Let’s get this out of the way – at the end of the day, business is about bringing in money. With that said, one shareholder of RIM’s – Canada-based Jaguar Financial Group – has called RIM out on its recent performance.
The open letter, headed by Jaguar CEO Vic Alboni, chastises RIM for failing to inspire consumer interest and enthusiasm. Jaguar noted that RIM is consistently losing market share to Apple and Android, citing recent findings from the likes of Comscore, Nielsen and Gartner.
While its rivals have demonstrated an ability to develop and market products with features that inspire consumer enthusiasm and drive higher adoption rates, RIM has clearly fallen short. Its failure to offer products with innovative features, combined with its limited selection of applications, has resulted in RIM losing market share to its competitors. While few would question the email and security capabilities of RIM’s BlackBerry platform, the reality is that RIM has failed to develop the multi-purpose device that meets the requirements of today’s dynamic consumer landscape.
The BlackBerry, once a market leader, has been relegated to number 3 in terms of market share behind Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android phones. A recent comScore report estimated that RIM’s U.S. smartphone market share declined from 39% to 22% over the twelve month period ended July 31, 2011. This decline in the Company’s standing can largely be attributed to significant execution delays, inadequate mobile applications, and the lack of a competitive product that addresses the needs of the consumer marketplace.
With a reduced market share for RIM there is the serious risk that developers of mobile applications will prioritize developing applications for RIM’s competitors. There should be a concerted focus for RIM to encourage or finance the development of cutting edge mobile applications. This lack of an effective ecosystem is a key shortcoming that needs to be addressed.
Jaguar gives insight into what RIM needs to do to bounce back, but ultimately it sounds like they’re not confident RIM can and would rather see RIM bring in some major dough on their assets.
This isn’t the first time RIM has been criticized by those who have close ties. In a previous open letter to RIM executives, one employee criticized them for failing to look at the end-users’ needs rather than their partners’. They also chastised RIM for a lack of marketing, poor third-party developer relations and rushing products and shipping them before they’re ready, among other things.
While the employee’s concerns were more on the innovation side, the financial side of things aren’t looking too well for all those who own stock in RIM. It all comes together at that point and the fact that they’re failing on both sides of the ball means they are in more danger than they’ve ever been in.
If RIM does comply (but we don’t think they will unless they’re really on thin ice) with the patent auction request, let’s hope the guys in Mountain View are up bright and early for the proceedings. Read the full letter here. [via Bloomberg]