Research In Motion’s recent BlackBerry outage was the worst in the company’s history, leaving BlackBerry users in the Middle East, Europe, parts of South America, Canada, Africa and the United States without service for a total of three days. This major outage could cost the Canadian vendor more than $100 million, Financial Post reported on Friday. The costs include refunds RIM may have to issue carriers for monthly fees it collects for each BlackBerry user. “Given a large portion of global traffic looks potentially affected we believe that a 5% impact to service fee revenue is plausible though likely worse case,” JPMorgan Chase analyst Rod Hall said. Read on for more. More →
Shares of RIM stock have taken a beating since the company announced devastating first-quarter earnings last Thursday. The Waterloo, Ontario-based BlackBerry maker missed Wall Street’s first-quarter consensus, it lowered its full-year guidance, it announced workforce reductions, it confirmed product delays and investors went running for the door as did a top executive. Since the earnings release last week, RIM’s stock has fallen more than 25%. This is bad news for every RIM investor, but two in particular must be especially upset. RIM Co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie collectively own more than 10% of the company, a stake that helped each man achieve billionaire status. Last year, Lazaridis was ranked the world’s 651st richest man by Forbes with a net worth of $1.9 billion, and Balsillie was No. 692 on the list with a net worth of $1.8 billion. Fast forward to today, and neither man can call himself a billionaire any longer. The cheifs’ stake in the company is still worth more than $1 billion combined, but separately, their net worths are now just roughly $800 million a piece. We doubt the employees set to be laid off in the coming weeks and months will shed any tears for the Co-CEOs’ loss, but it’s just another piece of a puzzle that continues to fall apart. Some analysts believe RIM is hardly out for the count, however, and we agree that the company has a bit of fight left in it. If Balsillie and Lazaridis hope to rejoin the billionaire club, it’s time to put those gloves on and start swinging. More →
Dual-core processor-packing smartphones are a hot-ticket item at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, and it looks like RIM must have felt a little left out. While the Canadian phone maker didn’t have any dual-core BlackBerry phones on display at the show, RIM Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis did confirm in an interview that a more powerful breed of Berry is in the company’s plans. Unfortunately for speed-hungry BlackBerry users, it looks like it might not happen any time soon. Lazaridis told PC Magazine that future “super-phones” will indeed have to have dual-core processors, but he noted that the current crop of dual-core CPUs are just too hard on the battery to make their way into BlackBerry phones — and we all know how much RIM loves its battery life. Hit the read link for a great little interview by Sascha Segan over on the PC Magazine website. More →
Well, here is what we have confirmed: the keynote today, delivered by Mike Lazaridis, will focus on the next generation tablet OS platform. It won’t focus or really feature any hardware, unfortunately. Our source said it would be unlikely for RIM to announce the mysterious tablet device during a developer event. We agree. Is it possible there will be a shot of hardware on a slide during the presentation, or even a non-working device somewhere? It’s possible, but again, this will be about the platform, the developers, and software. Don’t count on a device announcement/availability.
Separately: we have heard the tablet OS is a pretty long way away from being completed. Also, the QNX-based OS that is rumored to extend to the traditional BlackBerry lineup is barely even started at this point; since internally it’s not confirmed that it will in fact power BlackBerry smartphones. We have also been told porting all of RIMs advancements like battery optimization, email compression, BES integration, etc. is a very tedious process.