In recent days, several analysts who cover BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion have turned negative on the stock.
Lest you think this is all a buncha hand-wringing, I need to tell you that through the close of yesterday's trading, RIM stock declined 17% over the last six days. Up today a bit more than 2% in heavy trading, but today's spike is not enough to invalidate the tend lines.
I know, I know. We're not a financial blog. But still, the trend that some of them see could have ramifications for BlackBerry users in general.
Expertly gathered and vetted by Information Week's Richard Martin, the trends that are leading analysts to be less enthusiastic about RIM stock have several root causes. Among them are:
Less demand from a stressed-out financial sector. Talk about the law of unintended consequences; the subprime loan mess has been dragging down most financial sectors of the U.S. economy. And should this trend continue, support service purchasing decisions (such as maybe a bunch of new BlackBerrys for your brokers or sales staff) becomes that much more of an elective decision.
A move toward open standards, which allow developers to create compelling third-party applications for those devices that allow it. BlackBerry's rather closed and controlling Operating System is a harder nut to crack. So the fear seems to be that competing devices more amenable to open platforms will be able to tout important third-party content as a reason to buy those handsets and PDAs.
And not BlackBerrys.
In an odd twist of fate, these developments could actually be good for BlackBerry users. Faced with lower-cost competitive devices stuffed with coolness, BlackBerry and its carrier partners may fight back with discounts and promotions.