NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- It is hard to quantify how unimpressive if not abhorrently pathetic smartphone manufacturer Research in Motion ( RIMM) has become. Research in Motion at its peak had Wall Street by the collar and made the word "BlackBerry" synonymous with enterprise status -- an iconic presence that transcended to pop culture with consumers wearing their phones like wannabe corporate executives. Even high school students could not get enough of the BlackBerry craze that eventually made its ways to Jay-Z rap songs.
However today, consumers don't go around admitting they own a BlackBerry. It would be like admitting a battle with low self-esteem or like a display of gross stubbornness, an inability to leave the past behind. Though the company has clearly lost its battle with Apple ( AAPL) and Google ( GOOG), investors have continued to think RIM would come up with a way to survive or maybe even was just one good idea away from regaining its form. One such idea hinged on the BlackBerry 10. Hope reigns eternal but is not an investment strategy. As it turns out, hope was all the company had for this project.
Same Old, Same Old
In a recent article I talked about how the company seemed to finally be embracing a shift in focus to the "entry-level" devices to compete more effectively with Nokia ( NOK). Although there were doubts that this would indeed be the direction that the company takes, this idea makes a lot of sense on many levels. But if it didn't appear true last week, by now the company and investors must see that it needs to be a top priority -- there couldn't have been any clearer evidence than when RIM offered the market a glimpse of the highly anticipated BlackBerry 10 platform at its May 1 annual world showcase. While the company's intent was to reassure investors, it instead showed that RIM may even be unprepared to compete with Microsoft's ( MSFT) Windows phone, much less recoup lost market share from the iPhone. As much hope has been placed on the BB10, the platform fell short of expectations. Certainly it is not impressive enough to drive consumers to spend.