Update #2 August 4, 2011
Yesterday R.I.M. announced that it would launch three (3) new iphones over the next several weeks, in a desperate attempt to recovery lost market share. All phones will operate the RIM Blackberry operating system.
July 26, 2011
Just yesterday the pink slips started to fall on 2000 workers at R.I.M., and while the first ones fell on the desks of Canadian employees, apparently they will fall on the desks of workers worldwide. Analysts seem to agree that this is a worthwhile, even necessary, decision, to bring the company's costs under control. We will keep watching to see if new products and new innovation can bring the company back from the near brink to which it recently fell. There is also some criticism about the two-headed chief executive at the company. Many observers seem to believe that the position should be held by one individual but so far, the company has resisted this change. This also bears watching.
Research In Motion (RIM) the Canadian tech leader is apparently in deep touble. There are reports that the company has failed to invest adequately in research and development and that there will be a significant lag time before they can produce new product lines in an extremely fast-paced, competitive market sector. Their Playbook is their latest offering, but compared with Ipad 2 and other tablets on the market, the only clear advantage to Playbook is the security it offers, not one of the more sought-after features by tablet purchasers.
Falling stock prices, predicted substantial lay-offs and calls for the two CEO's to step down are just a few signs of the shadow that is settling over the 15,000 + employee company that has been the headliner in a high-tech world of product development.
Located in Waterloo, also the home of the University of Waterloo, aspiring to be the M.I.T. of the Canadian mathematics, computers and computer science university offerings, R.I.M. may be like so many other companies that rise too quickly for their executives to adjust to the rarified air in those high-flying boardrooms and executive jets, and may have stubbed its toes over its own hubris.
It is so tempting a drama, for high-achievers, and for focussed athletes to over-reach, to over-achieve and then to fall as a consequence of so many factors, not least of which is the human factor of vulnerability.
It is not that success is completely foreign to the human psyche; it is more that high-achievement often comes before the players are fully prepared to let is rest easily and comfortably on their shoulders.
And, as if so often the case, calls for leadership changes are not far from the heels of a dramatic drop in stock prices...in RIM the stock prices have gone from a high of $124.00 to a current $25.00 approximately, and so a lot of people have potentially lost a bucket-full of money.
Will RIM recover?
Will Canadians abandon this sleek, and apparently sophicticated tech-ship, by pulling the cash they have already invested, and refusing to put more money into the now-suspect pot?
Will Bassillie and his co-CEO face enough pressure to finally retreat and make way for new leadership?
Will the other players in the field make a play to initiate a take-over bid, believing that such a bid will reap huge rewards given the bargain basement price of the stock?
Will RIM be reduced to an asterisk in the Canadian high tech history books?
Or, will RIM, like the Phoenix from its ashes, rise again and become the highly profitable flagship of Canadian technology around the world.
We will keep watching, with keen interest. It is not only those jobs that are at risk. It is the reputation of the Canadian brain-power that generatd RIM in the first place that is in question.