Research in Motion in motion

Go to YahooFinance.com, type in “RIM” and hit “5 yrs” on the chart. What a slide, eh? Stock worth $140 a share in 2008 has recently traded as low as $7!

The story is too well-known to bother telling here. Suffice it to say that iPhone ate RIM’s lunch for them. And then when RIM was standing there going, “Hey! Who ate my lunch??” Samsung Galaxy sneaked up behind them and kicked RIM in the balls. Then Google Android knelt behind RIM and iPhone pushed RIM over. Nokia was too small to assist but stood watching and laughed.

It was a bad scene, man. Not as bad as when Netflix beat Blockbuster to death with a piece of firewood in a blind rage, but pretty bad.

However, there is some light at the end of the tunnel! Even though the BlackBerry smartphone hasn’t materially changed in five years, and even though you still can’t look anything up on the internet browser with it, and even though people almost laugh at BlackBerry’s remaining users, and even though all the Fortune500 companies are bailing on the “secure” BlackBerries for their employees, and even though morale plummeted at RIM to the point where internal emails revealed a prevailing corporate atmosphere of bleak defeatism and apathy, the stock has finally gone up!

Why? BB10! Yes, the much-vaunted iPhoneish “BlackBerry 10″ is fiiiinally being released! This is after the BB10 release was postponed so many times that most financial analysts were betting that RIM would be purchased by Motorola for its few patents and then disappear into the dustbin of corporate history.

Now, the stock is hardly the darling it was in 2007 but it did climb out of penny stock territory to a comparatively lofty $17 a share and has hovered in the mid-teens since!

We sat down with our favorite financial commentator, star stockbroker and racquetball enthusiast William A. Spaulding Patrick III (whom you may recall elucidated the potash craze for us some time back) to get the down-low. Yo.

We were nursing our second Shirley Temple at the Morton’s bar where we’d scheduled to meet by the time William finally sidled up- 15 minutes late. We were about to say hello but William immediately asked, “What do you think of my new tie? It’s Herm├Ęs. This pattern, here, this pattern is called ‘paisley.’”

We conceded that, yes, it was a pretty nice tie but that we were here for some advice on RIM.

William answered us while anxiously scanning the entire bar for anyone that might be important, then glanced down and jiggled his wrist to make sure “everyone” could see his Rolex.

“It’s not called RIM anymore, it’s called BlackBerry,” said Will, “‘Cause they, uh, make BlackBerries so they mine as well be called BlackBerry. Get it? I’ve got to go to the washroom, one sec.”

We’d had only a few bites of our calamari starter (delicious) when William returned, seeming suddenly quite agitated. He declined to join us on the calamari and just sat there for a minute chewing his lip and looking one-by-one at every person in the bar.

“Uh, so William?” we asked, “What’s your reco? Is RIM due for another long season in the sun or is this just a blip?”

William leaned in very close, and became very serious, and spoke very fast, “I’ve got every dollar I have in that sumbitch. And all my clients’ too. Buy as much as you can, this BB10 is gonna revolutionize the smartphone industry. As much as you can. Buy buy buy.”

“What in the heck is so great about BB10?”, we asked. “It looks alot like an iPhone from the pictures we’ve seen…”

William grinned and wiped his nose with his sleeve.

“It’s got something no other phone has. Something absolutely revolutionary,” he said, “this one feature makes it certain that the stock will be at $500 or more in not even a month’s time!”

Wow, we thought to ourselves, if William is right then one stood to make 50 times their money!

We had to ask: “William- what is this game changing feature?”

After a long glug from his double martini he looked around the bar for a bit, then whipped a gold Cross fountain pen out of his suit jacket and wrote something on the bar napkin that lay before him. Then he quickly folded it up and left it under his palm.

He looked around again – squinting for a moment with particular suspicion at the busboy – and then casually slid the folded napkin along the bar towards us. William put his finger to his lips. “Shhhhh,” he whispered ominously.

Though it seemed no one cared a whit about either of us or our RIM conversation as far as we could tell, we deferred to the expert and, with delicate care not to draw attention to ourselves, we unfolded our secret napkin-note. It read…

“BB10 has a touch screen.”

Touch screen was emphasized with three underlines.

We were a little confused.

“Will,” we whispered, “iPhone and Galaxy already have touchscreens.”

William’s face dropped.

“I, uh, I’ve got to return some videotapes,” he sputtered as he got up and ran out the door so fast he nearly bowled over some old lady in a fur coat.

We took another bite of our calamari and began to consider that maybe the paper could use a different financial commentator.

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