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

Closing Statements

RIM has a revival strategy

Zack Whittaker

Both Nokia and RIM are struggling, that's clear. What isn't clear is how Nokia is going to dig itself out of the mess it fell in. RIM has a plan; a revival strategy to get back in the game and compete for the much coveted third-place spot behind Android and the iPhone.

But Nokia is floundering around and its business continues to stagnate. RIM knows it is in a rut and is making a concerted effort to do something about it. BlackBerry 10 is just around the corner and has a good chance of succeeding. Nokia's revival plan was Lumia. With falling Windows Phone marketshare and poor Lumia sales, Nokia has already had its last chance. If BlackBerry 10 fails, RIM will land itself in the same position that Nokia is in today. Nokia will crumble, but RIM has enough assets to spin off and sell what it has.

Nokia is trying something new

Matthew Miller

The future is not so bright for Nokia and RIM at the moment, but things move fast in the mobile space and a company can gain a sizable share of the market in a short period of time. Zack has some good points about RIM, but I do not see much respect for the BlackBerry brand in my daily life.

Nokia is trying something new with Windows Phone; and with an efficient and fresh operating system in hand combined with Nokia's history of exciting devices I think Nokia has the best chance at turning things around and getting back on a path to success. Consumers are bringing devices to work and Windows Phone is currently much more modern and exciting than what RIM has available. RIM hopefully will amaze us with their BB 10 OS and devices, but that won't happen until late 2012.

RIM has a better shot

Jason Hiner

It's clear that both RIM and Nokia look like they are in big trouble. Both have gotten steamrolled by the momentum of Android and iPhone during the last couple years. But, Zack and Matt highlighted the possibilities that these two have for bouncing back and carving a niche in the future. Both RIM's BlackBerry and Nokia's Windows Phone platform have allies in large organizations, and while these organizations don't roll out as many phones as they used, they are still a powerful force in the mobile market. RIM or Nokia could still build a niche business around building a better solutions for corporate smartphone users better than Android or iPhone.

As Matt articulated, right now Nokia appears to be poised to have the best chance to become the No. 3 player in the smartphone market in the years ahead because it has the strength of Microsoft behind it with the Windows Phone deal and it still has Nokia's relationships with global wireless carriers. However, even Matt didn't appear totally confident about Nokia's way forward and the numbers show that Windows Phone continues to struggle at around 2% market share in smartphones. Meanwhile, BlackBerry is still hanging on to about 15% marketshare and has a more loyal cadre of fans, despite the fact that it hasn't released any innovative new smartphone designs in years.

Thus, I'm going to be a contrarian one this on and side with Zack, because as he said, if RIM comes through with some hit smartphones to run BlackBerry 10 then it could orchestrate a nice little rebound. The company is overdue for a hit device and without the distraction of working on the PlayBook this year, I think they have a shot at it. BlackBerry simply doesn't have as steep of a climb as Windows Phone, where Nokia has pinned all of its hopes.


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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