Greg's Bite: RIM Crashes and Hits the Wall
Posted by Greg Mills
RIM's server network has crashed and is currently out of service in much of the world. It is unknown how long RIM phones and devices will be out of service. RIM runs its phones through a unique system that encrypts data for security reasons and thus there might be some complications with that. Only RIM devices are affected.
As the news of the RIM service disruption are in the tech news, another interesting statistic has just come out. News reports are that Apple sold 200,000 iPhone 4s units in the first 12 hours they were available online, as pre-orders. Actually, that has been revised today to at least 1,000,000 iPhone 4s sold in the first 24 hours.
To put that in perspective, RIM sold into the retail channel 200,000 PlayBooks in the first quarter they were on the market. That is not sold retail to consumers, as is the one million Apple iPhones, it is 200,000 PlayBooks sold wholesale to stores. While RIM tablet computers and iPhones are not the same thing, the actual undiscounted cost of the two devices were the about same when RIM first launched PlayBook. PlayBook is being deeply discounted at major retailers like Best Buy and rumors are that it may be discontinued soon. That really hurts sales. Who wants to buy into a discontinued platform. Anybody want to buy a slightly used HD-DVD player?
Consistent rumors are that there is a furious "conversation" going on in the Canadian headquarters of RIM regarding just pulling the plug on PlayBook all together. The slow sales and serious cost of supporting the devices and writing more software for the platform, as promised, for the laggard tablet is dragging the company down in both moral and financially. All the recent RIM smartphones models are also slow selling. If RIM fails to provide promised PlayBook software, they might have a class action law suit on their hands and furious customers wanting all their money back.
It is a fact of life that at the end of profitability in cell phone related business, the patent portfolio ends up the most valuable asset. Some large changes are likely in the sort term for RIM. Stockholders are not happy campers regarding RIM upper management.
The all time high for RIM was in the summer of 2008, when it hit $US 144.50. RIM is trading now at about $US 23. The all time low for RIM stock is around $US 20. RIM's market cap is about 12.5 Billion US Dollars. I see RIM as a potential takeover target in the fast moving cellular market. That is Greg's Bite