analysts were all over Research in Motion Friday after the company issued
sharply lower guidance for 2012 and warned of forthcoming layoffs. See, for
example, Barron's take here.
recognized the role Apple's iPhone and Google's Android played in marginalizing
the BlackBerry. But none of them were quite as blunt as Needham's Charlie Wolf,
who titled his note to clients "RIMM: What do you do when your one trick
no longer works?"
If you are
smart enough to know what that means, and yet you still use Facebook, then go
ahead and hack away. The rest of us can either wait for the official launch, or
wait for Google to release Google Plus for the iPad.
BlackBerry's share in the U.S. smartphone market beginning to crumble, Research
in Motion made the strategic decision in 2009 to attempt to offset U.S. share
losses through growth in international markets. BlackBerry's loss of share in
the U.S. initially reflected Verizon's decision to switch its "halo"
brand status from BlackBerry to Android. Verizon had promoted BlackBerry as an
alternative to the iPhone, relying on a steady barrage of buy-one, and get-one-
free (BOGO) promotions to bolster BlackBerry sales. But the strategy backfired
because there was no mistaking a BlackBerry for an iPhone. In the fourth
quarter of 2009, Verizon hitched its wagon to Android, reportedly spending over
$100 million to build the Verizon Droid brand. Verizon continued to offer
BlackBerry BOGOs. But no longer in the spotlight, BlackBerry's share at Verizon
began to recede.