New CEO Brings Hope for BlackBerry Maker: Strategist

BlackBerry maker RIM has gone beyond the tipping point for launching a successful fight back against Apple’s iPhone, but new CEO Thorsten Heins could offer the company some hope, Tim Daniels, TMT Sector Strategist at Olivetree Securities told CNBC.

Blackberry Bold
Blackberry Bold

“I think we passed the tipping point two or three years ago,” he said.

Daniels explained that RIM and Nokia, two market giants in the cell phone industry when Apple’s iPhone was launched in 2007, made the fatal error of dismissing the Apple device.

“What they both have in common is that they utterly dismissed the Apple iPhone when it came out; it was seen as a semi frivolous gadget and they’ve completely missed this move of this BYOD [bring your own device] to work [trend],” Daniels said.

However, he cautioned against taking BlackBerry’s dismal quarterly results and a share price that has plummeted 76.8 percent in the last 12 months entirely at face value.

“When you look at the last set of numbers, the number of global subscribers for RIM actually went up,” he pointed out.

According to Daniels, the appointment of Thorsten Heins as RIM CEO in January could bring fresh hope for the company.

“Since Thomas Heins was put in the seat at RIM, he’s basically done everything that you could wish for as a shareholder in the company. He shot the old management team who were very much believers in almost a flat earth in terms of the way that the world looked,” Daniels said.

“He’s removed the ex-COO, he removed the Chief Technology officer at these last set of results… he said that he’s open to licensing the software, that he’s open to JVs, that he’s open to takeovers. They’re going to focus down on the core business which is supporting the corporate user,” he added.

Daniels said that there was a need for a third player in the mobile telecoms sector, behind Apple and Google .

“All the value chain in mobile telecoms has been subsumed into Apple. You’ve got Google who are a number one player in terms of volume in the industry, not in terms of value… You need a third player to keep them honest and you know the operators are going to keep RIM on life support until they see if the Windows phone is going to be successful,” he said.