updated 11:15 am EST, Mon December 19, 2011
RIM stock crash sees App Store pass it in value
RIM faced an ignominious milestone on Monday after a stock crash following its BlackBerry 10 phone delay. With its share price down to $13.44 as of Friday's closing and down under $13.30 as of Monday morning, RIM's $7.04 billion market cap or less was smaller than an $7.08 billion contribution to Apple's market cap from the App Store, as estimated by Trefis and noted by Brian Hall. Apple's total market cap of $354 billion was itself over 50 times larger.
The BlackBerry designer's stock price has collapsed by three quarters over the course of 2011 through a string of bad news. Steadily flat or declining BlackBerry shipments have been the most commonly cited factor, but many also point to the largely failed experiment of the BlackBerry PlayBook. RIM is known to have had ambitions of being the biggest challenger to the iPad but, by rushing its tablet to the market with unfinished software and pricing it higher than customers wanted, has had to ship far fewer PlayBooks than it expected as it cleared unsold stock through much of the second half of the year.
Much of the blame has been put on the co-CEOs' optimism. The company has regularly given guidance for quarters that it didn't meet in 2011, and it has had a history of predicting releases that didn't arrive on time. RIM both didn't ship its first BlackBerry 7 phones until three months later and delayed the PlayBook's 2.0 update three times, moving from an original June target to February.