Time's up folks.
RIMM has had nearly a year now since it began its historic dive, and is about out of time.
If you've followed The Market Ticker you know that I've put forward multiple ways for the company to execute and turn around their story.
The problem is, they've done none of them.
As one example, I own a Playbook. The recent OS update came with "Android compatibility."
Only ported applications show up in their "marketplace." Of the ones I use on my Android phone, only one, K9 mail, is present.
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What's worse is that none of the image viewers, Adobe's PDF viewer or APG, which I use to secure email, are ported. So I can receive IMAP mail on K9 but I can't look at any attachments nor can I use encryption, which makes K9 worthless for actual business use as Android "player" apps cannot access native Playbook functions!
Yes, the Playbook's email application, nearly a year late in introduction, is nice. And I'm forced to use it, without encryption, or have no functional email at all.
This is not the only example. It's just the one that*****es me off the most.
Yeah, I like the Playbook as a "play" tablet. It was worth it at $200, but if I had paid $400 or more I'd be insanely angry at this point, a year in from the introduction. In fact, I'd want to smash it over your board of directors' heads and then cram the pieces down their throats.
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RIMM, you're out of time. Your stock is losing 2-3% per day of late, 4.5% today as I write this. If you keep this up, and you're going to from what I can see, your stock will soon sell for cash on the balance sheet ($2.50), which will dwindle along with your share price toward zero. The cheapest place to buy your patent portfolio will be from the bankruptcy judge, and you'll be seeing him soon enough on the path you're traveling today.
Your CEO replacement did nothing; in fact your stock sold off after he had a disaster of a conference call. He's got his head firmly up his ass to beyond his shoulders. He didn't fire anyone, he didn't change direction, and he thinks Europe will save you. It won't -- Europe is about to blow sky high economically and when it does, discretionary purchases are going in the toilet. It's worse in Asia -- did you see the GDP projections out of China last night?
I wanted to believe you could turn this around, but instead you've turned everything you touch for the last year into a bag of dogcrap.
The Playbook's operating system is literally best-of-breed but you want the razors-n-blades model and you utterly fail there. So now I have a tablet that has a literal ability to run while "on" all week, mostly idle with light use, and still have 50% charge -- something no other tablet can do, and yet I can't get the applications I want and need on it to make it a general-purpose device.
I can't run ThinkorSwim, Schwab, or Fidelity's trading platform, just to name three. I can't use my secure email connectivity. I can't even run Flickster to see what movies are at the local theater. There's no WSJ app but I can read the lefty Huffington Post - if I'm willing to put up with a Beta-quality app that works once in a while and the rest of the time gives me a blank screen.
Which is more important to me as a businessman?
Your goal to have a crapload of applications ported over on the 2.0 release is a fail.
Further, the rumors of takeovers and partner deals have been just that -- hedge fund rumors and, ultimately, lies.
So here's the deal. You break the glass or you're done.
RIMM can open the Playbook, and the upcoming Blackberry QNX-based OS, to essentially all Android applications in less than one hour.
All they have to do is put GAPPS on App World and instantly you will have access to the entire Android Market.
Yes, some things won't run right.
But most will.
Or you can execute a deal with someone to take your technology advantage and do something useful with it, which beats what you're doing now. You might get $20/share for the company today, but the bad news is that was $25/share a couple of months ago and it'll be $10 in another two months if you sit on your ass, which is what the market believes.
You have the best tablet in the 7" formfactor. It's fast, it's stable, it has insanely good standby battery life, it's a true instant-on device. It plays videos without stuttering, the browser is absolutely rock-solid and faithful to the original intent on a PC screen and it's HDMI connectivity is awesome, feeding both video and audio to my nice fat widescreen TVs. On top of that the batter life on standby is best-in-class by far and it's damn good when in actual use too. I simply have never grabbed for it and found it out of juice. I don't need to pay attention to charging it, I don't need a docking stand, it just sits on my desk and when I want to use it I grab it, plugging it in once a week or so to replenish the battery. Try that with the competition.
I like it, in short.
But the application base sucks donkey balls and if you don't fix that, right now, you're finished, and the same problem will exist for your new phones dooming them too.
I don't know if you have a business model that works with an open loading environment for Android apps. If you don't then your board needs to pull a Bud Dwyer right here and now and put it on Youtube so we can all watch.
It would be the honorable thing to do.
Disclosure: The author plays in this stock frequently, has a position now, but if the idiocy continues is likely to simply short it looking for a $2.50 downside target on the way to zero.