Thursday, July 08, 2010

Listening to RIMM Lose Market Share

We were in our local Verizon “store” yesterday—and by “store” we mean “place where dreamy customers move like driftwood among bright, bold Microsoft displays of soon-to-be-obsolete-attempts-to-cram-Windows-software-into-something-Apple-did-better-five-years-ago-anyway, with vacant stares and nervous eye-ticks while they wait for what Verizon calls ‘service’ to help them even though it’s been so long since they typed their name into that stupid welcome screen for a place in line that they no longer remember what they came in for”—getting our trusty, old, cell phone replaced for the simple reason that it got wet and died and wouldn’t recover even after drying it outside in the bright sun of this record-setting heat wave which the global-warming-deniers are conspicuously silent about even though every time it snows somewhere they blog about how it snowed somewhere and SO MUCH FOR GLOBAL WARMING ANYWAY AND AL GORE CAN GO YOU-KNOW-WHERE.

But mind-numbing as a trip to Verizon inevitably must be, it turned out to be an interesting experience because as we were waiting for our much-delayed but eventually quite helpful salesperson to transfer our contacts from the old phone to the new, we listened to something that must be happening in Verizon “stores” around the country, if RIMM’s recent earnings report, which disappointed Wall Street’s Finest even though Apple and Google have become the standards in smart-phones, is any indication.

It was the sound of RIMM losing market share, and it came in the form of a customer inquiring of a Verizon salesperson about buying a Blackberry.

The conversation went something like this:

Customer: “I want to get a Blackberry. What’s the difference between the Bold and the Storm?”

Verizon Helpful Salesperson: “Well the Bold has more Megafractals and a higher Quark Factor, but the Storm is easier to use.” [Editor’s Note: the VHS did not actually say this—that’s just how it sounded to us.]

Customer, after much back-and-forth on the Bold versus the Storm: “What’s the Droid? Is that like a Blackberry?”

VHS: “The Droid has more apps, you can do a lot more with it. Great screen, really bright.”

Customer: “Can I get my email on a Droid?”

VHS: “Sure. Of course.”

Customer: “So what’s the difference between Blackberry and Droid?”

VHS: “Well you get all kinds of apps you can use on the Droid, a lot of apps—“

Customer: “Can I look at a Droid?”…

And, sure enough, by the time we walked out the door into the steamy, record-setting heat, there was one less Blackberry customer in the world.

Jeff Matthews
I Am Not Making This Up

© 2010 NotMakingThisUp, LLC

The content contained in this blog represents only the opinions of Mr. Matthews, who also acts as an advisor: clients advised by Mr. Matthews may hold either long or short positions in securities of various companies discussed in the blog based upon Mr. Matthews’ recommendations. This commentary in no way constitutes investment advice, and should never be relied on in making an investment decision, ever. Also, this blog is not a solicitation of business: all inquiries will be ignored. The content herein is intended solely for the entertainment of the reader, and the author.


Dow Quote said...

It's the 80s again. GOOG (with Android) is Microsoft. AAPL is still AAPL. I guess RIMM is Atari maybe?

Jeff Matthews said...

Anonymous: as was your comment!


BobE said...

In re: the heat.

Once upon a time, I moved from Toronto to Texas. There's a wee bit of difference in summer temperatures, as you can imagine. This was reinforced nightly by the local TV weatherman, who called it "warm" at 99 and didn't call it "hot" until it was in triple digits. It's merely "warm" where I'm at now, but I still don't want to go outside, nevermind that my crappy dumbphone seriously needs to be replaced with something, anything.

Anonymous said...

Here's a conversation I overheard at the fireworks display on July 4.

Question -"Is that a Blackberry?"

Indignant reply - "This ain't no Blackberry, this is a Samsung"

(and yes, the gentleman actually said ain't)

Sean said...

Gosh I loved that opening paragraph, Jeff. With regards to DQ though, I don't think that GOOG is like MSFT in the 80's from a valuation standpoint. How much can they even stand to make from Android? GOOG has a ton of incredible products that it hasn't figured out how to make any money from (yet, anyway).

PhillipCharles said...


I had virtually the same experience/conversation last month in a downtown Boston Verizon store. I walked in prepared to acquire a Blackberry. I walked out completely dumbfounded.

Jeff Matthews said...

Well we had a worthwhile comment from "Slash" that never made it owing to Yahoo-message-board stuff.


introduction.thingy said...

Sean asks how Google can make money from Android.
The answer is simple: Admob, the company Google bought that is the advertising platform for the Andriod OS. I open a (free) app and I have related advertisements running down the bottom.
You get hundreds of millions of people using your phone OS and take a cut on the advertising revenue as well as your app store revenue and the income generated becomes very real.

Frozen in the North said...

Not that anyone who buys his on smart phone cares, but the one aspect that makes the blackberry interesting to corporation is security -- it is by far the most data secure smart phone out there.

That's why the blackberry dominate the corporate sector, and by the way very few dropped calls and true push email.

Since most users don't really care about security -- that is until data theft, I can entirely understand why the Iphone, and other smart phones are popular. But check the attached YouTube "Iphone" funny!

Gordon said...

Yes, every time it snows, the Global Warming Deniers do sound rather silly when they use this anecdotal evidence to support a false thesis.

But don't you think it sounds just as silly to do the same thing on the other side of the ledger every time there's a heat wave?

Jeff Matthews said...

Gordon: Yes, which is why I don't. In this case I used the heat wave to make a side-point, and have some fun.


texalope said...

Least Helpful calls;

Please look at the circumstances surrounding JPM and JEF downgrade (this options expiration week) of ATPG. Stock down 70% since oil spill started. JPM assisted in recent financing then downgrades this week saying company is short $500million.
Thursday after close they say they made a math error in spreadsheet by $450 million. Did JEF make same error. They wrecked an already wrecked stock that has over 1/3 shares short. Please shine some light on these people