If there's one Canadian company happy to have 2012 behind it, it has to be Research In Motion.
Once the darling of Canada's technology sector, RIM has gone from being the most valuable company in the country to an afterthought in the world's competitive communications market.
To say it was a bad year would be an understatement. The firm's famed BlackBerry had its subscriber base eaten into by a number of touchscreen alternatives such as Apple's iPhone and the Samsung Galaxy S3, and co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis stepped down from their roles and were replaced by Thorsten Heins. As well, the product hoped to gain back investor confidence, the BlackBerry 10, kept having its launch date delayed.
But here's the good news for those rooting for the Canadian company to regain its share of the smartphone market. After missing out on crucial sales periods like the back-to-school and holiday shopping seasons, RIM has the floor to itself when it finally launches the BlackBerry 10 on Jan. 30.
The bad news is that if it turns out to be a bust, it could be "their last kick at the can," as one analyst warned.
Indeed, while initial reports of the new system have been positive and RIM's stock has more than doubled since hitting its low last year, the launch is considered by many to be make-or-break for the company.
One thing for sure is that if RIM gets its technoswagger back in a month, the company cannot afford to rest on its laurels like it has the past couple of years. RIM must take a page from Apple and continue to innovate, no matter how big it is and no matter how many people subscribe to its products.
The next Apple iPhone is always just around the corner, and in the cutthroat world of tech products, it doesn't take long for the hot, new thing to be relegated to the recycling bin.
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