RIM or Nokia: Which has the better turnaround prospects?

Moderated by Jason Hiner | May 14, 2012 -- 07:00 GMT (00:00 PDT)

Summary: Both companies have suffered extensive market cap losses and share drops, and both are struggling for market share. Which company will fall first?

Zack Whittaker

Zack Whittaker




Matthew Miller

Matthew Miller

Best Argument: RIM

The moderator has delivered a final verdict.

Opening Statements

At least RIM has a paddle

Zack Whittaker: RIM and Nokia are both up the creek, though RIM has a paddle. The BlackBerry brand still commands respect in mobile circles, despite its name suffering thanks to the mismanagement of its corporate parent. When people think of Nokia, they think of 1990's aged brick-sized phones that when dropped would do more damage to the sidewalk than the phone would.

From a financial point of view, the two companies have lost more than 80 percent of their respective market caps in the past five years. RIM has a secure enterprise infrastructure alongside phone-making hardware unit, while Nokia has only the latter. RIM, despite its share price slump, is still an attractive sell. Nokia just has phones and patents. While patents are today's gold dust weaponry, once the litigation wars are over, Nokia will have nothing left.

Nokia's exciting new devices

Matthew Miller: While Apple and Google enjoy the spotlight, Nokia and RIM are trying to stop the bleeding. RIM has primarily focused on the enterprise and this can sustain them for a while, but consumers are bringing more of their own devices to the workplace and RIM's devices are not nearly as desirable as today's modern touchscreen devices.

Nokia made a significant choice to go with Windows Phone and their first two devices in the U.S. are reportedly doing very well. The public has been slow to adopt Windows Phone, but there has been a steady trend upward in sales since launch and the U.S. public is finally getting reacquainted with Nokia.

Nokia's Windows Phones are exciting devices, the applications blow away what is found on BlackBerrys, and they license technology to the other players, while RIM showed off an updated keyboard and some camera software that is coming to BB 10.


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  • Nokia is hamstrung...

    pretty much by a restriction the French military put on them to avoid using GPS (just in case they needed to attack the United States). Without GPS, and the failure of the French inspired Galileo positioning system meant to replace GPS, it's very hard to take control of cell phone standards from Qualcomm. Add to this the massive debt that Nokia burdened themselves with the WCDMA spectrum purchase (GPS-less CDMA), then it's gonna be hard to dig out from that!
    Tony Burzio
    Reply Vote I'm Undecided
    • What!

      What [i]are[/i] you talking about?
      1) The last two Nokia phones I've owned had perfectly functional GPS.
      2) Galileo hasn't failed, and it isn't designed to be a replacement for GPS.
      3) Why would Nokia purchase spectrum. They make phones, they aren't a network provider.
      Reply Vote I'm Undecided
  • I have a BlackBerry with OS 7.1

    Nokia will win easily. I can't even get the Netflix software to run on the phone and even it if did run, it does not play movies. It is just a queue manager. Oh, yea, no support is available for the Movela Netflix Queue Manager on BB. I say that because of have requested help numerous times with no response over the last few months.

    Basically, I am saying that if a big name app like Netflix that you pay for on BB is not getting any support, BB is done already and a new OS that require new versions of software that are not supported already, are just not going to happen.
    Reply Vote I'm for Nokia
  • Both are dead

    Both are in their Death Throes. The only thing RIM has worth saving the BES back-end infrastructure - which needs to be turned into a platoform service BES App's on Android, IOS, WP7 to survive.

    Hopefully a worthy owner will aquire Nokia's Firewall business - Perhaps Checkpoint would be interested as it runs their Firewall software - and somwone their carrier hardware arm they part own with Siemens, though that's not doing too well either.
    Reply Vote I'm Undecided
  • Both have a place

    Both RIM and Nokia will do well in their respective markets and are doing a good job in their own way. Do we advocate having only one car company because it's the best? No, each company and model serve a specific need. Phones aren't the entertainment business - they're just phones.
    Reply Vote I'm Undecided
  • Blackberrys are not cool

    Both are good phones, but Blackberry is still in the stone age of phones. Nokia is moving up with new and exciting new phones I really think in the long run windows phones will surpass android. It will be the younger generation that makes or breaks it for Blackberry and Nokia. And Blackberry just dont see it.
    Reply Vote I'm for Nokia
  • Nokia 900... Excellent phone

    Got a Nokia 900 and love it, the first 24 hours were questionable but now I'd never go back. Smooth, fast and stable (unlike my Android I've only restared the phone twice in a month, on the Android it was daily). As to apps I'd rather have quality over quantity.
    Reply Vote I'm for Nokia
  • Consumers prefer Nokia

    No, I'm not talking about pure numbers; I'm talking about contemporary trends. RIM is trending down and Nokia is trending up. Windows Phone is an excellent OS and, provided it is not mismanaged, it's market share will continue to grow.
    Reply Vote I'm for Nokia
    • Consumers prefer Blackberry

      How on earth is Nokia trending up. It has lost 50% market share in a year and is bleeding money. On the other hand every texting teenager outside of the good old USA loves Blackberry. They are everywhere.

      I used to be a Nokia guy with an E72, but WP7 has killed Nokia for me and about everybody else.
      Reply Vote I'm for RIM
  • Both are questionable but MS may help

    Reply Vote I'm for Nokia