Analysts to new RIM CEO: Just launch better phones already
Research in Motion has appointed a new CEO in an effort to appease investors who clamored for the ouster of its co-CEO’s Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, the architects of the Blackberry. Analysts described the appointment as a step in the right direction but they were still anxious after Thorsten Heins’ first presentation to Wall Street as CEO.
The executive vowed to improve RIM’s marketing to help win over consumers particularly in the U.S. market where it has lost out to Apple and others . That’s all very well, according to Wall Street analysts but what about its’ much delayed launch of its next generation of BlackBerrys?
“That’s not going to make a difference. What they have is not a messaging problem but a product and market structure problem,” said Pacific Crest analyst James Faucette. “They have to have products better than the iPhone or Android. They don’t have products that are competitive with those let alone better.”
Another analyst Hudson Square analyst Daniel Ernst was also focused on products such as the BlackBerry 10 smartphones due out later this year.
“RIM is behind. Those issues go deeper than having Co-CEO’s,” Ernst said. ”Nothing they can do is as important as having Blackberry 10 out there and working.”
Some analysts were disappointed that Heins did not announce any intentions to look for big strategy changes. But others just want new stand-out phones to that turn consumers’ heads and they want them NOW. In comparison, a whole host of competitors – Apple, Samsung, Nokia, HTC to name a few – seem to be able to churn out popular phones far faster than RIM.
“There’s a lot to do and there’s little time for them to do it,” said Gartner analyst Michael Gartenberg. “They’re going to have to come up with the answer to the question the consumer is asking. Why should I buy your stuff instead of anybody else’s?”