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Ticonderoga: iPhone 5 to ‘steamroll’ new BlackBerry phones, PlayBook an iPad ‘casualty’

Among the firms losing hope in Research In Motion following another dismal earnings report, Ticonderoga Securities is telling investors to be cautious with RIM. Analyst Brian White fails to see the pot of gold at the end of this rainbow, and suggests that competitors — Apple, in particular — are beating RIM to the punch. “In our view, the fall of RIMM with its ‘too-little-too-late’ BlackBerry refresh will continue to add to Apple’s momentum that we believe could be off the charts with the iPhone 5 launch,” White wrote in a note to investors on Friday. Read on for more.

RIM on Thursday reported fiscal second-quarter earnings that missed Wall Street’s consensus as well as the company’s own forecast. Profit tumbled almost 60% year-over-year to $329 million and the company burned through more than half of the cash it had at the end of the first quarter, leaving RIM with $1.4 billion on hand. The vendor shipped 10.6 million smartphones, below the 11 million to 12.5 million range it had projected, and it only managed to ship 200,000 PlayBook tablets into sales channels.

“RIMM continues to struggle with smartphone market share and we expect the new BlackBerry 7 devices will be steamrolled by Apple’s iPhone 5 in October,” White wrote in his note. BGR noted in an earlier report that RIM’s share of the global smartphone market may have dipped into the single digits last quarter. The analyst continued, “We believe it is only a matter of time before the iPhone and iPad challenge RIMM’s enterprise dominance. Furthermore, we believe the PlayBook is poised to follow HP’s TouchPad as the next casualty of iPad’s tablet dominance.”

RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie said during the company’s earnings call on Thursday that it would soon begin selling its PlayBook tablets at lower price points, though he did not elaborate. Balsillie also noted that a software update would be made available for the PlayBook next month that will finally bring native email and other PIM functions to the device, as well as RIM’s Android app player.

White sees a bumpy road ahead for RIM, and he says it is difficult to take the company’s optimistic outlook seriously. “For 3QFY12, RIMM expects revenue of $5.3-$5.6 billion (up 27%-34% Q/Q vs. nine-year average of up 16%) versus the Street’s estimate of $5.27 billion, with BlackBerry shipments at 13.5-14.5 million (up 27-37% vs. nine-year average of up 21%),” the analyst wrote. “Having repeatedly provided an overly optimistic outlook and the iPhone 5 poised to launch soon, we believe RIMM will again come up short.”

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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