Knock, knock. Who's there? RIM. RIM, who? RIM! Research in Motion. Remember us? Will RIM executives be able to resuscitate the company, once the leader in smartphone technology, or will it end up as a punch line to a joke?
While they still claim over 80 million users, BlackBerry's market share plummeted from 44% two years ago to just over 11% today and still falling AND it's lost nearly 75% of its market value since last June.
This week RIM told investors that it probably will face an operating loss for the current quarter and announced that it hired bankers from JPMorgan Securities and RBC Capital Markets to help it with a financial "transformation."
The company did not say if the restructuring would mean selling itself in whole or part, or closing weaker operations such as smartphone manufacturing. But it does realize that drastic measures are needed.
BlackBerry's early success was based on its strength in handling mobile messaging and email. Now, this compelling reason has become common place among iPhones and Droid mobile devices. Other than selling on security, its existing customer base, and its own proprietary App World, what does it really have to offer the market that's unique?
Will RIM be able to salvage itself before it's too late or disappear into the technology history books like Palm, Compaq, Borland, and Ashton Tate? Hard to say, but objectively speaking - it's hard to ignore the writing on the wall.
So, what does this mean to you if you're still using a BlackBerry? Is this something you should "hightail" away from? Analysts consider it unlikely that the firm might shut down completely, especially because many government agencies, including the Defense Department, still use BlackBerry devices. However, if your plan is coming up for renewal any time soon, it may be the opportunity to change before any interruption of service occurs.
Something to consider before the knock, knock joke emails start flowing and you miss them all because RIM's servers have shut down.