RIM Bracing For Big Changes (And A Smaller Workforce)

Research In Motion has spent years in the sun, stomping across the primitive businessphone market like a king Tyrannosaur, but then there was a  bright light in the sky and all of a sudden it’s getting cold.

The Canadian company is bracing itself for layoffs in the face of plunging stock, with profit projections doing in graphs what planes do with very loud noises, the deployment of oxygen breathing masks, and appeals to remain calm. This is especially grim news in Canada, where business sections report on RIM the same way Ye Olde Arthurian Times might have reported on Excalibur.

Blackberrys used to be the only office option. They had keyboards, you could send e-mails on your phone (wow!), and they even cost more than regular handsets which was weirdly a big plus for the business manager buyer. Not anymore. Now even the dumbest smartphone can output more social content than Hello magazine, and a phone the size of a saucer suddenly looks as unwieldy as, well, a phone the size of a saucer. Efforts to remain relevant have ranged from “The same as everyone else” (the touchscreen Torch) to “The same as everyone else but broken” (the Playbook.)

Will RIM resurge as the evolutionary pressure forces a leaner staff to innovate? Or will they be the giant lizards to Androids small fast mammals? Only time will tell.

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