K.O. for BlackBerry maker RIM?

BlackberryAs mobile technology has made leaps and bounds, Research in Motion (RIM) maker of the once popular Blackberry mobile phone struggles to survive. Can the company save itself from bankruptcy or is it too late?

Turned off…
Thorsten Heins, the new CEO of Research In Motion (RIM) probably cancelled his subscription to the New York Times. One of the United States’ leading daily papers decided to drop its app for BlackBerry after seeing a notable drop off in user traffic on its app. The app will no longer load news stories, essentially turning off. This follows a series of unflattering developments regarding the maker of the once dominant mobile phone brand BlackBerry. Large multinational companies such as Halliburton and Qantas recently decided to no longer use BlackBerry services and have been switching their employees to Apple’s iPhone. The US Government’s procurement agency has also followed suit, starting the switch from BlackBerry to iPhone for all US Government Agencies..(1) (2)

Is RIM drowning in a red ocean?

Research In MotionSmartphone users are a notoriously fickle bunch. The slightest flaw in a phone sends users off to a new phone faster than you can say “service contract.” Research-In-Motion, or RIM, has remained relatively immune to all of this until recently.

More than a decade ago, RIM created its own competition-free market space when it introduced the Blackberry; the company created what industry specialists like to call a “blue ocean.” Nearly everyone in my salary-challenged office had to have one: a mobile device that offered email. By 2002, RIM added short messaging service (SMS) and Internet surfing, and then even the janitor had one (although it was only for a couple of weeks).

Times were good for RIM. By 2004, they had addicted more than a million subscribers, giving rise to the term “crackberry.” By 2009, even the drug cartels never had it so good—RIM had 41.6% of the U.S. Smartphone market. Mighty Apple stood in their shadow with only 26.5%, and little Google nipped at both their heels with just 5.2%. Even the President Obama was hooked on the Canadian marvel, as he became the first sitting president to have twiddled his (sore) thumbs in office while still being considered busy.

The Growth Must Go On: Media Giant Grupo Televisa's Wireless Push Threatens its Global Strategy

by R. Dharni, A. Ibanez, T. Phan, J. Mendenhall, and P. Zamorano

Grupo Televisa SAB’s recent acquisition of a 50% stake in near-bankrupt Mexican wireless company Iusacell has been touted by company management as core in its strategy to become an “integrated media-telecom Company.”  While the deal has been widely panneddue to the high, $1.6 billion valuation for a company in an industry most analysts see as having few synergies with any of the company’s existing businesses, the bigger risk may lie in how the deal impacts Televisa’s successful foray into global markets.

As the dominant entertainment media company in Mexico, commanding 70% of the television broadcasting market1, Televisa has progressively built a robust global footprint through content licensing agreements, minority ownership stakes in foreign media entities, and content creation and distribution partnerships.  The company has parlayed this global strategy into a market capitalization of over $11 billion2 where it stands alone as the world’s largest Spanish-speaking media company. However, if recent statements in the press are any indication, it appears Televisa does not see its domestic and global success in media as the right trajectory for the company’s future.  Instead, the company is betting heavily on its telecom strategy to drive future growth.

Nokia: It’s not over yet …

Nokia global strategyBy Abhilash Mishra, Meha Gupta, Mrinal Das, Navjyot Ukarde, Sandeep Das and Vinod Jayavelu

“At the highest level, what I have initially found is a company with many great strengths and a history of achievements that are second to none in the industry. And yet our company faces a remarkably disruptive time in the industry, with recent results demonstrating that we must re-assess our role in and our approach to this industry.” These words by Stephen Elop, the newly appointed CEO of Nokia, sent out a message loud and clear that Nokia needs a facelift for its business strategy to prevent its dwindling market share. In reality, Nokia needs much more than a new CEO. The company needs a complete renovation of its business model that addresses Nokia’s failure to react to dynamic market trends.

Research in Motion escalates smartphone battle with acquisitions

Research in MotionThe smartphone industry is a fast-moving, highly competitive industry. Gains in market share are created through thin marginal differences between phones that are quickly eclipsed by other companies. This summer’s 3G innovation becomes “too old, too slow” as this month’s 4G phone makes headlines. In order to successfully compete, a smart phone maker must be able to keep up with its competition and innovate to snatch small sections of market share. Research in Motion (RIM), currently the largest smartphone maker in terms of market share with over 50 million users worldwide and 12 million units shipped last quarter, managed to carve out a section of the smart phone market for itself during the early- to mid-2000s.

The end is near: Blackberry’s GRIM Reaper story

BlackBerry smartphoneBy Benjawan Thanachotipan, Jesse Randall, Peter Graham, Sriram Sridharan, Timothy Webb and Tyler McElhaney

Research in Motion [RIMM: $60.81], known for its private data security and e-mail addicts, may be on the verge of disappearing. Drawing this conclusion may seem strange in light of its recent stock price increases, its 27 percent market share, and the pending release of its iPad competitor, the Playbook. However, RIM’s demise isn’t apparent on the surface. Its misaligned long-term strategy is what will ultimately bring RIM to its knees.

Technology and innovation in the smart phone industry have developed at an extremely fast pace.  This has caused consumers to upgrade their devices on an annual basis if not sooner. As these devices increasingly become an extension of the life of today’s consumers, supplying innovative, advanced devices is more important than ever. This shifting consumer preference towards iPhone and Android devices (even in the business user segment) is causing RIM to lose market share at an exponential rate.

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