As Research In Motion’s stock continues to freefall, dedicated customers of the BlackBerry are being forced to explore alternatives as the end of the BlackBerry era seems more likely. RIM has seen a 70 percent drop in value in the last year, and fell by almost 20 percent on June 29th after announcing a high quarterly loss and delaying the BlackBerry 10 operating system once again. The company has consulted several advisors in an effort to restructure or even sell its assets. Tuesday will bring RIM’s annual shareholders meeting, forcing the company to own up to its losses.
“In the past three months there’s been a lot of concern that the BlackBerry platform won’t be around in the future,” Maribel Lopez, founder of Lopez Research, told Bloomberg. “It’s not unheard of for a large phone manufacturer to go out of business.”
BlackBerry’s appeal is directed towards corporate customers, who utilize the easy-to-use phone to communicate within their organizations. With the possibility of the BlackBerry becoming extinct, these companies are developing contingency plans for their wireless future. Features like mobile e-mail have become standard in the workplace, so in lieu of the BlackBerry, employees are expected to migrate to other more popular smartphone platforms such as iPhone or Android.
The biggest nail in the coffin for RIM has been the continued delay of the BlackBerry 10 operating system, which has seen month of setbacks, preventing RIM from evolving the BlackBerry brand in the eyes of consumers. With the threat of current BlackBerry devices becoming obsolete, there is little to grab the attention of prospective users.
Share holders and dedicate corporate users don’t seem particularly interested in sticking around for the BlackBerry’s swan song, which is a more than ominous sign for the future of RIM.