Research In Motion (RIM), the company behind the Blackberry phenomenon and Playbook, has today reported its quarterly earnings of $329 million, compared with a year-ago at $797 million.

The shocking, but not unexpected, results are a clear indication in the shift of consumers to more vibrant smart phones.  RIM have struggled to keep up with the fast changing mobile market, and traditionally have relied heavily on the corporates for their loyalty.  However new devices are becoming far more corporate savvy by including the features required to centralise control of the devices in a large organisation.

RIM's operating systems went through a relatively recent update to version 6, with version 7 promised for sometime next year.  Notably they have not produced a new device in the past twelve months and their portfolio is looking stagnant.  Even the much hyped, and little liked, Playbook has failed miserably with RIM only shipping around 200,000 in the last quarter compared to market leaders Apple, who shipped almost 9 million.

RIM have lost their way in the mobile market -- they now produce several variations on a theme making it difficult for developers to code apps to suit all devices; they have had a stab at keyboard-less input with mixed results; their Playbook has completely missed the mark (even the name does not sit well); their operating system looks dated, and perhaps most significantly they have missed several delivery dates for new devices.

RIM had a brief spell of popularity with the fickle youth market as they embraced BB Messenger, replacing the humble text message with a more dynamic, and free, messaging service.  Facebook have just launched their own messenger service across an array of devices; Samsung are promising big things with ChatOn and Apple iOS & Google Android pushing too -- none of this bodes well for RIM

If I were a RIM investor I would be considering my options at this point.  Perhaps they have become too complacent in the market.

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