NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The days of an independent Research In Motion (RIMM) appear to be numbered. Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG) have destroyed RIM and Nokia (NOK). Nokia is barely able to keep the lights on, and RIM's chart is equally painful to look at.On August 2011, I wrote an article asking if RIM can survive another year. I believed the odds favored a buyout. By November 2011, I wrote a follow-up article that in a nutshell stated the Apple and Sprint contract will force a RIM takeover.
|RIM CEO Thorsten Heins|
Heins, on one hand, is stressing the delay was "not related to quality or functionality," and on the other advising the delays are from porting code and will take longer than six months to solve. Well, which is it? If the platform has the desired quality and functionality, why is BB10 not getting released in 2012? Many global carrier partners "actually prefer a Q1 launch," Heins stated Thursday. That may be all well and true, but investors prefer to know how grim things are as soon as possible. Additionally, investors prefer a sooner rather than later launch after enduring several previous postponements. When sooner rather than later is the difference between reaching the holiday season or not, the situation becomes increasingly exigent.
If all you're selling is the current customer base, IP assets and infrastructure, why put a lot of money into creating new technology that isn't likely going to compete against iPhone 5 and Android? If Hein believes a sale is going to happen sooner rather than later, it doesn't make sense to pour millions of dollars into a project a buyer may not want. Watch for a sale of RIM. Better yet, if you're an investor, hope for a buyout within 2012. Any other move is unlikely to provide a greater value for shareholders at this point. I imagine management at Nokia is paying close attention also. This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.