Research In Motion Is Doomed

| About: BlackBerry Ltd. (BBRY)

How did my Research In Motion (RIMM) trade work out? Now that it’s closed out, I can be more objective. Longer term the stock is doomed and management is probably delusional.

Last week I mentioned shorting RIMM November 4 $18 put options. It was a good trade because I added 300 basis points (after commissions) of performance in two days. Problem is it wasn’t really worth the trouble. I wrote the puts early, when the stock was at $18.60. Then watched the stock drop to $18.13 the next day before reversing. I closed the trade out early in relief at a 50% profit.

Over the long run I think Research in Motion is in trouble. It does not make products people want to use. It does sell a lot of phones to enterprises, but Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is making inroads there. RIM has no answer to the iPhone 4S, Motorola (NYSE:MMI) Droid or Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) Galaxy S2. RIM has completely missed another product refresh cycle. What a disaster.

Here are some quotes from RIM’s delusional management:

On the iPhone in 2007:

It’s kind of one more entrant into an already very busy space with lots of choice for consumers … But in terms of a sort of a sea-change for BlackBerry, I would think that’s overstating it.

I think the PlayBook redefines what a tablet should do.

The only person who wasn’t delusional at the time was Steve Jobs. This quote was quite prescient:

We sold 14.1 million iPhones in the quarter, which represents a 91% unit growth over the year-ago quarter, and was well ahead of IDC’s latest published estimate of 64% growth for the global smartphone market in the September quarter. And it handily beats RIM’s 12.1 million BlackBerrys sold, in their most recent quarter ending in August. We’ve now passed RIM. And I don’t see them catching up to us in the foreseeable future.

They must look beyond their area of strength and comfort, into the unfamiliar territory of trying to become a software platform company. I think it’s going to be a challenge for them, to create a competitive platform, and to convince developers to create apps for yet a third software platform after iOS and Android. With 300,000 apps on Apple’s App Store, RIM has a high mountain ahead of them to climb.

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