Research In Motion is quickly becoming one of the most troubled companies in the mobile technology industry. For years, the company was atop its game, delivering some of the finest products in the business and generating stellar earnings for shareholders.
It's problems go far beyond the service outage that started Oct. 11 in parts of Europe, the Middle East, Africa and South America and began affecting users in North America on Oct. 12. RIM has sustained major outages in the past and asserted that infrastructure upgrades would ensure they wouldn't happen again.
However, over the last year or so, RIM market prospects have fallen off a cliff as its sales have dropped, earnings have slid, and stock price has plummeted. Now, some are wondering how much longer RIM will be able to stay profitable before it slips into the red and major trouble ensues.
Unfortunately for RIM co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, there is no easy solution to RIM's troubles. The company is currently faced with a host of issues that, combined, could be enough to take the mobile firm down if not resolved soon. Even separately, these troubles could wreak havoc on RIM's future.
Simply put,RIM is in a tenuous position that could have a profound effect on its business for years to come.
Read on to find out the issues plaguing RIM right now:
1. Look at the financials
One of the biggest issues facing RIM and its prospects for success in the future is its financial performance. Over the last several quarters,RIM's revenue and profit figures have slipped, causing some to wonder how long it'll take before it starts losing money. In fact, during its last-reported quarter ended Aug. 27, RIM generated $4.2 billion in revenue and a profit of $329 million. During the same period last year, its revenue was $4.6 billion and profit reached $797 million. In other words, trouble is afoot.
2. It's no Apple
When it comes to being successful in today's mobile space, being more like Apple isn't such a bad thing. After all, that company has been delivering products for years that consumers and enterprise users want. Plus, companies like Google and Samsung have been successful by delivering products that mimic the functionality of Apple's solutions. RIM, meanwhile, has stuck with its same old strategy. As the last several quarters have shown, that's not a good idea.
3. The co-CEOs are killing it
Unlike so many other firms in the industry, RIM has two CEOs-Lazaridis and Balsillie. Although the company has said in the past that it believes that's a good thing, it really isn't.Neither of the CEOs really knows what to do to be successful today. Worse, they're stubbornly clinging to the past. That's not good for RIM or its customers.
4. Investors have no faith
RIM's troubles have been a major issue for shareholders. Over the last year, RIM's stock value has declined by more than 50 percent as many shareholders lost all faith in the company's ability to turn things around. If the decline continues, a significant shakeup in management and market focus could come about. As history has shown, such tumult is rarely good for a company.