BlackBerry RIM – another nail in the coffin

According to AINonline, RIM has announced a 40% employee layoff, and the closing of the corporate flight department.

In an effort to control recent losses totaling as much as $995 million, BlackBerry is closing its corporate flight department and selling off its fleet. Earlier this year, the company sold two Dassault Falcons and has plans to sell a Bombardier Global Express. "In light of the company’s current business condition, the company has decided to sell that aircraft [the Global Express] along with the two legacy aircraft [the Falcons] and will no longer own any airplanes," the company said in a statement. It is also planning to lay off about 4,500 employees

RIM’s flagship BlackBerry product was hit hard by the iPhone.  Other manufacturers were too, but they were able to rally and update their product line to compete.  RIM has arguably done that for the most part with their latest Z10 phone, but it seems too late to recapture waning business interest in the product line.  They also re-engineered their BES (mobile device management) software to allow it to manage non-RIM devices.  They have a good reputation in that area, and so that product may help their bottom line.  The trouble is, business has basically given up on RIM solutions and has looked elsewhere.  Can they recapture their market at this point?  It’s doubtful.

RIM Blackberry 10 (BB10) available this week

With the general availability of the Blackberry 10 device starting on Monday of this week, several important questions arise.

Does anybody actually care?  RIM has lost so much momentum to iPhone, Android, and Windows phone.  Can they realistically ever recover? I doubt it.  Still, there are die-hard crackberry addicts who will embrace this new model.  Businesses need to take a bit of a look and see if there is any demand in their user base.  If there is (especially executive demand), then the new management platform may be worth digging into.  RIM wants everybody to use this to manage ALL of their mobile devices.  Whether or not this will actually happen remains to be seen, but BES10 will be needed if you want to support BB10 properly.  Since BES10 is new, it would probably be prudent to wait 6 months or so before deploying it in production.

Gartner has published a fairly concise report on this: http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2374518