerry-maker reported a quarterly loss of $235 million—less than many had feared. It also added about two million new subscribers, mostly in developing countries. RIM’s battered shares, which have traded as low as $6.22 in recent weeks, shot up 13 per cent.
While none of that means RIM is back from the brink—far from it, in fact—it does suggest the Waterloo, Ont.-based company may still be around in early 2013 to launch its long-overdue BlackBerry 10 smartphone, which seemed far from certain just a few weeks earlier. “We’re entering lab testing with our carrier partners next month,” says MacLeod. “Then we’ll be gearing up for a series of really big commercial platform launches. It’s a really exciting time for us.”
BlackBerry fans, a dwindling crowd, seem cautiously optimistic. Developers at a recent conference reacted positively to demo phones running BlackBerry 10, despite first being treated to a bizarre music video featuring Alec Saunders, RIM’s head of developer relations, singing a nerdy, BlackBerry-themed version of REO Speedwagon’s Keep on Loving You. Unlike Apple’s iPhone, or devices running Google’s Android software, BlackBerry 10 allows users to slide back-and-forth between applications (without the need for a “home” button) and check their inboxes by swiping away the screen they’re viewing. “It fundamentally changes the paradigm of how a smartphone should be used,” says independent tech analyst Carmi Levy. “The problem for RIM isn’t developing unique technology. It’s convincing people to at least give it a try.”
By Hugh McKenna, The Canadian Press - Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at 6:17 PM - 0 Comments
TORONTO – The BlackBerry brand that once dominated the smartphone landscape has plummeted nearly to the bottom of the latest ranking of global brands by an international consultancy.
Interbrand said Tuesday that Research In Motion’s BlackBerry is now 93rd on its list of 100 most valuable global brands, down from 56th in 2011. It put the brand’s value at $3.9 billion, down 39 per cent from a year ago.
The top three spots on Interbrand’s Best Global Brands report for 2012 are held by Coca-Cola, valued at almost $78 billion; Apple at more than $76 billion, and IBM at more than $75 billion.
Both Coca-Cola and IBM were unchanged from the positions they held in 2011, while Apple jumped to No. 2 from No. 8 “thanks to stellar sales in both developed and emerging markets,” Interbrand said in a release.
The big drop for BlackBerry, the brand name for products produced by Waterloo.,Ont.-based RIM (TSX:RIM), followed a drop last year to the 56th spot from 54 in 2010. BlackBerry placed 63rd in 2009.
Interbrand noted that BlackBerry shipments are down 41 per cent in the past year and the brand’s market share now stands at 4.8 per cent globally, compared with 11.5 per cent a year ago.
“In order to survive, the brand must clearly demonstrate its relevance and value in today’s crowded smartphone market,” said Alfred DuPuy, managing director, Interbrand Canada.
“If BlackBerry can deliver a truly innovative experience designed for today’s mobile professional, it will send the message that the brand is committed to the (business to business) market on which it had originally built its success.”