RIM to Change Service Fees for BB10

Research in Motion doesn’t have a commanding presence in the Enterprise market like it used to in the past. It is set to switch from a one-size-fits-all approach to enterprise services to tiered services offerings. RIM

For enterprise consumers, it would mean more flexibility to select services that they need in their businesses. Some clients might still pay the same service fees they pay at present. Others might pay a lot less or even nothing at all.

RIM CEP Thorsten Heins made the announcement during the release of the company’s third quarter financial results. The tiered pricing will be implemented when RIM releases BlackBerry 10 next month. He said that subscribers who require enhanced services are expected to generate monthly service revenue. These services include advanced security and mobile device management.

It is RIM’s goal to keep its subscriber base intact at all costs. But its investors are worried about the new business model. RIM shares dropped 23 percent after the company’s earning’s report Thursday. Service fees accounted for around $982 million of RIM’s $2.73 billion sales in the third quarter.

If RIM’s plan is implemented, it would result to a drop of at least a third of its revenues from service fees. That’s if the company manages to hold around 15 million enterprise customers and 60 million consumer customers.

Analysts are skeptical that BlackBerry 10 and the new devices that run on it will be able to keep RIM afloat. There are not just concerned about the service fee revenue but also about the company’s ability to bring the new devices into the hands of enterprise and consumers.

RM management is optimistic about its BB10 smartphone launch on January 30 but analysts don’t believe that the new devices can turn around the struggling company. There are some speculations that RIM might need to sell the company.

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