BlackBerry 10 said to show promise, but it can’t dent iPhone or Android

Research In Motion (RIMM) shares have surged recently following a series of positive reports suggesting RIM still has money to make ahead of its upcoming BlackBerry 10 launch, and that BlackBerry 10 itself may find success despite being written off by a number of industry watchers. Bears rushed to cast doubt on a RIM comeback, however, and now a new report on Monday morning suggests any potential success RIM sees with BlackBerry 10 will likely be short-lived.

Canaccord Genuity analyst T. Michael Walkley on Monday issued a note to clients covering RIM’s recent run. He believes BlackBerry 10 could offer RIM some brief aid but in the long term, he doesn’t see the new platform gaining momentum against market leaders.

“Over the past month, RIM shares have markedly increased ahead of the January 30 launch of long-awaited high-tier BlackBerry 10 smartphones,” Walkley wrote. ”While initial sales of higher-ASP BlackBerry 10 smartphones should improve RIM’s January and May quarter device sales and ASP mix, our checks and analysis of the global competitive landscape suggest a very low probability BlackBerry 10 sales can turn around RIM’s long-term business trends.”

The analyst continued, “Our checks indicate high-ARPU consumers continue to switch from BlackBerry to sticky iPhone and Android ecosystems in droves, BYOD (bring your own device) trends continue to lower RIM’s higher-ARPU enterprise base, and sub-$200 3G Android smartphones in emerging markets threaten RIM’s global sales and subscriber base. While we believe BB10 is a dramatically improved user experience versus BB7 and RIM’s new hardware is more competitive with higher-end smartphones, our checks do not indicate the consumer pull, carrier push, or developer excitement necessary for BlackBerry 10 to reverse the challenging trends faced by RIM in order to return the company to sustained profitability.”

Walkley has downgraded RIM shares to Sell, noting that BlackBerry 10 will likely not return RIM to sustained profitability.


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