The makers of the BlackBerry, Research In Motion (RIM), had a very tough year. It's been steadily losing business and customer loyalty, struggling through technology problems and eroding investor faith. And now the company is facing a 68 percent drop in stock value this year, with its book value now worth less than the net value of its property, such as patents and other assets.
For the first time in nine years, RIM is trading below its book value, indicating a serious loss of confidence in the company and its leadership. The company had a troubled year, delivering a rushed and ill-received BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, was late on the promised updates, unveiled underwhelming new BlackBerry smartphones, and announced a series of layoffs.
Top that off with the four-day worldwide outage last month that seemed to coincide perfectly with the release of the iPhone 4S, driving away more customers to Apple. And, it's still facing legal action from customers for compensation relating to the service outage.
However, RIM did just recently announce BBX, its new BlackBerry and QNX platform for next-gen devices, and just yesterday it fully released its BlackBerry Music service. It also has a new lineup of BBX smartphones and tablets with one rumored to be a super phone dubbed the BlackBerry Colt.