Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) did something admirable last January. With no support from the wider tech community and little cash to spend, the company unveiled its new line of smart phones, built on its BB10 software. Six months later and that looks like a mistake. There doesn't seem to be a way out for the Canadian handset maker.
By committing themselves to the smartphone hardware market, Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) cut itself off from pursuits many analysts thought could save the company. Now it's probably too late to double back and look at trying to become a software company. There's a huge amount of obstacles, and a slim chance of success.
BBRY Chasing Waterfalls
Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) wanted to be a smartphone player. The first half of this year has shown that becoming reasonably profitable in that business is going to take time. That's one of the many resources the company has in short supply.
Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) did, by all accounts, make a couple of great smart phones this year. BB10 is a solid mobile operating system, and the company's hardware remained as good as ever. The problems arose, as they always do, with third party application support. Research In Motion hasn't attracted any. The ecosystem is one of the major draws toward a new smart phone.
The BlackBerry Z10, the company's flagship smart phone model, began being discounted by major mobile carriers in the United States last week according to reports. There's little demand for the BlackBerry, and though that's expected to pick up in the second half of the year, the company itself is unlikely to follow suit.
Research In Motion could have become a software company. The firm could have sold its hardware business a year or two ago and concentrated on making the messaging and management software that inspired demand for their phones in the company's golden age. It seems too late to turn around now.
Competition in mobile management is fierce and messaging is one of the hardest fought battle grounds of all. Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) seems to have little turnaround room. It's probably too early to deliver a eulogy, but it's not too early to start writing one.