Why Everyone Is Hating on RIM

Flip through the smartphone news lately? Every analyst seems to have it for Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM), the maker of the BlackBerry line of smartphones. RIM’s stock price (stock ticker RIMM) seems to keep moving lower as the year drags on.  While some of that can be attributed to all of the financial craziness happening around us lately, Apple still just keeps being a veritable goldmine.  Why all the hate for RIM? It is because of all the hype that Apple and Google keep generating, not because of RIM’s performance.

In fact, RIM just released its first quarter results for 2010 literally minutes ago. Good news too. Jim Balsillie, RIM’s Co-CEO was just quoted saying, “RIM achieved significant earnings growth and shipped a record 11.2 million devices during the first quarter, including its 100 millionth BlackBerry smartphone. We continue to be focused on growing our business globally and we believe that the range of exciting new BlackBerry products being released in the coming months will create significant opportunities to accelerate RIM’s growth in the second half of the fiscal year.” The actual numbers themselves are good too, but I do not want to waste your time with them.

What I want to ask is why RIM has been getting kicked around in the news as of late. The reasons are fairly simple. RIM keeps releasing the same phones over and over. Sure, the model numbers are different, the hardware is different and the abilities of the phones keeps increasing, but the phones just have not grabbed attention lately. They all just kind of look the same. As RIM pushes into new international markets, it has to remember that much of its success has been built in North America. Now North American consumers want something different even if it is a little less secure. RIM just has not put out anything amazing lately. While some have gone as far to compare RIM to Palm recently, this is misguided. RIM has lots of market share and plenty of carriers.

We just have to wait until the new BlackBerry Tablet and BlackBerry Torch are released. Both of these devices promise something that RIM has lost as of late. They are something that people will be willing to wait for, or to switch to. RIM just needs to be cool again.

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