RIM Gets Questioned On Wall Street
While the Blackberry remains at the top of the push email market for the time being, Research In Motion is coming under ever-increasing competition from a wide assortment of other vendors as mobile email becomes a commodity offering. RIM's latest growth strategy was the release of the Blackberry Pearl, a device with multimedia features and a camera that was intended to open up the consumer market. Now, a Wall Street analyst says that indeed, the Pearl is selling well -- but it's cannibalizing sales of other Blackberry devices. Rather than growing overall sales, market share and user base, he says 60 to 70% of Pearls are being sold to existing Blackberry users. This is a bit of a problem for RIM, or at least its stock price. It enjoys a higher multiple than other mobile handset makers because it gets a monthly subscription fee from every Blackberry user; selling lots of replacement handsets doesn't grow that base. This isn't a new trend, either, suggesting that RIM's premium over traditional handset vendors may not be fully justified if it can't maintain subscriber growth.