The fate of the BlackBerry on Wall Street

Tools


Wall Street was the place where the smart phone revolution got underway.

The BlackBerry back then was just so cool, a perk of being an investment banker-type. You got to carry around a little gizmo that could deliver all your emails wirelessly. The BlackBerry has slowly but surely been eclipsed as of late by the iPhone and the many Androids.

When Research in Motion announced that the BlackBerry 10 would be available in January--about two years late--you could almost hear the chuckles. Few people are giving the new phones a chance to revive the brand in the financial services industry. While the early reviews have been decent, it's not seen as Wall Street-worthy tool right now. It would be exceedingly rare to find a bank that supports enterprise apps for the BlackBerry any more. Few supported the RIM tablet PlayBook when it was on the market, ever so briefly.

Analysts are mixed about the phone's chances for success in general. A Jefferies analyst has given the new offering a about a 20 percent chance of success. While the RIM stock has rallied as of late, an analyst with Pacific Crest Securities in Portland, wrote that, "We expect the new OS to be met with a lukewarm response at best and ultimately likely to fail."

If it does succeed, it will not be because of enterprise support by major banks. Even if banks were inclined to roll it out to employees, the lack of BES support would loom as huge issue. All in all, RIM's best move now is to focus on the consumer and the government markets. -Jim

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