BlackBerry may be down, but they’re not out yet. The company has reported that their user base is now up to 80 million and their new OS, the BlackBerry 10, is coming out early next year. Could RIM finally be heading to better days?
A recent report from Reuters reveals that the beleaguered Canadian company is experiencing spikes in its lifeline. BlackBerry reported that they’ve enticed an additional 2 million users to the 78 million it reported earlier this year. The increase was a happy surprise for many and lead to a slight bump in the company’s share prices:
“The company’s Nasdaq-listed shares rose 5.9 percent to $6.68 in afternoon trading, following the announcement. Its Toronto-listed shares rose by a similar level to C$6.54. RIM’s stock is currently hovering around 9-year lows on both the Nasdaq and Toronto Stock Exchange. At its peak, in 2008, RIM stock changed hands at around $140 a share.”
Analysts credit the subscriber base growth to the fact that the BlackBerry brand is still able to attract new users in more price-conscious emerging markets with lower-end devices and their proprietary BlackBerry messaging platform. The growth, however, may end up hurting RIM in the long run since it’s “skewed toward lower-end devices” and can drag down the average selling price of Blackberry units.
RIM has been feverishly trying to reinvent itself to try and recover some of ground they lost to Apple and Samsung. It plans to release a new version of their OS, the BlackBerry 10, and several new handsets early next year. So far, the response has been positive. Neeraj Chawla, a developer from Washington, has praised the new OS and sees it potentially ushering a brighter future for RIM and BlackBerry:
“There are a lot of good things in BlackBerry and a lot of people are very devoted to their BlackBerrys. They will need some time to reinvigorate the market, but I do see enough underpinnings that it will come. Don’t write them off yet.”
Could BlackBerry 10 finally turn things around for RIM? What new features do you think RIM should work on for BlackBerry 10 to make it more attractive to consumers? Share your thoughts below!