There’s no question that weak PlayBook tablet sales and overall Q1 results are causing an economic tailspin for RIM. The real question is, can RIM lick their wounds and land back on their feet again. Stocks are way down and there’s a shift occurring which will involve plenty of job cuts in order to stay afloat.
Figures for Q1 have been revealed and a total of 500,000 BlackBerry PlayBook’s were shipped. Selling half a million units of a new gadget is nothing to frown upon. However, when the tablet market is dominated by Apple who have sold over 25 million iPad’s in 14 months, such numbers all of a sudden become much less significant. In order for RIM to stay in the game they have announced they will in fact be cutting several jobs.
In the past 24 hours alone RIM Stocks have plummeted nearly 20% and it would be generous to call that a rapid decline. RIM claims they are optimistic about the future and believe 2012 will be a better year, but at this point investors are not so certain and are bailing out while they still can.
On top of struggling to own a fair chunk of the highly competitive tablet market, in the past 12 months RIM’s global smartphone market value has dipped from 19.7% to 12.9% overall.
It’s not all doom and gloom for the mobile giant though and RIM is not entirely to blame for these numbers. For example, instead of providing the end user with a reliable and affordable carrier service, AT&T is more concerned about how they can profit the most from BlackBerry’s bridge software which is used in part by the PlayBook. This has lead to many delays while AT&T continues to run tests so they can come up with a solution that will work in their profitable favor. This should have been resolved long ago and this is what happens when poor planning gets in the way of a potentially good product.
On a lighter note and despite everything, in the past year RIM has expanded more internationally which is a good thing. As long as RIM can successfully deal with management issues of having 2 CEO’s with different approaches there’s no reason they can’t get out of this current slump. Like the age old saying “there’s too many chiefs and not enough Indians”. Having more than one CEO is never a wise structure for any company. If they can sort their leadership issues out, deliver their new QNX-based line of smartphones in time and also launch a much improved PlayBook 2 sooner than later, they should have no problem moving forward.