Research In Motion Ltd. (NASDAQ: RIMM) has now debuted its very late release of the BlackBerry 10 operating system. While we have already seen releases that Verizon, Sprint and AT&T will carry the new devices, we wanted to know what Wall St. thinks of the launch. Its stock price indicates “not very much” but we still wanted to see what analysts are saying.
Yesterday we had some caution from UBS and Oppenheimer ahead of the Blackberry 10 release. Now we have Shaw Wu of Stern Agee voicing some concerns. We maintains a Neutral rating and has no price targets on RIM.
On changing the name to BlackBerry, Wu said, “We believe changing the company name to BlackBerry from Research in Motion (RIM) makes sense in that it simplifies its brand name. This is a move that many have asked for some time and interesting to see that the company has finally agreed.”
Wu thinks that the new phones are coming to the market too late and that the prices may be too high. He said:
While the Z10 will be available in the U.K., Canada, and the U.A.E. soon, the later launch in the U.S. in March could be disappointing to some. In addition, the Q10 won’t be available until April. So far, price points at $149.99 and $199.99 don’t seem competitive as many Android smartphones are available for $99, $49, or free. We believe RIMM and/or carriers may need to price more aggressively to generate interest.
We maintain our Neutral rating as we continue to be concerned with RIMM’s fundamentals where competitive pressures from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Google Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) are unlikely to subside and the company faces a major product transition with BB10.
After 2:30, shares are down 6.5% at $14.64 versus a 52-week trading range of $6.22 to $18.32. More important than anything is that RIM has traded a whopping 180 million shares against an average daily volume of almost 50 million shares. This is unheard-of trading volume.
Better late than never.