First and foremost, RIM is dying. Anyone with knowledge of their situation knows that they have already lost the war against Apple, Google, and even Microsoft when it comes to being a player in the mobile device industry even if they still have a substantial chunk of the market. Recent reports indicate that they were approached by Amazon and others to help them get back on track but passed on the offers.
“They have had approaches from folks who have wanted to have discussions,” said one head of technology investment banking at a Wall Street bank. “The issue is it is hard to find a value that makes sense with a falling knife.”
Could Amazon have saved them?
The short answer is, “Yes”. The BlackBerry name is still stout in the business world, stout enough to remain a player indefinitely if the right moves had been made. Companies like Amazon have demonstrated that positioning and market share are the keys to success in the many industries, including the mobile device world.
Plunging values surrounding declining market share and weak sales of the PlayBook tablet many running from the company. This is unfortunate because they truly do have good products that can stand up to much of the competition. They simply haven’t been able to switch their position or change the stigma that started with the introduction of the iPhone and subsequent gains by Android into their turf.
An Amazon merger would have represented many things to both companies, most notably a solid foundation of security that scares people from engaging with BlackBerry, PlayBook, and other RIM products. Nobody wants technology that is going to eventually fail even if they prefer it today. A merger with or purchase by Amazon would have given them the spark of hope they would have needed to gain the trust of consumers, the faith of app developers, and the exposure by retailers.
Many believe that RIM, a true trendsetter in the mobile productivity arena, may no longer exist as early as 2014. This would be a shame. Will we see President Obama sporting an iPhone if he gets a second term?