As we approach the end of 2009, it was, to say the least, an interesting year for Research in Motion. The National Post recently wrote an article with some quotes from the co-CEO Jim Balsillie that show he and Mike Lazaridis are pleased with progress and very optimistic moving forward.
Some of the major events that happened this year include one of (if not the) largest settlements between RIM and Visto Corp, for US$267.5 million. We have also seen a couple other setbacks including a failed bid for Nortel assets and a failed attempt to purchase the Phoenix Coyotes by Jim Balsillie.
UPDATE: BBCool reader Kevin is good enough to point out the settlement with Visto is small compared to the NTP case back in 2006. Still a significant enough settlement to mention in the Q2 Fiscal 2010 Conference Call though.
The pay out to Visto is less than half of what RIM paid to NTP ($612.5-million) in March 2006.
But it wasn’t all bad. This year RIM released upgrades to all their major product lines including the Curve, Storm and soon Bold series devices. RIM has also partnered with one of the most popular bands in history and sold a record number of devices in some of the toughest economic times we have seen.
Jim Balsillie has the following to say about the year in hindsight: “Bottom line is that this year is no different than any other year,” Balsillie says. “This year has had its particular challenges, but it’s also had its particular blessings because our sector has been vibrant in an economy that has not been very vibrant.”
As RIM continues to expand globally, capitalizing on partnerships with carriers around the world, the future looks very bright for the company.
“We’re very fortunate that we have the strength of position, having been here long enough, and having built this enough that you’ve built enough value and you’ve built enough credibility that you’ve got a couple in the bank, whatever that is.”
While everyone is optimistic and things look great in the foreseeable future, Balsillie is still knocking on wood:
“To me it’s like driving to the airport and you say wow, we’re making good time, or saying with five minutes left in the game that the goalie’s got a shut- out, it’s the great curse,” he says. “It’s like someone telling you that if you par out these next three holes, you’re going to shoot a record score. You’re going to go bogey, bogey, bogey.”
Let’s hope that 2010 will be an even better year.