For RIM, “It Can Get Worse Before It Gets Better”

Jim Balsillie and Dwight Howard RIM BlackBerry PlayBook

[credit provider=”Dan Frommer, Business Insider”]

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion is trying to mount a comeback in the smartphone business after getting its momentum stomped by Apple and Google. It won’t be easy.Recently, a Wall Street analyst published a note about RIM called “Things Can’t Get Worse In The Foreseeable Future.” We’re not so sure about that.

Another analyst, Jefferies’ Peter Misek, paints a bleaker picture today in a note called “It Can Get Worse Before It Gets Better.”

And he makes some strong points:

  • Further product delays are likely. While RIM has said to expect QNX-based “superphones” in the first half of 2012, Misek says they are now more likely to be delayed until the second half of next year. Even transitional devices in the meantime have been delayed — Misek says he believes the majority of BlackBerry OS 7 devices have been delayed from August to October.
  • Management will either “have to accept lower margins or lower unit sales as carriers become worried about inventory levels for an ageing portfolio of products.”

  • Less support from carriers, who are putting their bets on Android and the iPhone and maybe even Windows phones instead. “Based on our checks, RIM is being forced to increase handset bounties and co-marketing payments in order to retain carriers and slots.”

It doesn’t sound good.

Previously: HENRY BLODGET: RIM Is Toast