With its much-anticipated new smartphones still weeks from release, Research In Motion found itself under attack yet again last week. Rival Nokia filed a lawsuit against the BlackBerry maker after a Swedish arbitration panel ruled RIM was in breach of a key wireless patent. At the same time, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer was widely quoted dissing RIM’s phones: “We literally are moving the company from BlackBerrys to smartphones,” said Mayer in an interview with Fortune.
Yet despite the bad press, things are suddenly looking up for the Waterloo, Ont.-based firm. Goldman Sachs recently raised its rating on RIM from “neutral” to “buy.” Market confidence has been quietly rising. National Bank and Jefferies have also boosted their outlooks. Over the past two months, RIM shares have risen 75 per cent, to over $11.
Investors don’t expect RIM to shoot back to the top of the mobile industry when BlackBerry 10 arrives. But it has fallen so far in recent years that even a modest turnaround seems a safe bet that could yield results. “We now assess a 30 per cent chance of success for BB10 given positive early reviews, broad-based carrier support, attractive features and interest by carriers and consumers in broadening the field beyond Android/iOS,” said Goldman Sachs in its report.