It has now been one year, three weeks, and some change since Research In Motion settled their lawsuit, alleging patent violations by the Waterloo-based company, with NTP. Over the course of the last year, RIM has released no less than six major device technology series.
Within these are numerous variants on an ever-increasing number of carriers. Rumors and some fairly reliable leaks have uncovered RIM’s upcoming stray-from-the-norm release schedule, with new sub-series devices having varying features depending on the model number.
This will push RIM into the double-digits neighborhood for released devices in an 18-month schedule. For any naysayers who still think that RIM has went unchanged in their outlook of our fast-paced industry, they released almost the same number of devices in their previous 7 years of life.
Just to add, their stock has doubled since their settlement with NTP, increasing from just over $70 per share to just under $140 per share, as of today.
During February of last year, RIM was losing customers to various other mobile messaging platforms. If any of you can recall, most of us were bracing for a global blackout of messaging services, fearful that our “CrackBerry” devices would no longer tick after D-Day 2006. Looking back now, it all seemed quite silly, ranking it amongst other heavyweight contenders in the ‘Get Me Worked Up Over Nothing’ category – such as the historically “life-changing” Y2K “bug”.
Nevertheless, it appears that 2007 is already off to a quick start in being the single most important and pivotal year in RIM’s soon-to-be-struggle to stay atop the mobile messaging badlands. I think the future looks quite bright on this side of the mountain, but let’s all brace for what appears to be quite the bumpy ride – this time due to competition not some frivolous lawsuit.