Enterprise Likes RIM’s New BlackBerrys; Consumers, Not So Much
While they’re not likely to stem Research In Motion’s woes long term, the company’s new BlackBerry 7 handsets could do much to hold the company over during a platform transition that won’t be finished until 2012.
And that appears to be what’s happening — in the enterprise market, anyway.
Checks conducted by Canaccord analyst T. Michael Walkley indicate strong initial upgrade sales for RIM’s new BlackBerry OS 7 smartphones, particularly the Bold 9900 at Verizon. But demand for it appears to be concentrated among business users.
“With the Bold 9900 the first compelling new BlackBerry in nearly two years for Verizon customers, we were encouraged that our checks indicated Verizon’s large BlackBerry enterprise base appears to have strong demand for the first BlackBerry OS 7 device on Verizon’s network,” Walkley writes. “However, our more consumer-centric retail store checks indicated smartphone consumers continue to overwhelmingly choose the iPhone 4 or new Android smartphones versus the $250 Bold 9900.”
So, good news for RIM in that its new OS 7 smartphones have inspired decent upgrade interest from its enterprise installed base; disappointing news in that they haven’t done much to reestablish the company’s foothold in the consumer market.
Says Walkley, “Our checks indicate little change in consumer sentiment following the launch of RIM’s new products as consumers continue to prefer iPhone and Android smartphones due to these devices’ much larger application and developer ecosystems.”