Research In Motion: The Company Analysis

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History of the company

Research In Motion (RIM) was established in 1984 by two engineering students. The two had a vision of coming up with a company that would give solution to numerous challenges encountered in mobile communications industry. The company aimed at developing software and hardware to serve the mobile industry. By 1988, the company had started showing signs of growth. It became the first company in North America to make a breakthrough in packet-switched data transfer networks (ProQuest, 2011). This marked the onset of numerous innovations that have been realized by the company since then. Some of them include the invention of Mobitex Protocol converter, Mobitex point-of-sale terminal, Freedom (a radio modem), [email protected] Pager among others. In 1997, the company registered on the Toronto Stock Exchange. In the same year, the company developed three radio modems (RIM 901M, RIM 801D and OEM). RIM also bagged numerous awards for its excellent innovations. These included the Technology Development Awards, Ontario High Technology Entrepreneur of the Year Award among others (Sweeny, 2009, pp. 135-154).

As a way of improving its performance, Research In Motion started forming strategic alliances with other companies in 1998. To facilitate distribution of its products, the company formed alliances with companies such as American Mobile, International Business Machine, Telxon, Panasonic and the list is endless. The year 1999 saw the company enroll on Nasdaq and also launch products such BlackBerry Wireless email solution plus several radio modems (ProQuest, 2011). In addition, RIM partnered with companies such as Dell to help in distribution of its BlackBerry. The company also worked in collaboration with GoAmerica Communications and Wolfe Tech Corporation to develop BlackBerry software.

In 2000, RIM launched its RIM 957 Wireless Handheld™ and also entered into supply agreements with Earth Link, group Telecom, Bell Mobility, SkyTell among other companies. The year 2003 saw the company appear in the Nasdaq’s top 100 companies. In addition, the company came up with its first color BlackBerry and brought in a licensing program that allowed users of other handsets to access BlackBerry Enterprise Server. In 2004 the company celebrated its 20th anniversary. By then, the company had over two million customers globally (Sweeny, 2009, p. 156). It is in the same year that the company saw a breakthrough in development of SureType (smaller handset’s keyboard). Some of the awards earned by RIM during this year included Best New Technology Award, LAPTOP Editors’ Choice Award, PC Magazine Best in Show Award and many more. Since then, the company has formed alliances with numerous companies facilitating in development of superior handheld communication devices as well as improving on BlackBerry applications.


Despite Research In Motion (RIM) entering into agreement with different companies to facilitate in improving its performance, the company is facing stiff competition in the smartphone market. The launching of Android and iPhone by Google Inc and Apple Inc respectively has greatly reduced competitive advantage that RIM initially enjoyed. Today, some of the company’s shareholders have been seen to sell their shares due to fear that the company may collapse like Nokia and Motorola companies (Desmond, 2008). Apart from the Google Inc and Apple Inc, there are other low-cost producer companies that are cropping up posing a threat to RIM. They include Samsung and LG electronics. With time, BlackBerry has been seen to lose its competitiveness with people preferring to buy Android and iPhone.

Company’s position in the industry

With competition becoming stiff by day, Research In Motion is currently ranked fifth in the smartphone industry. The company has witnessed its market share go down by 5% during its third quarter. This has been attributed to its reliance on old products. During the third quarter, the company sold 11.8 million BlackBerrys world wide which was 15% of what the company had sold in the same quarter in the year 2010 (ProQuest, 2011). Despite the RIM improving on the operating system used by its BlackBerry, it has not come up with new models of the phone and is still relying on the older models. Consequently, it has continued losing its market share to Google Inc and Apple Inc. Currently, Samsung enjoys the top position after overtaking Apple Inc which is in the second position. Nokia Company is third, High Tech Computer Corporation; a smartphone company from Taiwan is fourth while RIM is fifth.

The future of the company

All is not lost for RIM. There is still room for improvement bearing in mind that the company has a record of outdoing its competitors during the third and forth quarters. In addition, companies have not been able to effectively satisfy the smartphone market globally (ProQuest, 2011). This implies that RIM still has a chance of diversifying its market as well as reaching the high-end consumers in areas that its competitors have not been able to reach. The future of the company is bright as its performance is expected to improve as RIM continues upgrading its BlackBerry applications as well as brokering deals with other companies to help in reaching the global market. The fact that BlackBerry has a superior brand name in the market gives the company an upper hand in sustaining its future growth in the market.

Based on the projections made by Zacks Consensus Estimate, RIM is seen to be in the right trend with the company expected to see a 39.09% gain in the year 2011. This is despite there being stiff competition from rival companies. The estimate predicts that the company’s share price will continue going up even in the next fiscal year (ProQuest, 2011). With current growth of the 3G Smartphone market and the fat that RIM has formed alliances with numerous companies, the company is in a position of accessing a wider global market in future. Currently, BlackBerry is strongly gaining market share at the expense of Nokia implying that it might dominate the market in the near future.

Research In Motion has a current liquidity ratio of over two billion dollars. The company does not have outstanding debts (ProQuest, 2011). This leaves the company in a better position to enter into rigorous research and development activities aimed at improving the quality of its products. Hence the company is expected to perform better in the near future.

Reference List

Desmond, M. (2008). It’s War for RIM and Motorola. Web.

ProQuest. (2011). Report information from ProQuest. Web.

Sweeny, A. (2009). BlackBerry planet: the story of Research in Motion and the little device that took the world by storm. Canada: John Wiley & Sons.

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