Winners & Losers for 2005

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As the year comes to an end and the news slows down, it allows us to reflect on what was 2005 for RIM and other wireless companies. This year seem to be a coming out party for wireless email devices. This new trend of convergence of email/phone/PDA made for some big winners and also some losers, here’s our list for 2005.

Winners:

RIM: RIM started the year with 2 million subscribers but that has quickly grown to over 6 million this year. Even with all the patent infringement issues and media predicting doom and gloom, RIM’s momentum seems to be unstoppable. They’ve signed up dozens of new carriers and released new Blackberry devices like the 8700 that take advantage of high speed wireless broadband. There also seems to be no signs of slowing down either in their latest financial report, so our guess is that 2006 will probably be another great year for RIM.


NTP: Love them or hate them, NTP has already won big time by signing licensing deals with Visto, Good, and a few other companies. It makes you wonder if it wasn’t for the big media attention with RIM and NTP that they would have been able to license their patents. Even if the USPTO invalidates their patents, they’ve already made plenty of money and may see a big pay check from RIM in the form of the 1 billion range.

Intel: Intel is slowly trying to position themselves as the top company for processors in wireless devices. Even though they are losing ground in the PC market with AMD eating up more of their market share, the wireless market will be very lucrative in the next few years as people continue to ask for more powerful wireless devices. We should also mention the partnership with Apple.

Losers:

RIM Investors: There’s no denying that RIM’s stock has took a beating over this year, mainly due to investor’s fear with their legal woes. In 2004, RIM’s stock price was close to $100 but dropped as low as $51 in 2005. However, there’s probably some light at the end of the tunnel after RIM settles with NTP.

Palm: Other than the lone bright spot in the Treo, Palm has taken a huge beating this year. The typical PDA market continues to shrink, while they are losing ground to Windows CE. Not to mention the failure of the new Palm OS named Cobalt. Even Palm is moving away from their Palm OS, they are now adopting Windows for their upcoming Treo 700w and have already announced three other smartphones for next year. Not all was bad, PalmSource was acquired by a Japanese company called ACCESS which allowed PalmOne to change their name back to Palm.

Microsoft: This was a toss up, we couldn’t decide whether they were winners or losers. Microsoft Windows CE/Mobile continues to be a very popular OS in PDAs and wireless devices. However, we decided to put them in the loser category because of the big hype that was Windows Mobile 5.0, which was suppose to have built-in push email capabilities when you would connect it to a server running Exchange SP2. This was supposed to be the RIM killer because enterprises wouldn’t need to purchase expensive BES licensing. But it didn’t work out the way Microsoft wanted and they are still far behind RIM when it comes to push-email technology.

Feel free to add your own …