RIM’s retooling tests patience of investors

Research In Motion is betting a punishing year will give way to a renaissance in 2012, when the company unveils its next generation of high-powered mobile devices that run on a brand-new operating system.

But by then, many are concerned it will be too little, too late.

Canada’s most important technology company is aiming to get through 2011 with a focus on cutting non-essential operations and offering products that run on a slight upgrade of its current operating system – which is significantly less powerful than the one it plans to use on its phones next year.

It’s that business-as-usual attitude that has many questioning whether the company, which has already seen its value cut in half since January, is doing enough right now to stop the slide. Indeed, calls for change at RIM have not only gotten louder, the prescriptions are becoming more drastic. This week, RBC analyst Mike Abramsky suggested the company be split into two separate businesses.

One of the biggest challenges the company faces in the short term is attracting customers and application developers to phones it launches this year, when they know a new generation of devices that runs on the updated QNX software – which already powers the PlayBook – is just around the corner.

“If I’m a BlackBerry developer, and I’m thinking of building an app for a device coming out in November, why do it with a new operating system coming out in a few months?” asked Kunal Gupta, CEO of Polar Mobile, a development shop that designs apps for virtually all major smart phone platforms… Read More [via theglobeandmail]