Tough Times For RIM-ers

Things are getting tough at RIM: the failure of its tablet; outages on its Blackberry service; a share price down 70% on the year, and mass terminations.

No wonder a couple of RIM guys got kailai-ed on an Air Canada flight forcing it to divert.

The RIM PlayBook is selling badly. 150,000 were sold in Q3 when 11 million iPads were sold.


Like HP with its TouchPad, the company has cut the price to unprofitable levels.


It looks as if it will be up to Samsung to prove whether there is a 10 inch tablet market or only an iPad market.



  1. Could it be that the world’s fanboys can only handle one cool gadget and one cool company at a time?

  2. Add in the fact that the Playbook was recently hacked, shattering RIM’s security myth. A very bad time in Waterloo.

  3. There are euro prisons for criminals, and now also techno charity government services as a protection for healthy companies against shitty management and engineering?
    Not such a bad idea if you consider it for a while?

  4. That’s a great cartoon, Bitter, really made me laugh. I think the lack of urgency at STE is because STE think the French government will keep them going and pay off their fast-accumulating debt, no matter what happens commercially. So the French will have to get into even more debt to pay off ST-E’s debts and the only people who may pay off France’s debts are the Germans. Typical Euro fudging and mudging.

  5. I get the impression that this management-cluelessness, poor to mediocre at best engineering, years in delays, and red ink in the books is of no urgency at STE?
    Scott Adams puts it best:
    I reckon that soon will be the time to wake up to the smell of fresh coffee, then take a walk down to the unemployment center for the remaining clowns at STE.

  6. I was never convinced it was that successful in first incarnation. Yes it created some interesting products but none were ever world-beaters and the original Macs were truly awful.
    i2 has been much more successful – iMac, iPod, iPhone, iPad, iTV next maybe ?
    And I think they may remain there for some time yet. Until their competitors stop trying to make cheap copies and start trying to make something original that is actually better I think they will be fine.

  7. Well I think Apple in its first incarnation was v. much a shooting star, ending up, as you say, being saved by Uncle Bill. In Incarnation 2 it could be a shooting star at the top of its trajectory – we shall have to see.

  8. I don’t think one can classify Apple as a shooting star. They were propped up for years by Microsoft 🙂
    However I agree the industry is naturally cyclic and if you can see what the next big thing will be get into it now

  9. STE is definitely in deep shit. Severe quality problems, so bad that even Sony Ericsson is very dissatisfied and prefers to work with Qualcomm.
    Guess what happens now that Ericsson has been bought out and Sony doesn’t have to buy from STE just because Ericsson wants to keep ST-E floating?
    Not to sure about the downfall of Nokia though. I think they’ll be able to land. I don’t think Windows Mobile 7.5 is bad at all.

  10. You couldn’t be more right, Robert, it is this dynamism which makes the industry what it is – volatile, unpredictable, fascinating. In Europe we think of a successful company as one which endures, but it’s the shooting stars which produce the industry’s excitement – and much of the innovation. A fast cycle of start-up, super-success, extinction is far more healthy – and natural – than the European propensity to prop up failing companies with government money.

  11. First Sony/Ericson falls than Nokia and now RIM has lost steam. I remember just 3 or 4 years ago there were financial reports about how enormous the RIM profits were (Earnings of 10 times Nokia from memory) and now its path to oblivion seems set in stone.
    For me, this dynamism, is what I love about our industry. TI and STE both committed all their chip resources to NOK, and STE will probably die with NOK. Yet MTK, with no teir1 or teir2 customers, grew a thriving business on the back of Chinese no-name white brand Cell phones.
    Now we have a crazy situation where Goggle (with partners Samsung/HTC) is fighting do-or-die legal battles with Apple for the future of the smartphone, while NOK tries to incorporate Win7/MSFT(or some such nonsense) into its future products.
    You couldn’t make-up this sort of thing.

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