Struggling phone maker Research In Motion, the maker of the BlackBerry phone, should be split into two a leading share broker has claimed.
With its share value plunging 50% this year the Company is facing a bleak future as former Blackberry owners dump the once “must have” brand for new offerings from Apple and Android Phone makers.
Revenues have also fallen as the company’s profit fell last quarter and it warns of more pain ahead as it moves its smartphones to a new QNX platform which is currently being used in the company’s new PlayBook tablet.
The call by RBC Capital Markets comes hours before RIM’s annual shareholder meeting in Canada where investors turned up to hear how RIM intended to reverse its sagging fortunes.
“RIM’s organisation, like its handsets, needs modernisation,” RBC’s Mike Abramsky said in a note to clients. “Splitting RIM into network and handset businesses may accelerate innovation and unlock significant shareholder value.”
According to Reuters who attended the meeting, one shareholder had sought a vote at the AGM to force co-founder Mike Lazaridis and his co-chief executive Jim Balsillie to relinquish their other shared role as board chairman.
The proposal won the support of two influential proxy firms that advise shareholders, as well as the backing of several major investors.
Shareholders were told that RIM has reacted slowly to a changed landscape in which applications such as games and video play a larger role in how consumers choose a smartphone. In addition, major companies are now allowing their employees to use their personal phones to access work systems, a blow to RIM’s once-dominant position in the so-called enterprise market.