NEW YORK (
Research in Motion's
(RIMM) collapse should have taught investors a thing or two about respect.
Respect for history and trends.
RIMM bulls floated every rationalization they could cherry-pick even while it was clear all hope was lost.
Let's get something straight before we move to second base: I am not suggesting
(INTC - Get Report) will experience hell as RIM has. It could, however, get incredibly close.
A major distinction divides the two companies.
RIM leadership, particularly Jim
You Don't Need An App To Surf The Web
Basillie, was either too incompetent, arrogant or a mix of both to realize it missed badly. RIM wrapped a tourniquet around the gushing artery also known as BlackBerry way too late. Now, RIM might not survive.
Intel actually has savvy management. I feel bad for these guys because, to a certain extent, they deserve the benefit of the doubt. I'm not sure you can hammer Intel for missing on mobile as hard as you can RIM for missing on everything.
Intel missed the
-driven move to mobile devices as badly as the next guy. No question. But to have been able to catch it, seismic shifts needed to take place in that organization. Given the enormity of that operation, I'm not surprised Intel dropped the ball.
Unlike RIM, however, Intel management never made asinine statements about mobile being a fad. Intel never uttered the clueless equivalent of
you don't need an app to surf the Web
. If it did, I missed it.
Intel probably saw the writing on the wall earlier than we assume. Maybe the company simply wasn't/isn't nimble enough to move?
There's the benefit of the doubt, but no amount of finesse can change reality at Intel. The company is in big trouble, at least from a Wall Street perspective.
Recall my qualifier -- it's not as bad at Intel as it is/was at RIM and probably will not get that bad. But look at the zigzag lines on this comparison between the two companies.
RIMM Revenue Quarterly
A while ago, RIM was on top of the world. Quietly kicking bum and taking names from the diminutive Canadian hamlet called Waterloo. Things turned sour faster than the last 10 years' worth of Toronto Maple Leafs' regular seasons.