Fears BlackBerry 10 could be too little too late for RIM
Fri, 06/29/2012 - 14:52 EDT - Financial Post
With RIM shares taking a pounding on capital markets on Friday, investors are wondering aloud if the embattled BlackBerry maker’s white knight operating system will arrive in time to save the technology giant
BlackBerry Messenger, the nifty and efficient personal-messaging service that’s become so important to bracing Research In Motion Ltd.’s fatigued appeal in these trying times, may just owe its existence to a local telecom outfit.
“There was a point there where RIM said they were thinking about getting out of BBM,” John Boynton, chief marketing officer at Rogers Communications Inc., recalls. “We said, ‘No, no! We think it’s great.’ ”
The corporate reboot at Research in Motion Ltd. marks its first anniversary today. The tech giant’s beleaguered stock price has been on an absolute tear of late — up 14% since last week to burst the $18 range and a whopping 170% appreciation from its 52-week low of $6.10 last September.
Meanwhile, the much-anticipated and often-delayed BlackBerry10 operating system is finally set to be unveiled on Jan. 30 — a hard deadline that had eluded the troubled company for two years.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer, will sell Research In Motion Ltd.’s new BlackBerry 10 in Canada and possibly the U.S., giving the smartphone maker another ally in its comeback effort.
Wal-Mart’s Canadian unit is taking pre-orders from customers for the phone, which Waterloo, Ontario-based RIM will debut on Jan. 30, said Alex Roberton, a Wal-Mart Canada spokesman, following a meeting at Bloomberg’s Toronto office.
Wal-Mart is still confirming its plans for BlackBerry 10 in the U.S., spokeswoman Sarah Spencer said, declining to comment further.
Blackberry smartphone maker Research in Motion (RIM) announced Thursday it would buy back 1.2 billion US dollars worth of its stock to prop up the sagging share price amid heightened competition.The buyback of some 21 million common shares or about 3.6 percent of its currently outstanding shares would commence on November 9 and continue over the next 12 months.RIM shares have plummeted more than 30 percent since late September, after management reported disappointing quarterly results.