If BlackBerry maker Research in Motion were going to dinner, it would arrive five hours late, finding Apple and Google had already eaten, told the best jokes and gone home with all the good-looking women. That’s the image analysts are offering in the wake of RIM announcing yet another delay entering the smartphone market.
Earlier this week, Waterloo, Ont.-based RIM said devices using the BlackBerry 10 OS won’t appear until later in 2012. Previously, the company said smartphones using the new QNX software would arrive early next year. Even then, one analyst said the operating system “does not appear to be in the same league as iOS or Android.”
Analyst Charlie Wolf of Needham & Company also gave recent international demand for the BlackBerry a back-handed compliment. Shipments of the handset during the September quarter were “surprisingly strong” in the face of all the poor news and bad reviews surrounding the company. Additionally, foreign use of BlackBerry Messenger are completely reverse of U.S. demand, which Wolf describes as an “implosion.”
What can RIM do to spark more interest? Not much, according to RBC Capital Markets’ analyst Mike Abramsky. For the next six months, RIM likely will shed even more market share along with developer interest. In the face of such dour prospects, the analyst cut his fiscal 2013 RIM revenue estimate by 4 percent to $18.1 billion, down from $20 billion.
Another analyst with lower expectations is Shaw Wu of Sterne Agee. Wu said the company said RIM in near term must sell off bloated inventory due to more successful sales by Apple, Google and Amazon. Since the three smartphone makers aren’t likely to stumble, the near-term prospectives probably won’t improve.