There's little doubt that the once bulletproof Research in Motion (RIM) is now in dire-straits with their current lineup of BlackBerry devices--such a down fall has given Microsoft leg room to vie for third in the smartphone category worldwide. To combat their current downward trajectory, RIM is betting a lot on 'BlackBerry 10', but now the company has revealed that their next-generation OS and hardware won't be ready till late 2012. That delay has caused their stock to plummet, dropping 77% in the last year (12% just on Friday) and in addition, has caused many investors (and consumers) to lose faith that the company can recover. Palm was in this same position with their transition from PalmOS to webOS and they didn't live to tell the tale. Microsoft too was in a similar position back with Windows Mobile--but Microsoft has other businesses and mobile, while important, is not make-or-break for the company.
Some investors have called for RIM to sell itself off or at least its patents. Others have called for their buyout, with some suggesting even Microsoft would be a good suitor (we're not convinced). Now, Evercore Partners, an investment banking advisory firm, is calling on RIM to adopt Windows Phone for their OS:
"We now believe that RIMM needs to adopt an existing ecosystem (Windows Phone) in order to remain a relevant player in the smartphone market"
Or as CNN put it, RIM needs to become the Canadian version of Nokia. Granted, Evercore is but one firm suggesting this but that is usually all that is needed to get people (and people with money) talking. We're not sure of the feasibility of such an adoption in the long run, but you have to admit, if RIM to did announce next week that they were switching to Windows Phone OS, they would certainly get a huge boost in their stock as a vote of confidence (or perhaps just relief). Microsoft too would gain much more gusto as they would have secured yet another prominent and reliable hardware partner--one with an outstanding reputation.
So while we don't see this actually happening, we sure do like the sound of it. In fact, it sounds a lot better than Microsoft buying RIM. We say let RIM live on, but with another ghost in the machine.