Research in Motion's release of five new BlackBerry smartphones won't do much to help the struggling company, says one analyst.
Jeffries & Co. analyst Peter Misek doesn't think the new phones do enough to catch up with the iPhone and Android phones, and decided to cut his price target to $22 from $24.
His price cut comes after RIM unveiled five new BlackBerry smartphones on Wednesday, including two new BlackBerry Bold models and three new BlackBerry Torch phones. All of the phones will operate on the new BlackBerry 7 operating system, which promises faster browsing speeds.
RIM claims that the new browser will be 40 percent faster than the BlackBerry 6 OS and 100 percent faster than the BlackBerry 5 OS. But that's not good enough, according to Misek.
"Preliminary reviews of the handsets cite improved speed but a browsing experience still inferior to Android and iOS," Misek wrote in a note. "We do not believe carriers will put extensive marketing dollars behind the new handsets."
RIM has seen hard times of late and announced layoffs of 2,000 employees in July. One of the main reasons behind its struggles is the BlackBerry's shrinking market share. RIM saw its North American market share drop to 12 percent as Apple's iPhone and the various phones utilizing the Android operating system flew past the smartphone stalwart.
Even worse for RIM is that its dwindling market share might continue to get smaller, if new polling information is accurate.
A recent survey of 214 smartphone owners, conducted by Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, showed that users want iPhones and are willing to ditch their BlackBerrys to get one. The numbers showed that 64 percent said that an iPhone will be their next phone purchase and 67 percent said they'd be willing to ditch the BlackBerry to get Apple's phone.
Android and Apple operating systems currently reign supreme, according to recent Nielsen research, checking in with a 39 percent and 28 percent share of the market, respectively. RIM's BlackBerry has seen its operating system market share drop down to 20 percent.
In addition to its new line of BlackBerry 7 smartphones, RIM has used a lot of money and time in trying to release QNX-based smartphones. It has worked hard to integrate the QNX operating system with its BlackBerry product line, but currently has been unable to get a phone out on the market.
There was hope among analysts, including Misek, that it'd be able to get a QNX phone out in early 2012, but now the phone isn't expected to be released until the second half of the year.
Part of the delay could be that RIM shifted attention from QNX to getting its BlackBerry 7 phones out to the market.
"We believe this is a symptom of resources being diverted from QNX to OS 7," Misek said.
RIM shares were down 5.68 percent, or $1.44, to $23.89 on Thursday at 1:15 p.m.