Research In Motion Limited (USA) (NASDAQ:RIMM) (TSE:RIM) has lost more than a quarter of its market value over the last four days, despite the long awaited launch of its BlackBerry 10 product line yesterday.
BlackBerry, formerly known as Research In Motion Limited (NASDAQ:RIMM) (TSE:RIM), unveiled its two flagship smartphones – the touch screen Z10 and the keyboard-based Q10 at a launch yesterday. While the newly launched BlackBerry phones seem to have gained universal acknowledgement over improvements in design and other enhancements, there are some disappointments about their late arrival in the market.
The arrival of the phones, impressive as expected, doesn’t seem enough to take away the pressure on the company.
Analysts at Bank of American Merrill Lynch (BAML) highlighted some major issues in the new BlackBerry 10 smartphones including a weak ecosystem, pricing and poor application variety.
“We searched for the apps installed on our personal iPhone and found out that only 5 out of the 32 apps we searched for are available. Just to name a few missing apps: all of Google apps- Gmail, Google Search, Chrome browser; also missing are travel apps like United and TripIt”
Analyst also raised concerns over the new pricing paradigm that has doubled the price of BB10 to $600, this is a huge difference from the initial pricing of BlackBerry phones previously offered. BB7 was offered free of cost to RIM’s large corporate customers, 100% susbsidized by the carrier, when the device was launched. Analyst suspected that neither the corporates nor the carrier would be willing to cover the wide difference.
With pricing being the key concern at the moment, Analyst foresee difficulties for the company to penetrate the consumers market.
“Despite recent enthusiasm for Research In Motion Limited (NASDAQ:RIMM) (TSE:RIM)’s new BB10 devices, we see limited scope for traction in the hypercompetitive smartphone market,” Credit Suisse analysts wrote in a note.
Although the new operating system and the new split between business and personal modes managed to impress Analysts, they believe that the “new devices will do more to retain existing BlackBerry subscribers than to lure new subscribers.”
Analyst are also concerned about the delay in the launch of the devices in the United States. According to Blackberry, the new devices would not be available in the U.S until March. The fact that U.S carriers wouldn’t be selling the new devices until mid-March was received as a surprise.
The company also announced that the BlackBerry Q10 would not be available in the market until at least a month later.
The Z10 touchscreen device will be the first of the two models to hit the market, with a rollout that starts in Britain on Thursday.