RIM Loses Footing In Europe, Kindle Fire Sales at 6M

Research in Motion is running out of markets to sell their products.  With Apple dominating in North America and Samsung gearing up to do the same in Europe, RIM’s walls are quickly closing in and they have no one else to blame but themselves.  RIM’s BlackBerry devices were once the top choice for business people, but with delayed updates, the business sector is now looking elsewhere for mobile products that cater to their needs.

RIM’s secret weapon, and hopefully the answer to their declining market problem, is the BlackBerry 10, their latest software offering.  Unfortunately, phones supporting BB10 will not be launching until late this year.

RIM’s new CEO Thorsten Heins is also counting on the security flaws of other mobile devices being used in workplaces, and they are banking on it to drive consumers their way.

“They are in a pickle. Their pickle is security,” Heins said in an interview. “When the first big security flaw even happens in one of the large enterprises, you will see this turn around. Wait for the day this happens.”

Kindle Fire

Android faces a great deal of competition and security concerns heading into the workplace, but the consumer market is ripe for some of its more popular devices, particularly the Kindle Fire. Stifel Nicolaus analyst Jordan Rohan estimated Amazon’s sales for the Kindle Fire tablet at about six million units in the fourth quarter, claiming that the tablet is a true iPad contender.

“Kindle Fire has staked out an important market position due to its loyal Amazon customer base and attractive (low) device pricing,” Rohan said in a note to clients. “We believe the lower hardware price will correlate with high e-book and video content attach rates.”

Previous studies showed that Amazon loses money by selling the Kindle Fire at such a low price, but Amazon is hopeful that the loss could be compensated by sales of media compatible with the tablet that can be purchased in Amazon.

Other Mobile News

Nokia will be launching a white Lumia 800 in Australia by March to add to their existing black, cyan and magenta variants.  Pricing is yet to be announced.

The 5.3-inch screen Samsung Galaxy Note is hitting the US market on February 19, under AT&T for $299.99 with a two-year plan.  Pre-orders will start on February 5 and is available in two variants, carbon blue and ceramic white.

Of the available 4G smartphones in the market, the Motorola Droid Razr Maxx may have major appeal in terms of battery life.  It lasted 8 hours and 25 minutes on the LAPTOP Battery Test which involves continuous surfing over 4G with the phone set to 40% brightness.  The Droid Razr Maxx is available in Verizon.

And finally, Apple is faced with some bad PR because of the reportedly horrid working conditions at Foxconn, which supplies parts for their products.  Apple CEO Tim Cook is reportedly outraged with the unsafe working condition at Foxconn and swore to step up their audits in Foxconn as well as other suppliers.  Apple cut ties with factories found to be violating workers’ rights.

Apple isn’t the only company that uses Foxconn, Nokia, Dell and Microsoft are among popular brands that get their supplies from the Chinese factory.  One technology writer, Dan Lyons, wrote an eye-opening piece with regards to the “boycott Apple” appeal,

“Ultimately the blame lies not with Apple and other electronics companies – but with us, the consumers. And ultimately we are the ones who must demand change.”