For almost 10 years, consumers and investors loved Research In Motion (RIMM). Consumers loved RIM for its BlackBerry that revolutionized the smartphone market; investors loved the stock for its quarter after quarter growth and soaring stock price - leaving Apple (AAPL) behind in the dust. But, as the company failed to meet revenue expectations on June 16th, due to excess inventories and new product delays, the love affair was over. In the five days following the earnings announcement, the stock lost 30% of its value, as investors cashed out. Since then, investors have been waiting for the company to make a significant turnaround.
Source: Yahoo Finance
Recently, RIM announced that it will be refreshing its best-selling BlackBerry Curve line in early September with the release of the BlackBerry Curve 9360. The new curve features a reshaped exterior that is sleeker than the previous versions, the new BB 7 OS, and a 5 MP camera. But, is this new BlackBerry Curve enough of an improvement to entice consumers to drop their Apple iPhones or upgrade from a previous BlackBerry? I doubt it. In fact, the new BlackBerry Curve symbolizes the primary failure of Research in Motion — lack of radical innovation.
Almost all of the features of the new BlackBerry Curve 9360 are marginal and outdated. First and foremost, it lacks a touch screen. At this point in the game, the new Curve should have been updated with a fully functional and user friendly capacitive touch screen; its cousin the BlackBerry Bold 9900 already has it. Second of all, the new OS on the Curve 9360, “the new BlackBerry 7 … just feels a bit dusty and not a sufficient upgrade compared to its predecessor,” according to Engadget. And last but not least, the 9360’s processor clocking in at only 800MHz experiences lag while loading most graphically intense websites.
In the rapidly changing smartphone market landscape, the new BlackBerry Curve 9360 shows little promise. Apple and Google (GOOG) continue to aggressively innovate smartphone lines while Research In Motion is stuck living in the past. As for RIM turnaround, I don’t see one anytime soon.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.