If the January 2012 departure of RIM’s founder, Mike Lazaridis, wasn’t enough of an indication that RIM was dead, RIM’s first quarter 2012 results announcement sealed it by yet again missing expectations, reporting a huge loss, and most importantly, announcing that Blackberry 10 would be delayed yet again — this time to Q1 of 2013.
The comments on thestar.com and theglobeandmail.com were overwhelmingly negative, saying that it’s over for RIM.
Once RIM revised their forecast just weeks after their rapid and massive decline began in March 2011, I reflected on what was a fatal flaw with their business model. Being smaller than Apple and Google, their whole advantage was that they were theoretically capable of being more nimble in innovating and getting new products to market. They are also highly centralized, with around half of their employees in Waterloo, which also served to their unused advantage.
Once it was announced that their PlayBook tablet — originally scheduled to be released before the iPad 2 — would be released a month after the iPad 2, that sealed its fate in that they had absolutely no hope of being a serious challenger in the tablet market. Apple already had a dominating position in the marketplace, and to be beaten to market by a second version of Apple’s highly successful tablet put the nail in the coffin of RIM’s PlayBook.
There was word in May that RIM would be laying off between 2000 to 6000 employees, when they were already in mortal danger. The fact that it took until June 28 for them to officially announce 5000 layoffs is a further indication of how out-of-touch RIM’s upper management is as to the gravity of the situation.
Previously, on September 18, 2011, I wrote the article, RIM as a metaphor for U.S. decline.
I find it a fitting parallel that on the day RIM made their catastrophic announcement, the U.S. Supreme Court found Obamacare constitutional, further strengthening my metaphor.