Spotify Polishes The Brass On RIM’s Titanic
With everyone speculating about the outcome of Apple’s WWDC, watching Samsung’s Galaxy S III succeed, and awaiting Google I/O this week, it would be fairly easy to over look the fact that Spotify has been officially released for Blackberry.
The app, which is available for BlackBerry phones from 8520 and up, is a cloud music player that operates on a freemium model. Users can listen to nearly any music they want, though ads will also play on their music stream. An Unlimited or Premium subscription is required to eliminate the ads and raise the cap on how much music can be streamed. Spotify for BlackBerry can be downloaded for free through BlackBerry App World.
While this is good news for Spotify fans on BlackBerry phones, it seems that niche demographic might soon become extinct. Research In Motion (RIM), the company that designs and manufactures BlackBerry phones, is on the brink of financial chaos. Last week, RIM let thousands more employees go to keep their financial position afloat.
Today, RIM’s stock is nosediving due to a downgrade from Morgan Stanley. Bloomberg reports that a Morgan Stanley analyst said, “The only way RIM remains a viable entity is at a fraction of its current size, a transformation that erases much of its earnings power.” This is taking into account that the stock has been sliding downward for over a year, from a high of around $70 to its current $9.
RIM is currently set to release its new smartphone, the BlackBerry 10, sometime this fall. From the previews of the device that have been shown, it’s clear that RIM has finally gotten the message that their old designs will no longer cut it. It’s too late, though. Apple is still gaining market share, as is Android, all at the expense of RIM. If there is a slot for a third competitor in the smartphone market, Microsoft might be able to force its way in with strong Windows Phone 8 integration into its new Windows 8 ecosystem. It’s also a possibility that Samsung might break off from Android and make itself the #1 competitor to Apple.
The talk today isn’t whether RIM can regain its footing, its about whether the company should split its hardware and software divisions before its inevitable sale. Even if the company manages to actually release the BlackBerry 10, and even if that smartphone has Spotify, it isn’t going to save RIM.