So today I sold all my RIM stock & traded it for Microsoft. I feel quite sad about it. Not only because I lost a boat load on RIM, but because RIM is one of my favorite companies.
I have used RIM devices since its very first interactive pager system that I won at a TED conference ages ago, and while I'm still a fan of its current devices, it has IMHO lost this round of the mobile wars.
How things have changed in just a couple of years. Just 2 years ago, I would have been caught saying that MSFT had to have tried REALLY hard to make their UX on WindowsMobile as bad as it is, and I would have started this posting as a blog post. Now this posting is a result of a tweet that I made, that was syndicated to facebook and is inspired by a reply from a professional analyst where I made a reply to in the thread which I am now cross posting into this blog.
That and I'm now I'm voting for Microsoft and ditching RIM. 2 years.
Its not every day I get asked by a real analyst why I make certain trades as an arm chair, small time, armature investor. So here's my 2 cents worth rant as a long time observer of the space mobile market:
There are several reasons why I dumped RIM for MSFT:
1) I've already loaded up on Apple at some great prices, and have some Google.
2) Unlike Google, Microsoft directly profits from WinMo7 phone sales. Which is actually a pretty good platform for game devs. The devices and UI is pretty good. (I just saw a prototype in person for the first time recently).
3) MSFT has great distribution and OEMs. They will take share from RIM for sure -- as RIM is peaking out. I'm seeing switches from RIM users to Android on a regular basis.
4) MSFT will get some good OEMs that will create win7 phones with keyboards+touch that will compete well with RIM.
5) RIM's OS6 (and torch w/ its lowrez LCD screen) is lipstick on a pig. Plus RIM didn't ever take advantage of so many opportunities that I thought they would with their leadership and M&A with their LBS deal w/ Dash.
6) As a 3rd party developer your options are: #1/#2: Apple/Andriod (andriod is picking up as a good alternative to apple due to clutter and BS w/ apple and momentum of Android), #3 *WILL* be WinMo7 -- esp -- for hardcore XBox Devs. The WinMo7 platform is tightly spec-ed and is less prone to fragmentation over the long run vs. Andriod, which even with its potential for hassles as a non-completely open platform, has its advantages.
7) Nokia is welll, out. At least for "this round." Just as it is for RIM. (this round = this generation or so of phones) I'm sad that Nokia, which was one of my fav companies in the past just can't seem to get their UX out of the the 90s to win new and now much more savvy smartphone customers.
8) While sadly, I can't buy Windows as a pure play mobile company -- but even so, Win7 on the desktop is SOLID, the company's P/E is at 11.5 (vs. almost 2x that w/ Goog and Aapl), the company has a big ass warchest, Bing is gaining some ground, and while office is probably going to die a painful death -- my hope/guess is that they can't be entirely stupid about migration to the cloud (or will they?).
9) Lastly Xbox rocks PS3. And its new motion capture thingamabob looks really promising.
As a Canadian, and as someone who carry's *2* RIM devices (one for US phone number and one for Canadian) -- and a huge BBM addict, today is a sad sad day for me. I hope RIM makes a come back in the "next round" of mobile wars. But right now, I have no choice but to let it go.
RIM please get it together and put up a better fight!