In the midst of what many would call one of the worst few weeks in RIM’s history there is now news that American carriers like AT&T and Verizon are pressuring RIM to lower their carrier fees. RIM charges its carriers a fee to allow their customer to access the BlackBerry servers and infrastructure that brings in approximately $4.09 billion in annual revenue. After RIM reported out their Q1 earnings last week many large carriers are now asking for a lowered fees that could potentially put even more strain on RIM.
These fees account for more than a third of the overall revenue at RIM and a cut o them could prove to be very detrimental in the lead up to BlackBerry 10 being launched in 2013. “There’s definitely negotiations going on right now to reduce” the fees if the company has acknowledged its concern, said Sameet Kanade, a technology analyst at Northern Securities.
If RIM is not willing to lower the fees for these large carriers we may see less and less of them actually carry new BlackBerry devices, as the carriers are looking for more ways to save money as customers demand better cellular plans from them. All the major carriers have declined to provide any statement on the matter, but RIM spokesman Nick Manning has this to say, “RIM intends to continue generating a revenue stream from the services we offer,”.
the question that now comes to mind is whether or not RIM will be able to appease carriers long enough to get BlackBerry 10 out the door? Or will they continue to fall further down the apparently non-existent, according to Thorsten Heins, “downward spiral”?