RIM: The Deals They Should Have Taken
Reports have come out that Microsoft and Nokia were interested in acquiring RIM. A few months ago, I wrote an article on the benefits of a Microsoft - RIM collaboration — one that could create the third power in terms of market space next to Android and iOS .Both companies could and should be doing better in the mobile space, but haven't, largely due to the fact that qualities lacking on one OS are the strength of the other (innovation on Microsoft’s part, and market share, or what remains of it, for RIM).
A merger between these two companies would greatly increase market share for Microsoft — who would most likely integrate Blackberry with WP7 — and more importantly, take control from the incapable hands of RIM executives.
The depths to which the buyout discussions went remain unclear, but one fact is — RIM should have pushed for this deal. With no Blackberry 10 phones arriving until late 2012, RIM’s market share will continue it’s dramatic slide over the last few years. During RIM’s third quarter earnings call last week, Co- CEO (one of the biggest problems) Mike Lazaridis had this to say,
“I would like to provide an update on the timing of BlackBerry 10 smartphones. As I said on the last earnings call, we are focused on delivering a high-quality, fully-featured user experience when these products are launched.. To achieve this goal, we need a highly integrated dual-core LTE platform...This chipset will not be available until mid-2012, and as a result of this and certain other factors, we now expect our first BlackBerry 10 smartphone to come to market in the latter part of calendar 2012.”
And the delusional kicker:
"In the meantime, we believe our strong BlackBerry 7 portfolio will continue to drive adoption of BlackBerry around the world.”
Now I know why these deals didn't get done. The executives at RIM still believe they are successful, and can continue to be that way — a distorted view of the mobile landscape to say the least. Do they pay attention to what goes on outside of the enterprise world? Or are they content with what they have? When I pondered why RIM has floundered on innovation, these statements told me all I needed to hear.