Now that the ordeal with NTP is over, RIM needs to get back in gear and concentrate on getting things back on track. Thereâ€™s no denying that this lawsuit has hurt RIM, not only did they lose $613 million, they also had to deal with a drop in consumer confidence that has resulted in flat new subscriber growth for this quarter. First time ever as a public company RIM has faced this problem.
Keeping subscription high will not be easy, especially with all the attention that RIMâ€™s competitors received during the possible shutdown scare. Microsoft used the opportunity to promote their new Windows Mobile 5.0 OS which has the capability to do push-email through Exchange at no extra software licensing cost. Good Technologyâ€™s CEO Danny Shader has also been very active during this whole ordeal. If there was an article on Blackberry alternatives, you could count on Shader to provide a few quotes. What needs to be closely examine in RIMâ€™s next quarterly result is a high subscriber lost number. This would tell us if all the media reports about companies switching away from RIM were true or if it was another case of corporate spin.
Business 101 would tell us a good way to combat stagnant growth would be to target new markets. This is exactly what RIM will be doing when they release their multimedia Blackberry that co-CEO Lazardis has said is now in the works. Features will include camera, mp3 capabilities and the addition of removable storage. The new device will usher a new era for RIM, finally reaching out for mass appeal outside the corporate and business world.
This wonâ€™t be easy for RIM, hardware wise they are way behind companies like Palm, Nokia and Motorola. Remember it was only last year that RIM finally included Bluetooth on their first Blackberry, the Blackberry 7290. RIMâ€™s OS is nothing to talk about either, difficult to develop on due to the highly restrictive OS which has hurt RIM attract 3rd party software developers. These issues will not be easy to overcome with the exact folks they are targeting that crave the latest features and cool software titles.