Jan 30

Will the BlackBerry survive?

Category: Technology

The Waterloo, Ontario based BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) announced that they are replacing their co-Chief Executive Officers, Jim Balsille and Mike Lazaridis with COO, Thorsten Heins (a former Siemens executive) on January 22, 2012. The RIM is under lot of shareholder pressure lately due to its poor performance and slower growth.

The current plan as explained by the new CEO is to continue investing in hardware and software, and replace Black Berry operating system with new BlackBerry 10 (BB10) software from a company they acquired recently. They also hope to generate new revenue from BB10 licensing.

The BlackBerry dominates emerging markets such as Mexico and South Africa. They have 75 million subscribers worldwide.

However, they are faced with an intense competition. Microsoft is focusing on its partnership with Nokia and building an operating system. Samsung is thriving on Google’s Android operating system and Google bought Motorola Mobility. Competition from Apple iPhone is a major blow to BlackBerry. Apple’s last quarter profits ($13.1 billion) is twice the revenue of RIM ($5.2 billion).

Can RIMs BB10 exceed the quality of Apple’s iPhone and Android devices? Consensus is that they may not succeed. Corporate buyers who are hooked on to BlackBerry may have to support.

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