RIM’s mobile offerings are in a heap of trouble on the stock market, and its shareholders sought answers at its annual shareholder meeting held in an auditorium on the Wilfrid Laurier campus last week. RIM has long been criticized for not diversifying itself as the mobile market evolved. While they may have had market share since smartphone adoption really got started, that is no longer the case. BlackBerry simply doesn’t have the apps, social networking, or even web browsing capabilities that iPhones and Androids possess. If you don’t allow your users to easily access their content from the cloud on their mobile device, you can’t expect to keep your them happy.
While the RIM senior executives and board members tried to ease shareholders concerns, it was clear that the relationship was in trouble. Voters withheld 15 and 30 per cent of the votes for election of a board member, which suggests they don’t like the candidates they were offered. “[The board] has to look at the break-up for the company into the handset business and the software and services platform, and a potential sale of either or both or private placement funding investments by giant competitors like Microsoft, IBM, Facebook and others,” says Vic Alboini, chief executive for Jaguar Financial. “That will save this company. Their whole focus continues to be on licensing the BB10 platform, joint ventures and partnerships. And again, you can’t put all your eggs in one basket.”
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