“We don’t believe RIM has much to offer,” says Brian Blair, analyst at Wedge Partners

By on June 27, 2012
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Even the upcoming Blackberry 10 does not provide him any solace

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Amidst widespread speculation that RIM will be bought-out in order to salvage the sinking ship, an analyst at Wedge Partners thinks it’s hopeless…

Forbes reports that Brian Blair, an analyst at Wedge Partners, shared his thoughts about the future of the company.

“We don’t see an M&A opportunity near term, mainly because we don’t believe RIM has much to offer,” he notes. “If there was value in the Network Operating Center back in the day, it seems to have faded.  If we have learned one thing from the iPhone, it’s that the device’s security is ‘good enough’ for the government and ‘good enough’ for the enterprise. We have seen every type of company replace BlackBerry with the iPhone over the last 3 years. If there is value in RIM’s Blackberry servers placed around the world in large numbers, that value is in decline, as those same servers continue to get ripped out on what seems like a monthly basis.”

Acknowledging that the company has some prized technical expertise, he goes on to say that they may not be enough. “Yes, the company has real IP around email delivery, and they still do some things that companies like Apple can’t but overall, their manufacturing capability isn’t worth much in our view,” he points “Their distribution is great but it’s hard to assign a value to it, and we don’t think anyone would consider buying the OS at a premium price.  Even Amazon, who we could make an argument for, seems to be standardizing on Android. We also don’t think Samsung has any interest, as their Bada platform is more advanced than BlackBerry.

“RIM finds itself in such a situation with an aging product line and nothing that appears able to change its fate in the pipeline. We see a steep drop off in revenues and units near term, punctuated by a drop in subscriber adds, and an OS refresh that is largely ignored by carriers and consumers alike, driving RIM into a forced sale in 2013.”

Even the upcoming Blackberry 10 does not provide him any solace. “We don’t see any scenario where BB10 can compete meaningfully against the three major smartphone operating systems,” he notes. “The potential for RIMM to offer a more appealing, completely new and different OS, without a keyboard (and the initial one won’t), and with no apps and no ecosystem to enterprise/ consumers is incredibly slim. RIM is not a software company at its heart, and it’s been knocked out of the ring by three players that ARE software companies. Now it’s hoping to reinvent itself with new hardware and a re-worked BB10 OS that the company hopes will be good enough to be considered competitive.”


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