Mobile & Wireless Slideshow: 10 Reasons Why RIM's Survival Depends on Ditching the BlackBerryBy Don Reisinger | Posted 05-31-2012
Unleash Patent Value
No one can deny the value RIM holds in its patent portfolio. The company has been acquiring patents for years, and has thousands that many competitors would love to access. Why not allow them to license those patents or maybe even buy them from RIM? If it's a cash windfall RIM is after, patents will help it achieve its goal.
Shipments Are Declining
BlackBerry shipments are declining at an alarming rate -- 80 percent during its last-reported quarter -- making some wonder how much longer that business can stay afloat. It's time to get out.
Tablets Wont Save RIM
RIM seems to think that its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet will in some way be able to save its ailing business. It may be too late. The tablet market is dominated by Apple's iPad, and the chances of RIM changing that are nil. The time has come to move on from tablets.
Mobile Device Management
RIM has made the smart decision to start delivering its mobile-device management solutions to those companies that are using both Android and iOS. Like it or not, RIM realized that an increasing number of enterprise customers are turning to other platforms, and it needed to find a way to take advantage. Its mobile-device management solution helps it do just that.
Mobile Enterprise Services Matter
RIM is an enterprise-focused company with eyes on delivering high-quality mobile services to corporate customers. Getting out of the hardware business would free up RIM's resources to focus the company on becoming a leading enterprise mobility service provider.
Before RIM's former co-CEO Jim Balsillie left the company, he was reportedly working on a plan to allow carrier partners to offload some of their mobile traffic onto RIM's network for a fee. RIM does something similar internationally and it works out quite well. Unfortunately, though, RIM's executive team nixed the idea. It was a mistake. RIM has a network that's reliable and robust; why shouldn't the company take advantage of that?
Where's the Innovation?
For RIM, device innovation has become a thing of the past. But rather than try and find it again, RIM should simply move on from devices. Hardware innovation is too costly for RIM right now.
The BlackBerry device business holds potential value to would-be buyers, such as Microsoft, since it can still command strong revenue around the world. At this point, RIM can sell its BlackBerry operation and still make some cash.
What Investors Want
Listening to investors, it would appear that they want nothing more than for RIM to dramatically change how it's operating and ditch the BlackBerry. From services to patents to its network, investors realize that RIM still holds some real value.
BlackBerry 10 won't save RIM, the company does need to play nicer with mobile competitors, and its services division is most important. Like it or not, RIM's current options around holding onto its BlackBerry business simply fall short.