Maybe you’ve heard, RIM isn’t doing so hot these days. Apple was able to sell 5 million iPhone 5 devices in a weekend, and RIM can only sell 8 million BlackBerry devices in a little under a year. Despite the doom and gloom, the company is still growing its subscriber base. That growth, however, may be at an end.
According to a report from The Globe and Mail, analysts are now predicting RIM will announce zero growth during this week’s second-quarter conference call on Thursday. More specifically, they expect the company to announce a loss in enterprise customers while gaining in the international market. It still won’t be enough to offset the potentially disastrous downwards spiral that RIM may be heading toward.
Of course, BlackBerry 10 will be launching early next year. The company is pretty adamant that this is the phone that will put them back onto the path of profitability. The analysts aren’t buying it. Kris Thompson, an analyst of National Bank Financial, said, “Starting next quarter, we see the sub base in a downward spiral with BlackBerry 10 potentially slowing [the losses], but we’re not holding our breath.”
So what will RIM need to do to get BlackBerry back on top? First things first, RIM CEO Thorsten Heins has to put on one heck of a show tomorrow during the BlackBerry Jam Americas conference. BlackBerry 10 needs the support of developers, large and small, if they are to survive.
Once again, the analysts don’t see that happening. Mike Walkley with Canaccord Genuity points out that cheap BlackBerry devices do well in overseas markets, but the company’s more advanced smartphones aren’t selling anywhere. It’s those smartphones that developers have to support, but Walkley just doesn’t see the market supporting the BlackBerry 10 ecosystem.
It might be high time that RIM finally acknowledges that the BlackBerry is no longer popular. Android and iOS are dominating the smartphone market, and leaving little room for anybody else. Walkley suggests that RIM “dramatically change its business model” and I couldn’t agree more.