These are dark days for BlackBerry and Research in Motion (RIM). Though the Canadian company's smartphones continue to sell well in some emerging markets, including SA, consumers at the higher end - they are the more profitable segment for handset manufacturers - are abandoning it for the Apple iPhone and devices running Google's Android operating system.
On Friday, RIM shares plummeted by nearly 20% after it said it had reported a loss of more than half a billion dollars and that it would cut 5 000 jobs. Most seriously, though, it said it had been forced to delay the release of BlackBerry 10 - the software it's pinning its survival on - until 2013.
Speculation is growing of a possible tie-up with Microsoft, which is already in bed with another troubled mobile device manufacturer, Nokia. The Finnish company has thrown its lot in with the US software maker and committed its future smartphone strategy to Windows Phone. There's also a talk of asset-stripping RIM before there's no value left to salvage.
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