Friendship can be a beautiful thing. Partners are even better.
Just ask Research In Motion
Co-CEO Jim Balsillie seems to think that the BlackBerry is crossing over from the business world into the hands of curious consumers, thanks to effective marketing campaigns from the phone networks. AT&T
And if that wasn't enough, American retailers have embraced the gadgets in a big way. Balsillie argued that availability in stores like Best Buy
The company tells the same story abroad, with aggressive sales partners in places like Latin America, India, and China. Local language support has long been a stumbling block for the BlackBerry and competing devices, but you can write emails in Hebrew and romaji Japanese these days. The global market is RIM's biggest opportunity today, as two-thirds of its sales last year happened in Canada and the U.S.
Other people are basically doing the heavy lifting when it comes to promoting RIM's wares. All of this goes a long way to explain why sales are exploding right now for the Toronto-based telephone tinkerer. The already-expensive stock shot up another 10% since the news of these impressive results, and the gravy train keeps on rollin'.
I still say "enjoy it while you can." Yes, the smartphone market in general is expanding like nobody's business, and there's a place for RIM in that sector. But when all is said and done, a couple of years from now, I'd expect the BlackBerry and its future offspring to be just another face in the crowd, with the glory days long gone. It doesn't even look all that different from the competition today, let alone better. Frailty, thy name is commoditization. In the long run, at least.
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