Twelve years ago, Research in Motion revolutionised gadgetry with the launch of the BlackBerry.
Now, having been leapfrogged by Apple and Android, the company remains on track to become the new Palm.
(We first labelled RIM “the New Palm” about 18 months ago, when RIM’s stock was around $50. Management was still overtly delusional at that point, promising that its products would soon be a “quantum leap” over anything the world had ever seen. And unfortunately lots of folks still believed their promises. Not anymore.)
RIM’s stock hit a 7-year low this week, $16.
This gives the company a market cap of $8 billion, which is still a big market value for a company that is most likely headed for extinction (see Palm).
But the more the market cap falls, the more possible it is that RIM will be bought by a competitor–Microsoft, perhaps, or Nokia, or even Samsung, LTG, or HTC. Or Google. (Or, in a move that would be really out-of-left-field, Apple.)
So, with luck, RIM shareholders will salvage more than Palm shareholders did (about $1 billion, thanks to an idiotic acquisition by HP.)
For those who fell in love with the BlackBerry more than a decade ago, the company’s demise is sad. And the product certainly still has its fans: Our Matthew Lynnley just decided to dump his iPhone to buy one, for reasons that he details here. But the idea that RIM could stage a sustainable comeback at this point, when the mobile world is now dominated by elephants, seems highly unlikely.
Photo: Google Finance
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