Ina Fried

Recent Posts by Ina Fried

Everyone Has Ideas to Resurrect Research in Motion — Does RIM?

With everyone outside of Waterloo clear on the fact that Research In Motion needs a new direction, lots of ideas are coming forward on what the BlackBerry maker should do to turn the ship around.

Some have called on RIM to pursue a sale, while others want new management. Simon Buckingham, CEO of Appitalism, suggests that RIM might cut a Nokia-style deal with Microsoft in the coming year, getting a big check from Redmond in exchange for adopting Windows Phone.

“Clearly, something has got to change at RIM pretty quickly,” Buckingham told AllThingsD. “They are eroding market share at a pretty rapid rate here.”

And investors and analysts are clearly restless.

Berenberg Bank’s Adnaan Ahmad put it well this week, in an open letter to the company’s co-chief executives.

“Since the inception of this smartphone revolution, (RIM), under your stewardship, has lost its way to say the least,” Ahmad said, pointing out that the stock has dropped 80 percent since March 2009. For his part, Ahmad recommends the company give up on hardware and focus on services businesses can use to manage mobile devices.

As for what RIM’s management thinks, well, we’ll all find out in a few hours, when the company issues its quarterly earnings report. As for the numbers, we already know they will be bad. RIM warned earlier this month that poor PlayBook sales would lead to a massive writedown, and that the company would not meet its already lowered revenue target.

What will be more interesting is if management offers any concrete changes to business as usual.

Thus far, RIM’s leaders have maintained that, although things are rough, they’ll be better soon, when the next-generation product arrives, which they assure everyone will be great and well-adopted. It’s been the same thing for several quarters and through several next-generation products. All the while, RIM has continued to see its business drop precipitously.


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald