What goes up apparently must come down – a point proven once again this week by RIM’s rollercoaster of highs and lows in the build-up to the BlackBerry 10 release date. Following a monumental wave of positive tidings, growing investor confidence and a world that was fast falling in love with the upcoming BlackBerry 10, RIM has suffered a damaging fall in share values totaling near 25%.
Thursday’s address from company CEO Thorsten Heins was largely expected to be one of doom and gloom in a financial sense, as the company’s almost exclusive focus on BlackBerry 10 would inevitably lead to poor performance and dwindling revenues in the meantime. However, Heins took the opportunity to reveal RIM’s plans to impose a new service fee structure which resulted in investors running for the hills in worrying numbers.
The BlackBerry maker has historically always charged both carriers and corporate organizations for the use of the company’s global messaging service, which has proved to not only be one of the company’s most popular services, but also one if its most important generators of revenue as sales and market-share have plummeted over recent years.
During his address, Heins revealed that a new fee “menu” would be introduced next year as of the BlackBerry 10 release date and while he didn’t offer any clarification of the details, he did say that the new system would put further “pressure” on profits.
Already concerned with RIM’s profitability, investors interpreted the news as one risk too many and beat a hasty retreat.
The next day, Heins repeatedly took to the airwaves in an attempt to reassure investors and critics that the change would not have a large or immediate impact, but would be imposed gradually. He did however refuse to pass comment when directly quizzed about the details of the scheme.
BlackBerry 10 is widely regarded as RIM’s last remain shot at returning the company to stability after being almost entirely driven into the ground by competition from Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS.