Research In Motion Ltd. (NASDAQ: RIMM) continues its push to remain relevant in the new world of tablets and smartphones, and to keep itself from being broken into pieces and sold off as junk. The Canadian company, which has lost more than 90% of its share value in the past two years, will launch a new version of its PlayBook tablet. The firm’s public relations staff almost makes the product sound viable:
The new 4G LTE BlackBerry PlayBook maintains a sleek and ultra-portable form while delivering overall faster performance over the original BlackBerry PlayBook, as well as support for blazing fast 4G LTE networks.
A little examination of the statement shows that the Playbook is no different from any other tablet on the market, except it enters the race many months after the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPad, the Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) Kindle Fire and a series of Samsung products. The PlayBook will continue to be tethered to the BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2 software while most customers want products with the Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) Android OS or Apple’s operating system.
Draghi vs. Weidmann
The war of wills between ECB chief Mario Draghi and Germany’s Bundesbank continues as the chance that the European Central Bank will have a free hand in buying sovereign debt of weak nations in the region dwindles. The battle continues to worry markets, which believe that Spain is near default because its borrowing costs are more than 7% on 10-year notes and it has no stimulus to cut into its 25% unemployment rate. Germany has taken a radical stance based on a public declaration that it controls the destiny of the ECB. The notion may seem brash, but it is true. Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann said, “We are the largest and most important central bank in the Eurosystem and we have a greater say than many other central banks in the Eurosystem,” according to Bloomberg. It is his ball and it appears he will take it home so none of the other nations can play.
Facebook Insiders May Sell Shares
Facebook’s (NASDAQ: FB) shares have traded below $20, after a $38 initial public offering. The price could be pushed down more by the people who helped start the company — both employees and venture capitalists. The lock-up period during which these parties are not allowed to sell shares is nearly over. On August 16, 271 million shares will be eligible for sale. The fortunes of the world’s largest social network company are so poor that it would not be unusual for many of these holders to hit the exits, to make whatever money they can on “cheap” shares they got in early rounds of financing, which valued the company at well below its current level.
Douglas A. McIntyre