It seems pretty clear to me that RIM has to either get BB10 out the door if they stand any chance at a comeback (of sorts). A successful launch of BB10 requires cash. RIM has cash ($2.2 billion), but the risk of becoming cash flow negative is VERY real now. As I wrote about on CrackBerry last night, I think they have up to another $500 million per quarter of cash flow decline that they could absorb before bleeding. And that’s only if their headcount reductions and other initiatives are executed perfectly.
So here’s my main question: Look at Microsoft. Look how they’ve continued to attack this market (unsuccessfully) for years. They’ve gotten almost nowhere, yet people still consider them a possible player with Windows 8. Why is it that RIM is dead, gone, completely toast yet Microsoft still has a chance? The only possible reason to explain this is CASH. That’s because cash = staying power.
Running out of cash is like running out of lives in a video game. It’s game over.
So to me this all comes down to cash. If RIM has enough of it, they can launch BB10 (even late) and do OK in the market. But man, oh man, is it painful to watch them stumble and fumble their way towards the finish line / graveyard (not sure which yet).
I’m going to enjoy my long weekend now. So let me know what you think. What makes RIM different than Microsoft in its quest for Smartphone dominance?