Research in Motion (RIM), the troubled Canadian cell phone and tablet maker of BlackBerrys, having reported disasterous quarterly profit returns with huge losses on June 29, 2012, delayed introduction of its new BB10 operating system phones until spring 2013, watched its stock plummet to 52 week all time lows of $7.39 reducing its worth by over $10 billion to less than $4 billion, layed off 5,000 of its 16,500 employees, after founders had stepped aside and then resigned from the company, lost a patent suit re LANS to Samsung, is now on its deathbed after earlier committing suicide by laying the ground work for its users and buyers to boycott RIM products.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) have dropped their 17,600 staff users. As has U.S. government consultant Booze Allen Hamilton Inc. its 25,000 staff.
RIM had agreed to give Indian government security forces access to private instant messages made on BlackBerry cell phones.
Buckling once, the precedent makes it easier for RIM to give other countries’ security forces access -ie: China, Russia, Syria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Canada, America. Cell phone users/buyers are not going to buy phones that they know can be tapped and on which they do NOT have any privacy.
BlackBerry cell phones are very popular with government (including President Obama) and news persons in Washington, D.C. Will they continuing using them knowing the FBI or NSA (under the Patriot Act) could be listening in to their private conversations?
Watch for continuing decline in RIM product sales and stock price. The company is cutting its own throat for a takeover/purchase by another company – sooner than later.
RIM’s latest regulatory filings make clear it is facing a bleak immediate future and is in the red losing money in its flagship BlackBerry smartphones and PlayBook tablets hardware division where gross margins fell to 20% for the fiscal year ending in March, 2012, down from 36% in 2011. The division spent 4% more than it generated in revenue.
RIM currently is facing over 40 lawsuits regarding patent disputes with other technology companies and is trying to recover $36 million in an outstanding trust claim with the remains of Lehman Brothers International (Europe).