Research In Motion is expected to report a shortfall in its first-quarter earnings on Thursday, and will continue to struggle in 2011 owing to a lack of competitive devices, according to an analyst at Morgan Stanley.
The Canadian manufacturer shipped an estimated 13.5 million BlackBerry smartphones and 400,000 PlayBook tablets in the first quarter, generating revenue of $5.1bn.
"We expect RIM to report first-quarter earnings in line with its 28 April pre-announced shortfall, reflecting the product vacuum until BlackBerry 7 devices ship later in 2011 and QNX devices ship in 2012," said Ehud Gelblum, an analyst at Morgan Stanley, in a research note.
The second quarter is also expected to be "challenging in the face of a continued product vacuum", but RIM is expected to generate around $5.2bn in revenue on the back of 13.5 million smartphone and 700,000 PlayBook sales.
RIM's stronghold in the enterprise is also under threat from the leading platforms in the smartphone market, Gelblum warned.
"Apple and Android will eat away at RIM's enterprise base as CIOs embrace 'bring-your-own-phone' alternatives," he said.
However, Gelblum did suggest that RIM could regain its competitive edge with help from the Android partnership and the release of QNX-based "superphones".
But at the current pace of research and development, and with BlackBerry smartphones and tablets set to take precedence, the analyst believes that these QNX devices could be delayed until late summer 2012.
"We believe RIM has now squandered nearly every opportunity and competitive advantage it enjoyed through ineffective R&D resource management, delayed product launches and misreads of the competitive environment," he said.
"Support for Android apps on the PlayBook could grow the ecosystem by 10 times, and [launching] the QNX-based 'superphone' in early 2012 could give RIM a shot at having a device line-up based on a more modern, touch-based OS, possibly stemming share loss."
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