On 7/19/2008, to $14.42 as of 2/27/2012. Its current market capitalization is about $7.44 billion, while it had reached a record market capitalization of over $78 billion in 2008. Meanwhile, RIMM has approximately 75 million subscribers worldwide, with a feature product, the Blackberry phone, with a desirable feature, its instant messaging application: BBM (Blackberry Messenger). Most importantly, the Blackberry has unmatched data security.
RIMM's shares have suffered as it is perceived that consumers will shun its products in favor of the iPhone and Android devices. Could Apple put RIMM out of business? Possibly. However, Apple can possibly gain much more by keeping RIMM in business. This should sound like a familiar dilemma to Microsoft (MSFT) and Apple.
In 1997, it seemed that Apple itself was in danger of going out of business (see our article of August 15, 2011, "Who will take a bite out of Apple? Anyone") as its software competitor, Microsoft, had almost cornered the operating system market. What kept Apple alive? Microsoft, that same competitor that almost drove Apple out of business. Bill Gates invested $150 million in Apple, in the form of preferred stock that was ultimately converted into a total of about 18.2 million Apple shares in 2000 and 2001 (according to Apple's 2003 10K filing).
"Our biggest challenge when developing PocketMac," he says, "was the initial task of making the Mac and the BlackBerry communicate with each other. All that work had to be created from scratch. It took over a year to develop the first version and we've been perfecting it ever since."
Both RIM and IAA provide different levels of tech support for PocketMac. Goggin says RIM's ongoing involvement in the app has been a boon for both IAA and the end user.
"RIM has been a very enthusiastic partner since the initial development. Shortly before releasing the product, we became RIM Alliance Partners, and a year and a half after our joining the Alliance Partners program, RIM and Information Appliance Associates started discussing potential licensing of the app."
Goggin continues, "It's been over two years now that RIM has licensed and distributed PocketMac for BlackBerry on its site, and I think I can say that it's worked out very well for everyone, especially BlackBerry Mac users."