Nope, says Citi’s Jim Suva. He figures that 12% of RIM subs are in financial services. For the sake of argument, he says, assume that 25% of those subs disappear. Even then, he says, the company’s earnings would only take a 2.5% hit.
This makes intuitive sense to us. At the time of the last market crash, BlackBerrys were expensive Wall Street status items: They signified that your firm valued you enough to entrust you with the gadget, and they signified that you were so important that you needed real time, 24/7 access to email – at the time, recall, this was a novel notion.
Eight years later, though, Berrys are mainstream consumer items, and RIM has been relying on consumers for growth and pricing their products appropriately. And unless the laid-off or soon-to-be at Lehman, Merrill, et al plan on leaving Wall Street altogether and living in a yurt, they’re not going to go without a Berry — as much as we love the iPhone, the Berry is still the corporate device of choice.
But while we’re handicapping Wall Street’s fallout on tech firms, we’re intrigued about Bloomberg’s future: Every time the markets teeter, someone predicts trouble for Mayor Mike’s company, which makes its money renting high-end terminals to the Street for a couple grand a seat, per month.
But there are two long-standing truisms about the Bloomberg:
- Most people who have them don’t really need them, or at least don’t need the entire package: They could probably get by with a stripped-down version that just provided a handful of features, which at this point could easily be delivered via the Web for a fraction of the price. But Bloomberg only sells one model.
- Anyone who has a Bloomberg will never, ever let them go, no matter how little they use it, and no matter how much company it would save the company. Which is why sales haven’t faltered even as the economy dips and swoons.
Now, though, there are going to be a lot of former Bloomberg users. And while we assume that many of them will end up back on Wall Street at some point, a lot of them won’t. And those that do may well find the Street a somewhat more austere place. Which means we think Mayor Mike’s company may finally have hit a wall. So tell us, current and former Bloomberg users: Do you think this week’s collapse is the one that finally makes the Bloomberg dispensable?
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