Investment Banks Find a Cure for CrackBerry Addiction!

Wall Street found a cure for CrackBerry addiction. That's not good news for Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM  ) .

According to Bloomberg, several large investment banks are looking into using Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) iPhones and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) Android handsets for corporate email on the go, rather than requiring the use of BlackBerry phones. Apple and Google have beefed up their security measures considerably in the last year, including such corporate-friendly measures as deep integration with Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) Exchange servers and the ability to wipe out sensitive information remotely. And they might have reached the point now at which some of the most security-obsessed companies on the planet think that's good enough.

Bloomberg's sources say that banking giant JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM  ) is looking into both Android and iPhone alternatives to the BlackBerry hegemony, while Swiss megabank UBS (NYSE: UBS  ) is considering just iPhones. In both cases, the banks are weighing whether to let employees use their own phones for corporate email services, and neither is planning to actively distribute non-BlackBerry smartphones. That's a small relief for RIM, whose entire existence depends on defending the corporate messaging space. While the company has seen growth in the consumer space, its high-end smartphones have fallen flat.

But given how popular iPhones and Androids are becoming among the general population, it's a safe bet that many bankers and brokers are flashing the latest and greatest smartphones already as a complement to their BlackBerries. Unless RIM reinvents itself in short order, those vaunted CrackBerries may soon turn into hated digital leashes -- and needless ones at that.

What can RIM do to stem the hemorrhaging of corporate customers toward more user-friendly platforms? I'm sure you have some ideas -- share them in the comments below.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here. Google and Microsoft are Motley Fool Inside Value picks. Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Apple is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick. Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call position on Microsoft. The Fool owns shares of Google and Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. True to its name, The Motley Fool is made up of a motley assortment of writers and analysts, each with a unique perspective; sometimes we agree, sometimes we disagree, but we all believe in the power of learning from each other through our Foolish community. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.


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Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On September 12, 2010, at 1:41 AM, uc22 wrote:

    not a blackberry fan but RIM's losses are mostly in the minds of wanna be tech blogs. Every quarter we see a "surprise" report that RIM has not actually lost that much market share. I guess if the Mashable's of the world say it enough, it will be true ... in their minds only of course.

  • Report this Comment On September 12, 2010, at 8:33 AM, Gonzhouse wrote:

    RIMM and Garmin are on the same track to oblivion; first to market who rested on their laurels. In technology, you plan your own demise before someone else does. Both companies are the next Blockbusters.

  • Report this Comment On September 14, 2010, at 12:58 AM, Aeoran wrote:

    Debunking outright falsehoods, part II:

    First search term in Google ("RIM North America 2010") returns a Canalys report at http://www.canalys.com/pr/2010/r2010033.html showing RIM share in North America at 43%, growing 20.5% Y/Y.

    @InfoThatHelp, please demonstrate where your numbers come from. It seems like you keep making up facts to support your fiction.

  • Report this Comment On September 14, 2010, at 1:11 AM, Aeoran wrote:

    Time to debunk another outright falsehood, this time my own: the Canalys report was a projection for 2010, not results. My apologies to @InfoThatHelp on that account. But, knowing the companies' financial reports, the real results will not be far off.

    So digging a bit deeper yields: http://www.informationweek.com/news/mobility/smart_phones/sh....

    RIM is computed to have a 42.1% market share in North America.

    I welcome more recent numbers.

  • Report this Comment On September 14, 2010, at 9:09 AM, Aeoran wrote:

    It's NPD, not NDP. Full report is at http://www.npd.com/press/releases/press_100804.html.

    This is not a real market share report. It's a user survey, and does not include corporate sales. The ComScore report (42.1%) does.

    If you can find a real market share report, more recent than the ComScore report, please do share.

  • Report this Comment On September 15, 2010, at 2:00 PM, Aeoran wrote:

    Fresh off the press at comScore:

    For the 3-month period ending July 2010, relative to the 3-month period preceding,

    #1: BlackBerry: 39% (-2%)

    #2: Apple: 24% (-1%)

    #3: Android: 17% (+5%)

    #4: Windows Mobile: 12% (-2%)

    So BlackBerry market share is just 2% less than Apple and Android share added together.

    This includes iPhone 4 mania.

  • Report this Comment On September 15, 2010, at 2:08 PM, Acesnyper wrote:

    Having used an Android phone for work then moving to a RIMM product, I'd be amazed to see if anything was done other than facebook updates.

    I'm sorry I tried to give it a fair shot, if anything I was pretty pumped to be on the new hip and happening band wagon for once.

    It's just NOT a work tool, I played with it IT did all to make it more stream lined and useful for corp use. It's just not that great even when the fat is trimmed.

    I think if companies look at how sturdy and stable the BB OS is with the other work based benefits it might be worth keeping "last weeks" phone if it works better. And from my and my companies point of view, yes it does by a long shot.

    Now really they do need to make more "fun" and entry levels for people who do enjoy to play with their phones, but if that doesn't happen I can see many people giving into other phones no matter how much a step back it is just to have more fun.

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