It beat its own low expectations, but anyone that has been following the RIM narrative understands what this really is. Aside from the loss in profit, what the numbers really showed were significant declines in revenue as well as sustained weakness in gross, operating and profit margins which arrived at 26%, -12.63% and -8.18% respectively.
Not only did the numbers show a drop from the prior quarter, but they lead to an overall gross margin dollar decline of 5.2%. Essentially its report was merely "less bad" than everyone expected.
I wonder whether RIM can leverage this small victory into longer term success -- particularly since enterprises have now adopted BYOD (or "bring your own device") and proving that the advantage that RIM once had over messaging and security are no longer considered "must haves." It's time that RIM start looking beyond hardware and focus more on its service side of the business such as Mobile Fusion.
Though turnaround stories often take time to be fully realized, it is not impossible to develop -- particularly for a company with an established brand such as RIM. "Less bad" or not, RIM appears intent on making things interesting.
At the time of publication, the author was long AAPL and held no position in any of the other stocks mentioned
This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.