Friday, October 1, 2010

Research in Motion: A Case of Too Little, Too Late?

President Barak Obama's statement that he was "bored" of his blackberry handset with only a handful of people authorized to email the super-encrypted device, Research in Motion (RIMM) knew that it constantly needs to be innovative if it needs to be a top ranker in the mobile telecommunication business. With the growing competition from Google’s (GOOG) Android based phones and Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone, Research In Motion introduced its version of the Tablet PC named ‘the PlayBook’ at its annual developers’ conference yesterday.

The BlackBerry PlayBook with its 7-inch display touch screen is smaller than its rival Apple's iPad and aimed at business and corporate users, which have been RIM’s core customers for its e-mail and messaging phones.

Although the announcement of the new device was well timed which came close to the news of Apple i-4 phone's euphoric sales in China, the world's largest communication device market, the one thing that the company would have least expected is the negative stock trends after the announcement instead of any substantial buying interest.

Research In Motion shares fell 3.4 percent, as concern over the late release date of the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet computer prompted investors to claw back some of the stock's recent gains. Although the decline in the RIMM's stock was not entirely unexpected given its strong rise in the run-up to the release, the company has already given the lead to its rival Apple as its next generation iPad will be in he markets by the time Blackberry Playbook rolls out its version 1.0.

While most analysts and communication device gurus have lauded the PlayBook's sleekness and compact size, the projected release date of early 2011 makes it difficult to penetrate the consumer market that Apple dominates and looking to consolidate.

The one thing Playbook may have going for it is a focus on enterprise functionality such as the opening of BBM as a social platform and a BlackBerry Advertising service giving developers the tools to build applications that take advantage of the social aspects of the popular BBM service. However competing with an innovative company like Apple and giving them a head start in the market is not considered as the best of strategies.



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