Research In Motion took another reputation hit from Wall Street this week when a Bernstein analyst issued a dire view of the BlackBerry makers market share.
Pierre Ferragu of Bernstein joins several other RIM watchers in predicting the company needs to sell to a more stable company such as Microsoft Corp. to survive, a deal similar to the one rival Palm Inc. recently did with HP. In fact, Ferragu dubbed RIMs outlook scary.”
For RIM, the problem stems from the enterprise market, Ferragu said in a research note. The BlackBerry historically has dominated in a sector that has grown saturated. Theres more room for competition among small and medium businesses, yet options there do remain limited. Most of all, more and more corporate users are turning to iPhones and Android-based mobile devices, undercutting RIMs lead over Apple, Motorola and other manufacturers. Smartphones such as the iPhone are proving more attractive not just to consumers, but to professionals and road warriors and their IT departments approve.
We expect these companies to progressively ramp up the installed base of non-Blackberry solutions and therefore expect increased pressure on RIMs performance,” Ferragu wrote, according to All Things D.
All of that is bad news for RIM, which has had a roller-coaster month thanks to a potential shutdown in India, waning business loyalty and yet, at the same time, reportedly solid Torch sales. Now, fears over the companys future are resurfacing and observers calling for a tie-up with a stronger competitor with Microsoft as the lead suspect. The software giant so far has failed in its mobility strategy recall the Kin debacle and could use RIMs strengths to its advantage.
Despite the doom and gloom, though, shares of RIM were trading 3.76 percent higher at about 1:30 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday, reaching $44.45.