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BlackBerry 10 garners praise, but no one seems to think it’s enough

Zach Epstein
January 31st, 2013 at 9:30 AM
BlackBerry 10 Criticism

BlackBerry 10 was introduced to the world on Wednesday and Wall Street was not impressed. RIM (RIMM), now rebranded as BlackBerry, saw its stock plummet 12% after having been propped up over the past couple weeks and it continued down another 6% in pre-market trading on Thursday. It’s not that people think BlackBerry 10 is awful, in fact the new OS has garnered a fair amount of praise so far. It’s just that no one seems to think BlackBerry’s new effort is enough to get the company back in the game.

“While we were impressed with the features of the new OS, we believe RIM has only closed the gap with more mature smartphone OS platforms and offered limited differentiating services or features to win back customers from more mature ecosystems,” Canaccord Genuity analyst T. Michael Walkley told clients in a note on Wednesday evening. “Further, we believe the carrier pricing of the new Z10 smartphone versus competing high-end smartphones creates a tough environment for strong BB10 sales to turn around BlackBerry’s long term business trends.”

RBC Capital Markets’ Mark Sue says skeptical investors needed more in order to be convinced BlackBerry 10 can thrive in the modern smartphone market. “There are several things we like about BlackBerry 10 and its new devices, yet several things are missing and the timing of the U.S. launch means we’re reducing our initial CY13 unit expectations,” Sue wrote in a note on Thursday morning. He believes BlackBerry may not see stable earnings until 2015.

And according to market news site Benzinga, BlackBerry 10 bombed. “BlackBerry has done absolutely nothing to genuinely inspire consumers to drop their existing phones for BB10. Not even a guy with a ponytail can change that.” Benzinga writer Louis Bedigian noted in a contribution to Forbes. “Investors are no more impressed than the critics. Shares of RIM have plummeted roughly eight percent today, signaling an end to the tech stock that had become Wall Street’s new shining star.”

RBC maintained its Sector Perform rating on BlackBerry shares but trimmed its price target to $18 from $19, and Cannacord’s Walkley reiterated his Sell rating with a $9 price target.[bgr-post-bug]

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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